Like Father, Like Son — These Duos Went from Family to Startup Partners


It’s one thing to take over the family business. But it’s another thing to go straight into a new business venture with your dad. This presents a whole new set of challenges — like not knowing if you should call your partner by his name or ‘dad’ when in the office, or keeping business away from the dinner table.

These three Father-Son duos discuss how they decided to go into business together, the benefits of working with your biggest ally, and the challenges they’ve found along the way as they navigate interchanging from one close relationship to another.

Jim and Jake Berryhill

Jim is the CEO of DecisionLink, a marketing, sales and customer success platform. His son, Jake, is the Business Development Manager.

Is DecisionLink your first business venture with Jim (your dad)?

Although DecisionLink is the first time I’ve been directly employed by my dad, he taught me much about business growing up. As an example, when I was about 15, he helped me buy a pressure-washer and start a summer business. He taught me how to go door to door, make phone calls, etc. to drive business, scope and quote jobs, negotiate good deals for myself and the importance of customer satisfaction.

Why did you decide to work together?

It was toward the very early stages of my career. I had had one previous full-time job for a small bio-tech company. Jim founded DecisionLink and within about a year was able to offer me a job. He has always been a terrific mentor and with his success in business, combined with my desire for a tech industry job it was pretty much a no-brainer.

What are some of the unique obstacles of being in business with your dad?

Truthfully not many. I get asked this all the time, and my answer is always the same. From my impression he treats me as he would any employee and very fairly, which I greatly appreciate it. There is always going to be a bond he and I share that he doesn’t have with other employees, but we both do our best to keep things professional while at work. For me, a particular obstacle would be that the time I spend with him on a daily basis may have a negative impact on spending as much time with him outside of work, but I try and not let that have too much effect.

How do you play off each other’s strengths and weaknesses?

I certainly am motivated to be more of a grinder because of him. On the flip-side I would say I think he has learned from me in various ways when it comes to enjoying life as it comes and goes. I have more of my mothers attributes in that regard, which I’m sure he recognizes and loves about her. If I could be as organized and meticulous as he is, I won’t have much to worry about!

Alan and Phil Pledger

Alan is the Co-Founder and CEO of Landing Lion, and his Dad, Phil is the CTO. Landing Lion is a Landing Page creator for marketers.

Why did you decide to work together?

Outside of consulting work, Landing Lion is our first real business venture together. Depends on what you define as “work.” We’ve always worked closely together for as long as I can remember, project after project. I always knew I wanted to work with him on a business, but we only got serious about it after I graduated from college in 2012.

What are some of the unique obstacles of being in business with your dad?

Separating work from family becomes near impossible. I miss being able to come to my parents house and escape from all the real world stresses and enjoy family time. I also find that working with your family is not always perceived as a positive from the outside. I’m sure there are some nightmare stories about getting involved in a business with family members, and I find myself having to tiptoe around this fact more often than not.

What are some of the unique benefits of being in business with your dad?

The biggest benefit that first comes to mind is trust. I believe that the trust and transparency that exists within a family can spread throughout an organization and have tremendous effects. With that trust, we have been given the freedom to fail, to learn, to be honest with each other, and to grow.

How do you play off each other’s strengths and weaknesses?

We actually complement each other well, from a technical coding standpoint and a personality standpoint. I am an extroverted creative who specializes in the front end, and my dad is an analytical introvert who specializes in the back end. I move fast and break things, and he is slow and meticulous. I am a risk taker and idealistic, while he is cautious and a realist. In fact, we are actually pretty opposite from one another. We don’t always see eye to eye on every issue, but that’s a good thing.


Kyle and Andy Williams

Andy is the President of Zypp Technologies, and his son, Kyle, is the Digital Product Manager. Zypp gives physical therapists instant and configurable rehab programs with trackable progression data to improve evidence-based outcomes. Zypp Technologies is based out of Atlanta Tech Village and this Q&A originally appeared on the ATV blog.

Why did you decide to work together?

We have both played sports our whole lives and have been through many a rehab session. Based on past experiences, we identified a vulnerability in the way Physical Therapy clinics were tracking the results of their patients’ workouts, particularly with resistance band use. We sensed there was an opportunity to provide PTs with more evidence-based feedback which would lead to smarter programming and improved outcomes, as well as a lower likelihood of re-injury. Thus was born Zypp Technologies. We both saw an opportunity in the marketplace and with a common vision we set out on another journey together.

What’s it like being all-in with a startup AND your family?

Nerve-wracking at times. Fun all the time. It’s encouraging to know you have someone so close in it every day with you. We don’t want to let each other down. Communication is the key to making it work. We are able to say things about challenges and direction that others may not want to say or want to address so quickly or in such a direct manner. It can also be stressful as the deadlines, customer requirements/demands and financial requirements may not all be aligned at the time. Also, remembering to call him Andy instead of Dad!

What is the best thing about working with each other?

Being able to work everyday to build a company with and learn from someone who has experienced so much success. The fact that that person also happens to be my dad is a great bonus.

One of the greatest things about working with my son is being able to see the amazing professional growth that he is experiencing. It is so gratifying when clients pull me aside to tell me how much they enjoy working with him and have full confidence in him managing their projects and account – and I get to experience this daily!

