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The Founder Formula
The Founder Formula

Episode · 2 years ago

Mohit Aron, Founder Cohesity, Co-founder Nutanix - From 2003 Google to the Smartphone for Enterprise Data

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

Today’s guest is Mohit Aron, who was employee #600 at Google. When he left, four years later, Google had 30,000 employees. He worked there during a romantic era. 

It was an amazing ride. He joined Google in early 2003.  

Now Mohit is CEO and Founder of Cohesity.  

He gave us incredible insight into:  

  • How Google prepared him for entrepreneurship. 
  • Why 80% of data lies beneath the surface. 
  • How Cohesity is becoming the “smartphone” of enterprise data. 
  • Why company values are the most important part of building a culture. 

The phone. Don't have to do a lot in the beginning and it takes a long time for the company to be on auto product. Then don't come a time when critical massive leaf and now the company will grow without you directing getting involved in everything. 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 show. Super excited to be here. My name is Todd Dealina and, of course, with me, as always, the chief innovation officer at trace three, Mark Campbell. What have you been up to, man, well, true story. On the way into the studio today I was actually in a car accident. Are you serious? Now? I was. It was just a fenderbender, just but it was out on a hundred and twenty five botten ext it away from the office and man, boom crunch. And so now I got dented in back of my car, but you know, no, no injuries. So I guess it's all down to entrance this point. Well, are you okay? I mean you obviously you know. You know much no injuries, but you know there's more to it than just injuries. Are you rattled? I don't know. This is my voice under right? I mean I sound I sound nervous. Yes, no, you don't get nervous your voice, your voice sounds okay. I was actually good down on twenty five. I looked up a rearview mirror. All I saw was escalade grill. That's all I saw it coming down. I wasn't sure if I was going to get taken out by, you know, a secret service vehicle or or or a hummer. I wasn't really sure, but I just knew that my days of traveling unappetfully to work we're coming to an end. Well, I know this is probably, you know, super upsetting for you because you're such a huge fan of the company Hummer. Would have been terrible if they, if a Hummer, actually hit you. For those of you who don't know, mark has been trying desperately to get the founder of Hummer onto this podcast but I keep I keep telling him he's going to be hard to find because the company's out of business. Let's just get the founder of soap that also out of business. You have any other ideas? I absolutely you go lata, don't tell me, Delrian. Come on. Hey, everybody, I wanted to pause just for a second to let you all know that we're really excited to announce that this podcast is sponsored by net APP, which is another company that was born out of the Silicon Valley. So they fit right in, and I like to introduce trace three Co founder Brett mcinnis, and he's going to tell us a little bit about what's going on over at net APP. Hey, todd, you know, I think many technology leaders today are thinking. I know AI is a critical part of our future, but how do I ai word I start? Fortunately, net up has taken the first steps with their on TAP AI architecture. Sounds Great. So what's the AI architecture? So the AI architecture is a validated design that includes the world's fastest all flash storage raised from net APP and the world's fastest GPU enabled ggx service from Nvidia, designed to handle the largest, most complex data sets in use today, with the ability to scale as those data sets grow, because today data is the new currency and speed is the new scale, and businesses today need to keep up or get left behind. Sounds Great. So where can our listeners hear more about this? For more information, simply go to net apcom Ai. Thanks, Brett. Thanks. Okay, what do you? What do you say? We just get to our guests? Yeah, let's do it. Okay, as promise, I'd like to introduce you to today's guests. will be chatting with mark and myself. He is an entrepreneur who was previously the cofounder of the tech firm new tannics and is now the CEO and founder of Cohe...

City, which is an enterprise data management company based in, where else the Silicon Valley. I'd like to welcome Mo hit. Aaron Mo hit, welcome to the show. Hey, thank you, thank you for having me here. It's great to have you mark. You ready to roll, Buddy. Absolutely so well hit, we've had the pleasure of working with you at at your previous company, New Tanics, and also now, of course, a Co he city. Before for the viewers out there, gives quick rundown of what Coe city is. What you guys do. Yeah, cohesy is a leader in Dida management. We help customers backed up, manage and gain valuable insight from the overwhelming majority of their enterprise data. I actually got the idea for Khesity kind of while I was at my last company in Tonics. You panics, you know, was all about primary storage and he, they is aboutt the rest. Primary storage is about twenty percent of the enterprise data, but a lot of what we do is not production, and so there was an opportunity to do a company there, and that's what he is about. We start with backups. We make backups really easy, but then we go and consolidate the whole of what we call secondary storage and then the manage the data in it, making that directcessible and bringing value out of that data and make it available to our customers. Well, we've certainly seen quite a bit attraction with cohesity in the market, everything from going from here first powerpoint presentations, to where. You know, we've had the pleasure of doing a couple substantial deals in our customer base with Cohesity, but obviously that's not where it started. We have the pleasure of seeing you do a presentation at or taste of innovation event in Denver a few months back where you kind of took us on this journey of how it all started, how you got into it. Some tips and tricks? Could you kind of the thing I'm kind of interested in is you know kind of where you started and kind of what was the impetus to make you quit your day job and go found first Neu tannics and then coheciity. So when I was at Newtronics, I realized that there was a big problem that no one was addressing. Like I said earlier, newtonics is on the Prandi, so it's base that is literally twenty percent of our death, but eighty percent of our data it's use for for stuff that's not production, for example for backups, for archives, for test involvement, for five shares and object storage, for analytics, and all this stuff today is very fragmented. It sets in different silos being operated upon by different vendors, by different appliances. It was even very hard to back up the data right. Even when you back try to backup stuff, you have to go to like multiple vendors, one for buying backup software, another to buy some storage where you can put those backups. So the net of it all is that there is a huge fragmentation in this eighty percent of that data. Roughly, I map it to an iceberg. You know. The tip of the iceberg is your production stuff. That's twenty percent. That's where new hunts are plates. But the lower part of the iceberg is that eighty percent of the data, and that's where cohusity saw an opportunity and that's why I left your tonic and I'm like, okay, I think that is a big opportunity here that's untapped. All this data is fragmented, setting in different silos. We call that Massiet of fragmentation. So up front we hesitly had the opportunity to build a platform that can solidates all that data, put it on one platform, give it ease of manageability and then, you know, do some Dada management to extract value out of that Da that's what excited me. That's where that's...

...when, you know, I left my day job. I would say, you know, only the part of the idea came because of new tonics. The rest of it had to be take it out outside of Newton and so that's why I left. Huge opportunity sixty billion dollar market. That's what I was after and you're only after ninety percent of it. