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The Founder Formula
The Founder Formula

Episode · 2 years ago

Guru Chahal, Founder Avi Networks, Partner Lightspeed Venture Partners - Three Crucial Things VCs are Looking for in Founders

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Today’s guest is Guru Chahal, a Partner at Lightspeed Venture Partners (and former co-founder of Avi Networks). 

In this episode, he told us he looks for three key things in founding teams:  

1) Entrepreneurs who have a background in the market they want to take on.  

2) The ability to execute. 

3) The ability to monetize the technology.

That's a for Smith that I seen enterprise businesses that let's build the best technology in the best product and the business will come. And the reality is a lot more complicated. 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 a mark. We're back again for another episode. Super excited to be here. How are you, buddy? Hey, doing really well. Didn't really well coming off a couple days vacation fishing in the mountains and I'm ready ready to hit it again. Okay, good, but I'm not going to let you get away with this. You did, you did some fishing. Did you catch anything? No, all I did was scare fish. I don't think I tempted them at all. It was pretty bad actually. Where the people around you catching fish? Not that I could see. We were kind of in a remote area, so remote not even fish were there. It's good one. Okay, all right. Well, we're super or super lucky to have the guess that we have. Our guests is a venture cap list. He's a founder, he's an entrepreneur. He was a founder of abby networks, which is a multicloud application services platform, but today he's a partner at light speed, which is a global venture capital firm that's headquartered out in the Silicon Valley. We're really excited to have them. Let me introduce Guru Chahal. Welcome to the show, Guru. Thanks for having me taught in markets and absolute pleasure. I'm looking forward to the discussion. He Mark, I get the impression that this is in the first time you've spoken with Guru. No, no, I bumped into guru in two thousand and fourteen through our buddies, and not just lights be but also a gray lock who had done some initial investment in abby networks, went out there, checked out the technology and the team. Super impressed. Over the years it's been rather exciting watching alvy not just mature their product and their place in the market, but their team and bringing the talent on board and securing other rounds of funding and then, of course, most importantly, knocking down those those big name logos to really get them founded. So from the outside looking in it's been really fun, but I'm excited today we're actually going to get the insiders view, not just on founding and running a company like abby, which was recently acquired by vm where, but also a little glimpse into the venture side and how that investment process works. We've got, you know, Guru is one of those rare, it is the overused term Unicorn, but he's played both sides that. So I'm pretty excited about this. Hey, grew for a little bit of context. You tell us a little bit about all the but even maybe how you got involved with ob the and light speed to begin with. Sure it's a really interesting story. So let me start from you know how this the the whole of each journey started. So I don't know how much your audience knows about light speed, but that's an integral part of the journey. So let me start their lightspeed is a global venture capital firm with, at this point, about between seven eight billion dollars under management, and we invest in multiple kinds of businesses, consumer as well as enterprise. But really the team that I'm part of the Invest in enterprise businesses, everything from Sass to deep technical businesses and networking, storage, in develops, cloud security, all the way down to semi conductors. So after to startups go. My startup at that time was called Nova Systems. It got acquired by Cisco and after...

...that I joined the partnership at Lightspeed to invest in enterprise businesses. And back in two thousand and twelve these three amazing engineers walked in through our door and said, you know, the world really hasn't seen much innovation in what are network services. So this is not those route and switches that run the Internet, but those higher end services that provide things like load balancing or security. They typically sit in front of the application and help applications C K scale and perform better and keep application secure. So these network services haven't seen a lot of innovation in the last twenty years and companies like five networks and others had dominated the space, and so so their customers, you know, well, over the last one years. But there were a lot of things that were changing in the market. So their thesis was we've got a better architecture and a better way to build a network services platform and we really saw what they saw. You know, we really believe that this could happen. So we ended up investing in having networks. We did the series a and personally I got so excited by the team, so excited by the vision, so excited by what they were doing, that I ended up joining the team full time right after that investment as the fourth cofounder of the team. And then we build a business from there, which I'm sure we'll talk about more, but just just to end with sort of a specifically. So what I we did since that time through its eventual sale to them, where was that it built the first distributed and elastic load balancer that was enterprise class and could serve the needs of some of the largest banks, technology companies, retail companies carriers in the world and was able to successfully displace more traditional about some technologies with its software and a company grew extremely fast. It raised about hundred and fifteen million dollars total across four rounds of funding and had an amazingly successful exit where earlier this year, being where leaned in and said, you know, we are continuing to invest in our networking and security stacks of you would be a fantastic addition to this and so they leaned in heavily and acquired the company and that team is very excited about it and I think what you'll see is and even further acceleration of their business over the next few years as part of as part of beam where. So really exciting journey to really exciting outcome over the years. So question you mentioned that, you know, the three engineers came in and we're talking about the technology that they were looking at. Obviously, what you heard that you must be super oppressed with the technology, but I think you were probably impressed with the skills that you saw in those three. What wound up being your three other co founders at abby. What were some of the characteristics you saw that separated them from the fifty other pitches you probably saw that week? Yes, when we think about enterprise investments we look for three key things in founding teams and there were two things in this founding team that were just amazing and then a third that we chose to work with them on. So let me give you some insights onto those. The first thing we look for is entrepreneurs who have a background in the space that they in the market that they want to take on. So they know where the bodies are burned. They've typically worked on previous generations of the platform or watch them getting built. They have deep knowledge, technical knowledge as well as customer knowledge in the space. So a couple of examples would be, for instance, the RV Network's team that walked in through lightspeed doors. They've been in networking for the entire career, for about fifteen or twenty years. They had built multiple billion dollar platforms over the years at companies like Cisco, but had also worked at smaller networking startups like on Diamo or Shasta, where they've built a product from scratch and turn that into massively successful businesses. So that's the first thing...

...we look for. That do you know really as an enterprise entrepreneur, as an enterprise founder, do you really know the market that you're stepping into, how it works, what the incumbents are doing, what are the paying points? WHAT IS THE UNMET NEED? The second thing in the founding team that that we really liked was just their ability to actually execute right. So it's not just important to understand the market, to have the context in the market, but when that informs your view and what to build that you're able to build it, you know. So this team had shown that they could hire not just the first engineer in the second engineer, but they had built in their past team teams of hundred, two, hundred, even five, six, seven hundred engineers at different points in their career and executed like clockwork. They could deliver software, high quality software, on time and and really please their customers. So we made a lot of calls and really understood their ability to execute, was was not just superior but actually just just among the best in the business. The third thing we look for in a founding team is a person who's not just amazing, a team that's not just amazing at creating the technology but also pinning down how to monetize the technology, how to come up with that go to market and distribution strategy that helps them, in a very effective and cost efficient way, find customers, meet customers, convince them to purchase the product and then help them deploy the products. So this go to market DNA in the team, and they were at the time that we did the series a. They knew that they were. They were actually looking for a business focused person to bring into the team and actually that led eventually to me joining as a foot cofounder, because my strength on the background was either on the product side and the go to market side in how to build a business, how to price, how to market the product and message the value, how to find customers and convince them to purchase a product and so on. And so that was a really potent nation where a founding team has that DNA around deep knowledge of the space number one, number two the will to to execute build a product and number three, the go to market shops to be able to not just build a product but actually connect the product, market the product and sell the product. So that's what God has excited before. Before we move on, I'll give you another example of that from our past. We were investors from the seed stage in a company called APP dynamics, which mark you know very well because that's another company that you know you've built a great business around. And again we were early investors in a founding team that had deep knowledge of the space. They came from the space. They had shown that they could build engineering teams and build products and they had the DNA to deeply understand how to market and sell the product and we help them build some of that DNA as well. So those are the kind of teams we really look for and we invested. Well, that's awesome and certainly you bringing that go to market experience, I think, was certainly a key to the success. Can you tell us a little bit about some of the most gratifying early wins that you had? Their kind of how did you find out about the customer? How did you get in there? How did you separate your yourself from the competition and did you have to give away the product or did you really nail it to those first customers? You've got a good war stories there. Oh, absolutely plenty, plenty of you might imagine. So. So I'm a huge fan of using cold outreach to find your best customers, and the reason why that's case is because for any reasonably sized business to work, you have to figure out what's a message that's going to work in a crowded landscape to connect with your customers. So yes, it's true, I did lean on a lot of my personal connections. This, of...

...you, was my food startup, by the way. So in previous startups I had sold to large banks, to large technology companies, and those were definitely my first cause. In fact, one of our first customers was was Deutsche Bank, which became eventually, after a few years of public reference for us, and I still remember those bank was a customer I had in a previous start up as well, so that I just picked up the phone and said, guys, I'm building some bridge, this really amazing technology. I'd love to connect with the right team within the bank and share more about what I'm building. So we had some of that, but a lot of the outreach came from just cold outreach, whether it's over Linkedin, whether it's through friends and family, whether it's through in conference has just connecting with people who were in our space and talking about what their challenges are on load, balancing work and how we might be able to solve them. And then a third. So one was personal networks, number two was just cold outreach, which was probably the most beneficial for us, and number three was a critical part of our success, which is our investors. So we raise money as as a founding team in a series a. We raise money from too amazing investing firms light speed, obviously, because I was here, and then graylock and both these firm booth, these partnerships, had built what they call ceio programs and those are essentially these briefing centers where customers come in, ceeios come in and to plodge enterprises come in to learn more about innovative startups and what those startups are doing and whether they can help them solve some of their business challenges. So I would say we were doing somewhere between twenty five to fifty customer engagements at play, at light speed and a Greylock, and those are hugely helpful in finding that initial set of customers that we chose to work with. In fact, Mark with you and I, as you pointed out, met in one of those engagements at Greylock, and so that that was a huge pot of that early customer development phase in those first one or two years. Yeah, that's certainly is a powerful tool of trace through that collaboration, like you'd mentioned, with graylock and light speed, or we have our VC briefing program or we bring customers out there to see that, and certainly one of the things that's that's interesting to watch is the feedback from the customers to a start up like av and how that gets internalized. That obvy and hey, maybe we tweaked the tool about three degrees to the left or a little bit to the right, or let's take this feature that was in our later road map and let's bring that earlier. Did you guys are you're one of the big the buzzwords, of course, in the emerging tech world is the the the proverbial pivot. Did you guys have to do any substantial pivoting, like, well, we thought we were going to build a but I think B is a little bit better. Or is it more a series of fine tweaks? I think all startups mark our series of mini pivots right. So we didn't. We didn't have to do a massive pivot in the sense that hey, we're building a load balancer. Let's not do that, let's go and build a firewall now. So we didn't have to do these sort of major company defining pivots. But every I would say, at least once, if not twice a year, we would have to do mini pivots, and you've seen some of this. So I'll give you an example of why these pivots happen and also why they are actually critical to the success of a start up. A startups will their entire universe. Change is very, very quickly and changes constantly as your product evolves in the market evolves. So we build an amazing load balancing solution that was built primarily for automation, right, so you could just automate the deployment of load balancers and automate the scaling of load balancers and so on. And but when we came to market, we came to market with a solution for virtual environments. And what we learned very quickly, right around the time that we started doing customer briefings are two thousand and fourteen. What we discovered was that virtual environments might be virtual but at the time they were not highly automated. In fact, most of the focus on automation was at that time for coust on a technology called open stack. Now Open...

