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The Founder Formula
The Founder Formula

Episode · 2 years ago

George Kurtz, Co-founder CrowdStrike - The Path from Accounting Major to Programmer to Ringing the IPO Bell

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

George Kurtz is the President, Founder, & CEO of CrowdStrike, but his journey to the CEO of a $20B+ company isn’t one that a lot of people would expect. 

  

On this episode of The Founder Formula, we sit down with George to discuss:  

  

- What nearly got him fired from PricewaterhouseCoopers 

  

- Why his lack of collegiate tech background makes him a more effective tech CEO 

  

- How CrowdStrike had a remote work force model in place before COVID19 hit 

  

- Why the IPO is the green flag for a company, not the checkered flag.  



 

Listen to this and all of The Founder Formula episodes at Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or our website. 

 

The IPO was the green flag, not the Checker flag, and you know it was really the start, the beginning of the next chapter. The founder Formula Brings you in behind the curtains and inside the minds of today's brave executives at the most future leaning startups. Each interview will feature a transformative leader who's behind the wheel at a fast paced and innovative tech firm. They'll give you an insiders look at how companies are envisioned, created and scaled. We hope you're ready. Let's get into the show. Hey, everybody, welcome back to the founder formula. My Name is Todd Galina, and with me today is Tony Ol Zac. He's the chief technical officer here at trace three. He's coming to US live from Colorado. Hey Tony, how's it going? Doing awesome. Thanks for having me, Todd. Hey Tony. One of the things that's been going on with Covid is I think a lot of people who may not have embraced a lot of the technology available to them have been forced to, and in some ways it's changed things permanently. I've mentioned before on this podcast my wife is a doctor of psychology. She used to have to go into an office to see her clients. That's now changed. She does it all from home using zoom. You know, all these things need to be certified by the by the Board of Psychology, but they have been and so she's able to see actually more clients. So in some ways it's been great for her. Can you talk about maybe how the tech has improved a lot of people's lives that during covid? Yeah, sure, I think you nailed one right. Video has dramatically changed some of the healthcare clients that we talked to. They've described just exponential uptick in telemedicine. So that is really taken off. I think people who even were comfortable with it before are seeing the light there and I don't think a lot of that's going to go back. I think the the convenience of being able to just use a video call and and see your doctor or see a physician of some type or just...

...any type of interaction that you want to have and just getting it immediately. We're seeing the benefits of that. We're seeing older organizations, where they were pretty conservative, where they had everyone must be in the office, are realizing that working remotely can be very productive and in fact, in many cases or people are more productive working from home. If you think about the future, though, what's really interesting is where do you go next? And this is a big question that we we we've heard over and over again, and asynchronous communication or asynchronous video is something that we're seeing some really good interest in for the future. You're not familiar with this concept. It'd be how do you video conference with somebody but not in real time, and so there is an APP out there called Marco Polo that I've begun used with my kids and you know, they reminded me that Marco Polo is snapchat for old people, which is a kind of inside shoke inside our house, but that the concept is sound, which is you can't always schedule time with somebody, but video is definitely more intimate when you communicate with someone and you can make a better connection. So if you can't make sure that you can schedule and then be there in real time, and not everyone wants the pressure of having and do a video call in real time and to be sitting there all day doing that, could you just do it in a synchronous fashion where I record my little video, I shoot it to you you at your leisure. Can Look at that, take it in and then respond whenever you have availability, and we still get the chance of video with each other without the pressure of real time, and we think the future of healthcare, the future of enterprise communications, is going to go down that path as well, and we're seeing enough take an interest from the VC community to invest in those kinds of things as well. So really cool things happening on that front. That is cool. We'll have to keep our eye on what comes out of the Silicon Valley as those companies mature, but I'm down with that. It seems like it's you can get more of a nuance on what people are saying. Obviously you can read some emotion. I think that would be a huge benefit communication for us. So Hey, man, you ready to bring on our guests? Love it, George's awesome. Can't wait. Okay, as promised, our guest is a...