Automation to Create Compelling Value Propositions

Article originally published on CIO Review – TOP CRM SOLUTIONS, April 2017

CIOReview Automation Value Propositions DecisionLinkDECISIONLINK

“We bring automation to manual sales functions resulting in higher productivity, increased revenue, improved margins and, ultimately, improved shareholder value.”

The information age presents new challenges to sales organizations worldwide. Buyers are self-educating, and are bombarded with social and digital information from sellers for their valuable time. Sellers need to come up with a personalized understanding of the customer and the value they’re looking for to be heard against the background marketing noise. When sellers produce clear business content to showcase the value of their products, they win a much higher percentage of opportunities while lowering the cost of sales and increasing their margins. Yet this is done less than ten percent of the time because of the cost and energy it requires. DecisionLink decided to leverage the power of automation to address these challenges.

“At DecisionLink, we have brought automation to a critical business function for the first time, that results in ten times the production at one tenth of the cost of traditional methods. Doing so has a significant impact on revenue, customer satisfaction and employee satisfaction,” states Jim Berryhill, CEO. DecisionLink’s Value Selling Automation™ platform addresses five main issues faced by sales organizations: the high percentage of “no decision”, competitive losses, margins eroded by discount requirements, poor lead to opportunity conversion ratios and customer churn when they don’t realize the value of the solutions.

DecisionLink built the industry’s first repository for value objects, called the Value Cloud. In parallel, they developed a methodology to produce value solution models in a day or two. The system is designed to empower the sales force, and enable them to present a clear value proposition to prospects. “What a value analyst would do in three days to two weeks depending on the complexity of the account, the DecisionLink system performs in a few minutes, producing sales ready assets in forms of presentations, proposals and executive infographics,” says Berryhill.

“We designed a comprehensive system with all the elements necessary to be scalable and easy to use to empower the entire organization, not only a specialized group of people within it,” explains John Porter, DecisionLink Co-founder and CTO. “Workflows are built to enable best practice processes and go much beyond the legacy CRM tools that are good at keeping records, but don’t help in closing deals and winning competitive battles.”

Jim continues with compelling results from a client, ACI Worldwide, the leading software company for processing payment transactions. “The number one issue for their sales organization was the ability to communicate value to their customers and prospects,” he mentions. The DecisionLink system was rolled out in 2016. “We invested in the best of the best for our sales organization. Salesforce for CRM, The Challenger Sale for methodology, messaging from Corporate Visions and more. DecisionLink ties it all together and makes it all work the way it should, solving the value communication problem. Nothing we invested in is more valuable than DecisionLink,” said Cliff Elam of ACI.

“CIOs are the catalysts of pushing technology and automation to create positive business outcomes for their organizations,” says Berryhill. “This is an area of great opportunity for the business-aligned CIO to enable her/his sales organization with world-class capability via automation, best practice processes and related disciplines.”


DecisionLink honored as Most Promising CRM Solution Provider by CIOReview

CIOReview publication draws attention towards the leading companies and revolutionists that are substantiated on their unprecedented level of performance, ability of creating remarkable customer experience and producing more far-reaching positive impacts in harnessing future gains.

FREMONT, CA—April 04, 2017—CIOReview is pleased to announce that DecisionLink has been selected as one of the “20 Most Promising CRM Solution Providers 2017”.

“We are delighted to rank DecisionLink as one among the 20 companies that are featured in the CRM special edition of 2017,” said Jeevan George, Managing Editor of CIOReview. “DecisionLink’s Agile Value Platform™ — a Marketing, Sales and Customer Success Platform which allows to find the best targets, make sure every deal has a business case showing financial impact, and measures the financial value of customer success to foster the best customer relationships possible.”
— CIOReview CRM Special Magazine

In contrast to the previous editions of the magazine, this year’s CIOReview CRM Special edition is a collection of extraordinary list of companies and prominent leaders who are pioneering in the CRM arena. In short, this magazine is significantly great and worth paying attention to.

The CRM Special Magazine emphasizes the successful leaders in CRM field. The chosen 20 companies are shown as they really are outstanding, creative and as real as the revolutionary changes they have bought to Customer Service industry.
DecisionLink’s Agile Value Platform™ delivers dynamic, customer-facing value propositions and business cases that clearly communicate the value of client’s solutions. This value based selling methodology can lead to better customer engagement and purchase decisions.

About DecisionLink 
Headquartered in Atlanta, GA, DecisionLink  is a software company formed by enterprise B2B sales experts to deliver the missing element in Sales organizations by building the business system required to bring automation to solve this problem and achieve high performance selling. The company was started in mid-2011 and delivered a prototype system in 2012. For more info, visit:

About the CIOReview magazines’ Most Promising Companies
CIOReview magazine annually identifies, selects and ranks the Most Promising CRM Companies to reveal the business practices that had made these companies both highly regarded and successful. For more information about the full list of 20 Most Promising CRM Solution Providers 2017, please visit:

Alongside this study, each year CIOReview carries out additional research to expose what makes these companies so successful in today’s market. The magazine features Senior Executives, CEO’s and Professionals of leading organizations, who participate in each year’s Most Promising Companies rankings to share their view points on a wide range of business priorities, technologies and practices.

CRM Best CRM Providers DecisionLink CIO Review
CRM Best CRM Providers DecisionLink CIO Review