Stack came off itself, was not an eventual success in a big way, but we pivoted very quickly from a virtual solution to a solution for open stack based crowds. That allowed us to take advantage of the momentum behind open stack at the time and use that momentum to get into some fairly large and important customers. And then, as open stack buzz died down and those customers themselves moved on to the next technology. We'd already used that wave to actually get into the customer environment and gain their trust that as a standalone load balancing solution, we can be hugely impactful in their environment for automation, for cost reasons, for operational visibility and efficiency reasons, and so the customers, they might have moved away from that little open stack wave, but they chose to keep ov and we moved on to what our next sort of mini pivot where we went back on one side of virtual and on another side of bare metal and the from there we did a mini pivot again and went to public cloud and then into containers. So start up journeys are just full of these, these Mani pivots, and the key thing is to really work closely with your customers. So we worked very, very closely with Mark Yourself and your team at trace three, to you with many, many, many trace three customers and also, of course, without direct customers, and learned every day. When do we have to pivot? When do we have to make changes to the product, change to the platform? Chan need to the practization strategy to be able to continue to grow our business. So no major pivots, but definitely I would say one to two bigs or minor pivots every year. So you kind of mentioned pivoting on the customer side. What about on, like the competitive side? Do you guys keep an eye on the competition what they're doing, or were you, at least in the market place, sufficiently differentiated where that did come into bear? How important is keeping an eye on the competition? So the competition is important because they will copy your marketing message right away. Like we almost had this game internally where we would update our website and then start a ticker on how many days before our competit, our primary competitors website, would start talking about the same thing and it was typically a lack of no more than two months mark, believe it or not. Like we would update something at a new message on our website and within the next one to two months are competitors primary landing page would also talk about the same value or the same feature or the same thing. And so keeping an eye on the competition is important in terms of how it informed your messaging and your how you describe your value as opposed to what your competitors are saying. But I will I will admit when you are operating in a large market, the key is really to focus on your customers and as long as you can, you are providing differentiated value to your customers. It's okay you're so small in the competitors are so large. My largest competitor was doing about two billion dollars a year of business when we started. You know, yes, with every start up where you're starting with a few hundredzero dollars of business the quarter that you ship, for instance, you know very, very small business members. So it's not as important to deeply understand what your competitor is doing. What is important to understand is what is working with your customers. What's the only mid need? So we kept our focus number one, on our customers, number two on what the how the competitors are responding. But frankly, as long as you focus on customers, none of our competitors were able to catch up. So we just kept executing, kept our nose down, we kept providing value to customers. We listen to customers, we listen to partners like tracery. That's that's really it. I mean we just that that was a key thing for us. It grew. We hear that loud and clear. We hear that a lot, that if you focus on the customer you'll be successful and not spend a ton of time looking right and left at your competition. But since you mentioned it, it opened up a curiosity and me. When you come up with a marketing message and then you look at your competition and then literally copy it, which is what it sounded like, did this force...