...serial entrepreneur in a leading expert on cybersecurity. He's a coauthor of hacking exposed, volume six, and if you happen to be a CNBC fan, you'll see him there quite a bit. Most notably, though, he is a CEO and Co founder of crowd strike, a cutting edge security technology company focused on creating the worlds leading next generation and point platform delivered from the cloud. And I also might mention he's a trific keynote speaker. Welcome to the show, George Kurtz Hi, George, all right, pleasure be here. Thank you, you're welcome. Thanks for joining myself and Tony. Yeah, Hey, George, had to kick us off. We love to hear a little bit about crowdstrike and just why you founded the company. Sure, thanks, Tony. So I guess it kind of goes back to maybe my first company and how I got to macafee, and then I can tell you a little bit about, you know, the thought process in starting Crowdstrek and I think that's always it's always relevant for me and sort of I'm always curious as to when people start companies, will problem they saw and how they got going. So I had a company called found stone that I started, sold out to McAfee and two thousand and four started late ninety nine and then spent about seven years at McAfee and the last couple of years I was asked to be the world wide CTO and I actually had turned it down like two times. I don't want to be just a tech guy was running a couple different business units for him and and you know, just doing some some interesting stuff. But they asked me to be the the CTO, so I took the job and it turned out to be one of the best jobs. I had originally turned down because it gave me a much better appreciation for how broken security industry was in terms of its architecture and outcomes and people being breached. So the general thought process was it really needed to be a foundational security cloud. If you can have a sales cloud and an HR cloud and itsm cloud with, you know, service now work day and sales forces should be a platfor form company which is really pioneering as the security cloud, which is what we focused on. So so all what worked in and what didn't work and thought it was good time to start the company after Mac be sold Intel. That's how we...

...got crowds right on perfect and you guys have had just a ton of success and I think we'll get to that. But let's rewind quite a bit and just go back to kind of your beginnings. What in your background made you think that you could be an entrepreneur and start a successful company? Well, it's interesting because by classical training, I don't have a technology background, although you know, I wrote seven editions of a book on it. But you know, that was all sort of after the fact, I guess, when I went to college. I went to college in the S. didn't want to be a mainframe programmer and and got at business degree in accounting. So started my career at Price Water House. I did some work there, got pretty bored of auditing. Got Enough time to get my CPA and that was working on an engagement and it basically at the time, you know, I maybe up dating myself, but it was sixteen column and ten key pads and you had to take all these numbers out of reports and ran them all down and foot it and it was just like a total waste of time. So I wrote a program on the the main frame that extracted all this information out and dramatically cut the time and effort to you know, of the audit to get this just crump work done. And I was either going to get fired or promoted because I got the build hour. Yeah, that's yeah, yeah, I know, but I did. I caught the eye of the management consulting group and you know, they drafted me into that and then I was really like the fifth person in the security group. We talked more about that, but anyway I can. My original track was accounting, got into consulting, you know, took some other course and why? You what's you're all a bunch of training, a price waterhouse and really, you know, hit the ground running with just technology and security. And I was always a was always a tech guy. Ran Bolton boards and programmed in high school and all kinds of stuff. So I know how to do that. I just didn't want to do that in college. So when I started my first company, I think it was, you know, just me thinking I could do something different. So I problem in the industry, in the VLNABILITY sessament space and thought I could be done better. And you know, sort of I was a guy with the business background and and, you know, the idea to...

