January 11

Nick Burling – Aspiring Lawyer Turned Head Product Manager #122

Product Management, Startup



Nick recently joined ACME General as Head of Product Strategy. (Head Product Manager)

Nick is a head product manager with over 20 years of experience in researching, defining, launching, and scaling successful software solutions. He has held leadership roles with global technology business like Microsoft and IBM and has been part of launching early-stage startups both as employee #1 and as a member of the leadership team. 

As a history and French major in college, Nick’s path to technology product development and strategy was far from planned. He lost his deposit to law school after realizing that while intellectually appealing, corporate law wasn’t his calling.

Nick’s first exposure to technology came when working at a boutique marketing and PR consulting firm in Boston. After realizing that he wanted to be part of building products and not representing them, Nick joined a seed-stage consumer software company that incorporated in the fall of 2000 and suffered the impact of the .com bubble bursting.

Nick then decided to get an MBA at Duke University. After landing a spot in IBM’s exclusive Extreme Blue internship program, Nick joined the company as a PM in the Application Integration Middleware division.

Nick was recruited out of IBM to head up product management for early-stage software company, BlueStripe Software in the Raleigh-Durham area in North Carolina. He was part of the executive leadership team that led the company to a successful acquisition by Microsoft. Nick moved his family out to Seattle as part of the acquisition where he led infrastructure performance monitoring as part of Microsoft’s Azure Management team.

After his earn-out at Microsoft, Nick returned to his entrepreneurial roots and co-founded StackForce. StackForce is building out a platform for peer-vetted talent.

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A note from Grant

Nick Burling, has steadily built a career in tech working in Product Management.  He graduating Amherst College with a dual degree in French and History, a Master’s from Oxford University, also in history, and an MBA from Duke University.

Throughout his career, Nick has held down titles like Consultant, Project Manager, Head Product Manager, VP of Product, Principal Product Manager, CEO and Co-founder, and Head of Product Strategy working for the likes of IBM, Blue Stripe, Microsoft, and ACME General.  Nick has also started two different companies Stackforce and Illume Hire.


—Nick Burling

Additional Resources

Learn about Nick’s company Illumehire – https://www.illumehire.com/about-us/

Pragmatic Marketing – https://www.pragmaticinstitute.com/

Connect with Nick Burling

Connect with Grant Ingersoll



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