...you guys to really manage the timing of a potential change in market message or go to market for that reason? Yes, it absolutely has an impact and such a great question. Normally, when you're a large established player you can afford to launch your marketing and maybe thirty, sixty or even ninety days ahead of when the product is available. As a startup, if you start talking about the product way too much in advance, that creates two things. One, the competition copies your message very quickly, so it gets actually harder for you to differentiate yourself in that cold call going into a customer and to it actually gives them a heads up, so if it is a smaller feature, they can start working much earlier on developing something similar. Even if it's a poor copy, it will have an impact on new business. So it did change your marketing strategy. We became very discipline on launching things as close to availability as possible. Typically, for most new of new introductions of features or major sort of platform enhancements, we would introduce those enhancements of features into the marketplace first, get a few customers and then launch and more publicly talk about it, including the customer codes. And that had this beautiful impact where, even if then the competition copies your message, they can't copy the customer validation or a customer showing up in a video talking about this new cool thing that we added to our platform. They can't copy that because they have to first build that thing, then they have to sell it to a customer. The customer has to derive value from it. Then the customer will get up, you know, on an open mic and actually say, yeah, this thing is awesome. So you know, our competition was good at copying the web copy, but they were they were not. They still can touch us because our web copy to flected reality. On that day we were shipping the features and the technologies that we were talking about, whereas our customer, the first two or three time they copied the message, they lost credibility in the customer bid base, because after what a year, we could just go to the compass and remember what they had on the website last year at the delivered it yet no, Oh yeah, well, that's that's how they operate. So the thing is they do copy, but they lose credibility very quickly, which is in your favor. Of course. The kind of seems like a win win and certainly a few if you've established that differentiation in the market, you know there's a kind of a positive feedback cycle that gets going that that gives you more customers if you you know, greater input for differentiating as you guys started landing those bigger, bigger customers and a lot more frequently. And of course the revenue is a nice thing to have growing, but you also have to grow the team and your technical staff and your operational staff and your sales and marketing and so forth, as you went through the growth curvet ABV. How do you go through that and still retain that culture that helps separate you a little bit from from the market? So it's a great questions. They are two things. One I should point out as a foundational element. So if you remember you'd ask me a great questions in what do you look for in an entrepreneur? And I said one of the things we look for is there ability to do execute, build products and build the interesting businesses that are fast growing businesses, maybe even in an adjacent market. So almost by definition, we tend to gravitate towards teams that have this inherent ability to understand what's coming next and build out the product teams or services teams of support teams slightly in advance of when customers need them. But, more importantly and by the way, do it in a way that they are able to maintain the same culture and the same nimbleness that they had in the early days of the team. So so we did have that advantage that my cofounders and I had been part of large organizations that we'd already taken from small team to large teams with more interesting questions like, even if you do it for the first time, how do you do it? And the way we did it was we call it it, you know, we sort of thought of it as extreme immersion,...

...right. So every time somebody knew came onto the team, we had a very flat structure, so you got to work with the leader of the team who typically been around for a while, on a very one on one basis. So let's say you were a new sales team that we just hired in Denver. If you're a new sales team that's just carp in Denver, your will be coming to AV network's Office for an entire week, maybe even two weeks, getting completely immersed in shadowing existing teams on sales calls, shattering support teams on how customers use our product and and and call in for help, shattering product teams to understand road map, shadowing other sales teams and customer calls to understand what objections get raised and how to handle those. And then, when you go back to Denver, one of several executives will dedicate a few days each over the next several weeks to come into eye as a productly might fly into Denver and do some sales called with you over to a three day period. Then we'll set up some more teams with you and the VP of alliance, as m chop, or the CEO, might chop, or the VP of engineering, my chop, one week. So this immersion really helped ensure that even if you join just recently, you would deeply ingrained with the other way of doing things. Now are we were simple. It was not. It wasn't rockets as our way was just extreme customer focus. Just everything we did was through the lens of just absolutely fanatical focus on customer success and customer happiness. And so once you ingrained that over the first few weeks, then you thought like we did. You were just an extension of our team. So it became a lot easier to grow the company because every new every new team joining within a matter of a few weeks looked and felt and and behaved exactly like the person we've been there for two years. Well, that's certainly that intangible characteristics that, certainly for someone on the more on the practitioner side of things, that just become so apparent to our customers. There's almost like a cult that is developed around, especially Silicon Valley startups, you know. And and what would you say or some of the myths out there about starting up a new company and driving it to success? I would I would say there's a number of them. There's the first and the biggest myth is that it's easy. I think we have we do have a little bit of a positive selection bias in generally and how we think about startups. So we look at a V networks and it's amazing outcome to V and where. We look at a new tannics and other lights, big portfolio company and it's amazing IPO. We look at companies like rubric and how quickly they've grown their businesses. We look at companies like real soft and AP dynamics and many, many others and we say wow, this is this is amazing. If I have a really good technology, I can build an amazing business. But for every one of those there are another, you know, two, three, four, maybe even ten, teams that had great technology but could not bridge that Gulf between great technology to great business. And I think that's a first myth that I see in enterprise businesses that let's build the best technology in the best product and the business will come. And the reality is a lot more complicated. The go to market and the product had to go hand in hand. You can't afford to not think about your go to market or marketing strategy or channel strategy or pricing strategy till years two, three or four. They're all interconnective. You have to start thinking about those is er one and, frankly, partner with investors or bring on board talent that has expertise in that way. So that's a first and I'll talk about so the two big myths like. So That's a first big myth that it's easy. I just need to build a great product and then we're off to the races, and the reality is a lot more complicated. The second myth is that entrepreneurs look and feel like a very, very narrow lens. All onto rows tend to be in this age group, tend to go to these schools and have this sort of experience before that, and the reality again, does not support that.