...kind of redefine that industry, and that's how I got going and started the company. Did you just real quick, I want to double click on one thing. Would you recommend the same path? For example, if someone is pretty technical, they're going in a college, do you recommend they they take a college path or potentially potentially go business route and then pick up the technology later. You know, it's a good question and a lot of things have changed since I since I was in college. I probably would say, you know, if you want to go technology route, you can go technology route and then you may want to follow it up with an MBA, because I think one of the things that's missing, I mean go the opposite way, but I think one of the areas that's missing is really technology leaders who really understand business and go to market and sales motions and things that nature. So if you're if you're more than just a programmer, and there is nothing wrong with just programming, you know lots, we have lots of them and you have to do it. But if you if you want to get into management at some point, you know you have to to perhaps be a little bit more well rounded if you want to start a company. I mean it's been plenty of programmers and, you know, technical people that started like a Bill Gates, etc. And some of those didn't even finish college, but they had a great hit on the shoulders and they had a feel for business. So I think what I was able to do is just take a business degree and merging with I love technology, and it came out the right way, but I think it's kind of individual preference. But nothing wrong with an MBA and a technology degree and I think that set you up if you really want to be a CEO somewhere. Yeah, that's that's great advice. You know, if follow that course. You know, you got acquired by macafee, become the the worldwide CETEO. They're gain experience seeing us at a very large level. And then when Maxi Cellsin so you go and start crowd strike and normally what we'd ask other founders would be, you know, what was the hardest part about pitching to a VC and these kinds of things, but you you took a little bit of a different path and I think it would be great to hear what your experience was like as as an executive in residence and...

...how that differs and how you try to get something off the ground. What was that like? Yeah, it was. I mean rally was it was sort of a bounty riches. It wasn't too hard to get that going and I think that's you know, getting the details of it, but that's one of the things when you when you have a track record and make other people money, there's there's new people who want you to make the money. So I had knew the Warber pinks guys. They wanted to actually put seventy five million into croudstrike while I was selling it to macafee. That deal never came together, but they always wanted to do something with me. So they call me every year and say hey, are you ready to do something? So chatted with them while unties acquiring McAfee and said Hey, I got this idea. I said great, you know, come on over, right, business plan and you know, well, will fund the around. And Never Forget it was twenty five slides that put together and we got twenty five million. So we got a million bucks a slide. Good ratio. You should the slides. I know that's a joke. We say should have done thirty slides, but fifty given away too much. Equally the thirty thirty would have work. And that's how we got the company going, you know. So it was now and that's that's different from series a in found stone, you know, where I didn't have a track record and it was more beating the pavement and finding some folks that, you know, would believe in in me and and some of the others. But you know, Croudchreik, it really wasn't that bad. And put some my own money in and and had other angel friends that put money in. So we got it up and running pretty quickly. Now that's great. So if you continue on with that journey, at what points do you pick your founding team aim to come along with you, and what was your mindset at that time? How did you decide who was going to go on the Sjourney with you? Well, you know, it was just trying to create a balanced team of myself, another technology person and as well as somebody on the finance side who have known and you know, just wanted to have kind of a more balanced team. And really it turned out to be kind of a founding team of, you know, probably fifteen people that we're really we call them launch employees, and those were the the...

...key people early on who were just critical in getting the company going. And that was a big part of the success is hand picking the first fifteen twenty people. And interesting thing is we were doing work from from anywhere long before it was fashionable, because we didn't care where they were. We just wanted the best people to build that court foundation. And you know, that's what got the company launched and and it's big part of our success. Are you guys so still a geographically apart from one another? Yeah, we as a company, we're still even as a public company. We're still seventy percent basically work from home and we're I say work from anywhere. Not Quite, because in some rage you have to have, you know, the licenses and all that kind of stuff different countries. But you know, we wanted to basically have a foundational team that was experts in their areas and we were able to do that with the first fifteen twenty people and really hand pick them. And then we created these clusters of offices where we would you know, folks could go on the office or not. Fight it allowed for a remote workforce and an office and originally started the company in Orange County and then moved it to to Sunnyvale and you know, once we were in Sunnyvale that became the headquarters. But it was a bit controversial when we started the company in the fact that our venture guys typically viewed, you know, start up as you have to be all in California, in Solicon Valley and you have to be working twenty four by seven and you have to be sleeping under the desk and this remote workforce is not going to work. But what we did is we just took a page out of what I would believe is the most successful software development model ever, which is open source, and we said look, if these groups of people can come together remotely and they could develop amazing software, why can't we do that? So we took a lot of their best practices and software technology and applied that and got crowd trek off the ground. So it sounds like you guys didn't experience many speed bumps as a result of covid in...

...some ways you were already set up for it. We were, so I was you know, again, I think we're head of the curve. It was something that was a bit controversial. Is that really going to work out? And the funny thing is we actually as a company. We were public company. We never even had a sign on our headquarters, you know, because we the office wasn't quite big enough. I knew the company, that CEO that actually had the building. I pleaded with them to give us a signage because they were kind of moving out, and got the sign and we were up and running. But if you think about that that's, you know, sort of how decentralized we were, and we've said these small pots. So it worked out and you know, I think this hybrid model, in a Preque I should say in the postcovid world, is really going to be the model where you have pods of offices and people that can come and go as a see fit or just stay at home, and they're empowered with the tool sets and the cloud technology to make it all work. George, you mentioned, you know this podcast, stuff of pods of offices with remote workforce. How important was that that you at least have a little bit of geographical relevance or gravity with some folks that they can to get? I mean, how did you guys arrive at the structure? Well, I mean you have to have an office, you have to have a headquarters, you have to have somewhere you call home where customers come. And what we did is we basically landed in places that we wanted to be in. So we landed in southern California. Why? I was there at the time and and started to company there. But we actually got a lot of our cloud engineers from the from the gaming community, which big in Orange County. and La and you talked about people have to know how to make something work at scale, like, you know, the back in the call of duty. You know, those were those were the guys and gals. And then we had, and we still have, an office in Seattle area and we a lot of our early developers came out of Microsoft, a lot of early colonel developers. So that was that made sense. Silicon Valley obviously speaks for itself. And then we had offices in DC where we you know, we've done work on the government side and just places that made sense of a talent and a business perspective, and that's where we set up pods. And then, you know,...

...had people kind of attached to a pod. And even in the bay are I mean you can be in the bay area and be two hours away one way in your community. Just still the bay area right. People don't want to go to Sunnyvale. They can if they want to, but generally work from home and go in as they need to. Well, you guys have a great footprint. But I wanted to rewind a little bit and talk about you got your founcing team together, you got your geography setup. Tell us about landing your first customering. You start a company, you obviously are catering to customers. Can you share, you know, gratifying story about this company that you launched and somebody coming up to you and praising you? Well, we launched a company and you know, it was one where we were kind of a funny story. You know, we were building the technology, so we were found it to basically redefined and point security and that takes a while to build the platform out. So we were building our team up and we have a very robust Intel team and you know, they were basically gathering Intel for the product so that we can inject it into the product. And one of the guys actually got to run the Intel team wrote a blog and you know, he was getting ready to put it out and let me read it. I mean we're only a few people, so it's reading it kind of approving it, and I said, Hey, this is a great blog. I said, why don't you? And this is you know, we had written other blogs like this. Then we got some inquiries from people that really liked our intelligence. So I said, why don't you, at the end of the blog, say if you're interested in buying the crowds right intelligence feed, send an email to intel a crowds rightcom and he just looked at me he's like what, we don't we don't have an Intel at crowds right, thatcom email. We don't have an Intel at that at all. But how many people want it? You know, was our MVP test. We put that out there and we were like barage with people going hang, want to buy your Intel. So we got that. I said, okay, well, we'll better build an intel offering. So we went out and did that and, you know, we were able to get that to market pretty quick because that really wasn't, you know, totally integrating the platform things that nature.