Entrepreneurs come from a very, very wide variety of backgrounds. They might be a recent immigrant into the country that has very little network or business building experience but an amazing technologies. They might be from, you know, in their s or s when they start the company. They might be in their s when they start the company. They might or might not have the experience in building out a deep technical platform that but they might be go to market experts that can be paired with great technologies. So there's no one lens. They entrepreneurs and great founding teams come in all forms, from all walks of light, from all sorts of backgrounds. So I you know, I think those are two biggest myths. One is will the Garet product and the business will come? The reality is not quite that simple. And the second one is they're all they all belong to some Lens, you know, they they are early in their career and they look like this or talk like this or walk like they stor come from a google, learn to facebook kind of engineering background or they've interestend for that's not the case at all. Some of our most interesting outcomes something not just companies that we've been privileged to be part of. We're built by non traditional, funny teams. Yeah, it sounds like what you're what you're saying is most people see these entrepreneurs walking in then they quit a certain profile and, and it's not always the case. Anyone with a wide variety of skill sets can can walk in there and be a an entrepreneur. And it's funny. It goes a little bit back to what you were talking about with the three things that you look for, and none of them is, you know, an entrepreneurs profile. It's, you know, the deep knowledge of the space, the ability to execute and then they go to market on the product, which which leads me to a question, and I'm fascinated at this because google, you're sitting at light speed right and you're listening to a pitch. These these guys come in and they have numbber one, they have number two and you're sitting there listening and you're like well, they're missing number three, and I happen to have that skill set. This is kind of a two prong question. You see a lot of pitches and you saw one when you're like, Hey, I want to hop on board with these guys because because I think I can really help. Does that happen often? And what got you out of the chair and had you go to the other side of the table and join these guys outside of your skill set? There must have been more to it. Great question, so let's take those one by one. To the first question. Does that happen often? That and investor gets so excited about and investment that they join the founding team and help build out the business. The the realities know it does not happen very often for a multitude of reasons. People pick their careers because they have a passion for that courier. So investors love doing what they do for a variety of reasons and that tends to be their chosen path. Typically, what does happen is that people who do have an operational background, who have a background building startups, building large businesses, like I did before I came to light speed, the odds that they might go back and build build another business are they're like, they are much higher than the average, let's a investor hopping in. So in this case, you know, they're two examples I know of. I join the founding team at Ivy and we went down to build a great business. One of my partners here at lightspeed people center really helped sort of incubate and build that initial idea on grow break and then that that become a really interesting and large outcome and continues to execute just amazingly well in build a large, you know, hopefully just a massive independent company. So this does happen, but it doesn't happen very often, mostly because investors either don't have the operational background and has the desire to jump into one, or the team's already fully fleshed out, I mean it already has the expertise that they need. So that's one. The second one your question was, you know, what made me, at a personal level, sort of jump in? You know, it's a confluence of a variety of factors. In my...