We did consulting work and stuff, but that wasn't the main business. Main business was always what we do today, an endpoint. Just took a little bit of time to build that out and more time to sell it. So we were gathering feedback and doing these little mini mvps and that's kind of how we get off the ground. And you know, a lot of early customers, big customers at work with us that we had known in the past and you know, they were willing to take a flyer on us and I think worked out well for them and us. Yeah, that's great. So you get the first clients going, you've got the intelligence platform, the the endpoint platform comes behind it and you mentioned earlier that you would brought on some people from the gaming community to really understand how to scale back in platforms. With that team in place, as you began to put people on the platform, what was the hardest part about scaling me what any specific challenges you guys had overcome and an advice that you would give to others? Well, it's hard to find the right people and it's hard to convince them to come to the startup. But you know that didn't really have anybody. You know, we didn't know real customers, you know, just a powerpoint. Like early days. You have to build this stuff and you have to convince a lot of a lot of wives and spouses that the things going to work out. So I think that's the early days. You really have to have evangelical people that that believe and you're not going to get the folks that are just kind of looking at a big W two going okay, I'm not going to get I'm going to be paid a lot less and I want to take the risk. So we had to filter out the folks that could take the risk and operate in a more chaotic environment rather than folks that, you know, expected everything sort of ticked and tied for them, because every day is like Bob Ross, right, you have a new canvas and again, I might be dating myself, but Bob Rock, that was the guy on, you know, pbs, drawn the you know, little clotries, of course, trees right on the white canvas and it's head shape like this, like his favorite brush, you know exactly. It guys like a Chia pet actually made. But so, you know, you have to find folks that that can Bob Ross it right. It's possibilities or parameters, right, and we need a...

...lot of possibilities people and a lot less parameter people, because, you know, the stuff we were doing, everybody was saying, Hey, that's never going to work. I can't tell you any people from acting semantically. That stupid is never going to work. You guys are going to fail. They were laughing ever, doing all kinds of stuff, and it's like, you know, he's got a a shrug that off and and basically have the people that believe, and that's that's what we focused on, and scaling the company so you got to get the right people early on before you move into two more of a scaling mode. But it sounds like you guys nailed the culture aspect of it and if you were looking to look back at that time and in developing a good culture, what would you say are the keys to doing that? I think the key is the fact that we really focused on the mission and purpose. When you look at who we were recruiting against, you know, Google and facebook and others, we certainly didn't have the cash and the stock was, you know, a hope and a dream as opposed to an rsue they knew they were going to get every year. You know, we want, we wanted to do, is to have people realize that we're making a difference, you know, saving the world, saving our customers from from the bad guys. And you know, we're not pulling out guns, we're not, you know, in law enforcement, but we are basically saving businesses from the bad guys and that was very exciting for folks. So we had, we still have today, you know, big focus on mission and purpose and when you emailed crowdstrike and you wanted a job, you actually didn't email like jobs at you emailed mission at Crowdstrikecom. So we wanted people to sign up for the mission. That was a big part of it. That's cool, all right. So I don't know if you know this, but it's a bit of a celebration because crowdstrike went public almost to the day one year ago. So congrats, thank you. You're welcome. So many of the founders that we've had on the show definitely went the acquisition round. You know, maybe a larger company picked them up. Was it always your plan to go public? Well, when I when I started company, I have a rule which is I never really focus or build something for an outcome. I built something to make customers happy and the light them and if you take...

...care of the customer, everything else takes care of itself. So it was more about if we did the right thing and we had happy customers, we have optionality and, you know, we could sell or could potentially go public. So that being said, it wasn't built to sell, it wasn't built IPO. Now, when, you know, got into this thing and we realized how big it could be and, you know, be the next service now or work there would have you, then it became clear to me that I didn't want to sell the company. I had. It been involved into sales and I wasn't so happy about, you know, the thought of being acquired by somebody else that was bigger and of all the you know, you get a financial windfall but you don't see your baby through. That's where it needs to be. And you know, we looked at sales force and service now worked as really our comps, not not semantic, because we wanted to be a cloud pillar, not not a bet doto. So that's why we focus on the Ipoh and the growth profile we had. I mean, but when we ipoed, were that, I think, the fastest ass company, fastest growing at scales, ass company ever. Ipoh. That was I don't know what the stats are now, but that was last year. That was ahead of sales force and work day and service now, which is, you know, I didn't realize that until we till we actually went through the banking process and they said Hey, have you looked at this chart? And we were ahead of everybody. So when you have that kind of success in a market which needs to be redefined and you had competitors that were falling apart, I think the clear option was, you know, to be able to IPO it, and reality is, you know, I think from a shareholder perspective it was, you know, meant. I don't think. I know, it's a much better outcome. It's where we are today versus and selling it for a fraction of what will work today. So it was something that I thought wanted to build a company that would, you know, change security and be around even after me, and I think the best way to do that is to have public entity that could stand on its own. Yeah, I mean just wildly successful. I'm sure the investors are thrilled and many of your...

...investors, obviously, are some of the early employees that were part of the company. And I had an experience in my past where similar situation. We had a company that we helped build, the company went public, I had to hold my stock for six months until I could till I could sell it, and I just remember there was this sense around the office like every time I walked by somebody's, you know, computer, they would have like the stock ticker up, like they were obsessed with what the company was treading at. And so where I'm headed with this is, does being publicly traded? Did that change the culture in any way? You know. I mean I'm sure there's some change is somewhere, but the reality is, you know, I focus people on the fact that the IPO was the green flag, not the Checker flag, and you know, it was really the start, the beginning of the next chapter. Wasn't wasn't party time. And in fact one of the things that I got asked on the IPO road show was never forget this investor said Hey, you know, we're going to Ipoh, we see other people do it. It's like a hangover. It's party time. You know, what are you guys going to do that? You're not, you know, getting just celebrate and everything goes to Helen Ambask and I said, well, we're going to keep the road show gone, and they said, well, what do you mean? I said we're going to go on a one hundred by one hundred customer road show. You know, we've seen enough of the investors. Let's go talk to some customers and prospects. And after the road show, literally like the next week, we started a tour of myself in the head of sales and were all around the world. We visited over a hundred customers and prospects and generate a tremendous mountal pipeline. So I think that was a way to really set the stage and demonstrate everybody else that this is not time the rest, it's really time to get going. And you know, Foster, that you know we're in it to win, that we just didn't get here and now we stopped. We want to want to continue to win. Super Smart Green Flag, not the CHECKER flag. That's awesome. Yeah, that's great way to put it. You mentioned earlier about how you really didn't see some of these other endpoint companies as your competition, and I mean during that time there was just an explosion of new security solutions...

...that were coming out. At the time, you mentioned that you were really were more concerned around things like sales, force service. Now, how do you track your competition and do you you know, are there any concerns that Matt back into the business that? How should founders think about who their competition actually is, and how did you guys translate that into your own story? Yeah, so, to be clear, I don't consider any of those my competition. I consider those our peers in terms of cloud defining platform companies, right, so you know we're defining the security cloud service now you know, itsm cloud, etcetera. So we don't compete. In fact we partner with some of them. But when we think about our competition, you know, obviously we have the legacy players and semantic, Maxi's the world and some of the next ten players who, you know this point, a lot of them got bought up right. The game has been played out. It's a little like seevil and sales force right, where we have a much bigger platform player that's you know, is able to kind of disrupt the market. Even the largest player, semantic, got bought right, which is again it's analogous to what we saw its evil and sales force. You know, see bold was the market leader, had over fifty percent market share and got crushed by sales force and had to sell the or both for I think it's five and a half billion, and you look at sales force and a hundred thirty or forty or fifty where over their market cap in billions is now. So that's why we look at it and you know, we track the competition. We were always respectful. You know, we don't dismiss any of the competitors that are out there and I think you know we focus on making the best product. And you know, another racing analogy is I've been a left to race and if you drive in your mirrors, you know you're guaranteed to crash. Right. So if you're looking at your your competition trying to pass you and you're just going to go in the wall. And we focus on I'm looking to Winchfield and about. You know where we need to go. That allows us to get there faster, not be distracted, but always realized that, you know, we're still in a really important race. And Jo Joan on that note, when we were talking to todd earlier, and you know sometimes we talked about work life balance and found out that you were racing out rights.