...case, I think what was exciting was that this is a team whose reputation I've known for a very long time. So this combination of a large, multi billion dollar market, a team that I have tremendous respect for and a timing. These three things come together so rarely. And then that combined with the fact that that go to market expertise they did not have already someone in the team that had that. I think those it's so rare. I've only seen that once, by the way. So you know I and I went and, you know, sort of became part of that funny team. It doesn't happen very often and it also has to match, of course, at a personal level, there was a desire in my mind that I had always been part of startups as the twenty employee, thirty employee, forty employee, and these starters were amazing, but I've never been that person who taken, you know, with one, two three other people taken a set of taking an idea to a set of slide set of slides to business plan, business plan to fundraising, fundraising to building out the actual company, and I really wanted to go through that once because my belief was it would give me a set of skills that would make me an even better investor. So I always wanted to build out that business and once it was done, whether it's into the public markets or into an Emana, into a larger company, I wanted to come back and help many, many, many other early stage enterprise teams and use my skill set to help them grow the businesses even faster. So that was part of a broaduct plan and the timing worked out very well. So you certainly had a meandering path through several different vassets and strata of the startup ecossystem. WHAT'S NEXT FOR GURU? You know, I've been blessed to be connected with what I believe is easily the number one investing platform on the globe today when it especially when it comes to enterprise investing, but even to a very large extent on the Kazoomer side to today, lightspeed is just seen phenomenal platform being built. The founding partnership did such an amazing job of building it into a global firm with offices here, Israel, India, China, with many, many billions dollars and a management with funds that can support entrepreneurs from seed all the way to multi hundred million dollar rounds just before an IPO. What's next for me is just, you know, using their hardwork, taking advantage of that and continue to build out the platform into the platform that the world's best entreprenurs want to utilize to build sort of their dream company. That's the gold mark. The goals always been the same from the daylights we got started, you know, back in the s. The goal is to be associated with the world's best entrepreneurs and the world's best companies. And today the platforms there and my goal is to continue to help build that out. Thanks, grew wow, so this has been great. We really appreciate you hopping on the show. We covered a ton here. Is there anything else that you think we might not have covered that maybe you'd want to share with our audience? I'll share a small set of observation that I've had in my career. taught and and mark when I started my career in enterprise, building a new technology and selling a new technology. So both sides of that point. Build and sell were very, very hard right. You had you had to spend millions and millions of dollars to build your data centers, build out your technology, purchase devops tools and once a product was done, it was very hard to sell because no bank, banks wanted to buy from an IBM or a Cisco or an Oracle. They didn't want to buy from a small, Nimble start up because they've never heard a few and they were very traditional in their ways of thinking. Fast forward ten, fifteen years, and now both sides of that coin, how a becoming much, much easier. Building products on public cloud, using open source technologies and otherwise had becaus is literally...

...the cost of product development has come down by one to two orders of magnitude. We have seen enterprise technology is getting built on as little as a few million dollars a seed funding. And on the other side of the sales side, I gotta admit, and this we saw even in our interactions with our channel partners like Tra three, the appetite on the enterprise site to consume new, interesting technologies has never been higher in history. Whether you look at the pace at which businesses like ivy or APP dynamics or root break or trip actions or netscope or others will build. The pace at which these business has gone from zero to ten million dollars in revenue, two hundred two more, is incredible and that's because enterprises a hundry for technologies that can help them solve their business problems today. So there is right. That's white somewhat long but way of saying there has been never a more exciting time in technology to build new technologies, to build new businesses. It's gotten a lot easier than it used to be. It's still a fairly steep hill to climb, but I fundamentally believe we are very, very excited about this time. I fundamental believe there's no better time to build a business. I'd I'd encourage your listeners, whether they are on the building side or whether they're on the consuming side, to build new technologies, to consuming technologies. There is some amazing stuff out there that is solving real world business problems that can help create great businesses and help existing businesses run much more efficient to you in much more fun way. So I'm looking forward to that world and you know, and I know we want to pay a big part in enabling that. Well, there we were certainly seeing that the barriers to entry, which which I think historically have been a little bit artificial or being removed. And it is a Redhot, churning environment which makes it super interesting to watch, but sometimes it can be rather confusing. So I appreciate you coming in and give us a little bit of insight, both on the start up side and the challenges and techniques used in growing a company, and also on the VC side, kind of kind of providing the fuel for the engine to get things rolling down the highway through. As always, it's I always learned so much ony to but I talked with you. I appreciate you spending time out of your busy data to come and chat with todd night today and to kind of share some of your insights with our listeners. Thank you a tough thank you, Mar thank you Tom. Thank you guru. 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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