How do you find the time to fit that in and is that still a part of your life or we'd love to hear more about that. He raises them to work. Yeah, I don't have my I just you don't walk to my office at home. Yes, so racewise I've raised all kinds of things. I've have raised our out of our AIDS, but clar and other high down course cars. I've been racing Mercedes Chet three are for probably two years now. The full race car vers not the street car version. So and that's been a lot of fun and we've really worked that into crowdstrike. We actually have crowd strike racing program you know, where we bring customers in for half a day round table. We talked about security and then, you know, they're part of the event and dinners really to meet and share experiences with security, but also part of racing, and we've had customers driving the back seat with Mario and dready and some of the races that we've been at where we've been the warm up back for Indie but you know, Mary is there. We've partnered with them. So just experiences that people would never have had and it's really been a cool way to kind of integrate racing into into Crouchike. And we sponsor the Mercedes Formula One team, so we've had Louis Hamilton involved with our customers and we've done some fun things there. So it's it's worked out, I think, really well and particularly when you can sort blend these cool things into business and turn it into the pipeline. I mean that's that's always the holy grill. Yeah, you know, all all great companies are reflections of their co founders and CEOS and I love how you've taken that passion and use it into the business. That's that's great. I imagine, like when you do these customer events, that you're going to have just some some customers show up and they're going to have a full racing jump suit on for, you know, the round table before they race. Well, we do get a lot of gear heads that love going there and it's just great to see people you know and show up with their ratios on and all kinds of stuff. But, you know, I think that's part of it's just being in that atmosphere and you know, it's not different than golf.

I mean there's a lot of a lot of folks who like to golf and go those events and, you know, get to meet the professionals and our events, you know, to have Marian dready come and speak, you know, to a group, a small intimate group, you know, a select group of our customers get to go on a ride with the guy and is double cedar car that you probably seen on TV of it superos right. Yeah, you know, you can. You can ask a lot of people. Have you been in Super Bowl? Yes, if you've been a world series, you know, hockey, you know, Stanley Cup. Go down a list, you can get any. Any executive probably has been to all of those. I have never seen one executive come to our event that's ever ever been in a car with Mario and dreddy just beforehand. Never happen right, probably would never happened yet. No, that's pretty cool. That's that's the ones in a lifetime experience, and you know that's what customers are looking for, you know, things they can't buy, experiences. It's great. Well, George, you know, I'm sure I'm speaking for Tony when I say this. You've been incredible. We've learned an absolute ton. I wanted to just maybe close out and just ask you, is there anything we miss? Is there any anything you'd like to share with with potential founders about your journey? Sure, I think it's really important from the start to to make sure that you have, you know, clear plan of what you want to do and an understanding of where you where you can fit in the market and you know and not take the criticism of it can't be done. I think it really is a classic. Everybody's going to say you can't do it. You know, could be a family, could your friends, could be your co workers and I think the most important thing to realize it's really about four hundred and two. You know, you have to just break through walls every day and it's not a race, it's really a marathon of hurdles and you have to just, you know, have that fortitude and determination that just get through it. And getting through the crowd, you know, you just moving people out of the way get to where you need to go and you're not going to stop if you get there, and I think that's really the most important thing and I think it's you know, it's a great path. I think...

...there's a lot of people who are to risk averse and you know, if they if they believe in themselves and they want to better themselves, they probably will have a better outcome. So if you if you believe in yourself and you have a great idea and you can pull together great team, then you know, go for it. Fantastic advice, George. Appreciate you join us today. That was amazing. Well, thanks so much, Tom Tony. Appreciate it and look forward to chat and again you got a George Trace. Three is hyper focused on helping it leaders deliver business outcomes by providing a wide variety of data center solutions and consulting services. If you're looking for emerging technology to solve tried and true business problems, trace three is here to help. We believe all possibilities live in technology. You can learn more at trace threecom podcast. That's trace, the number threecom podcast you've been listening to the founder formula, the podcast for all things start up, from Silicon Valley to innovators across the country. If you want to know what it takes to lead tomorrow's tech companies, subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. Until next time,.

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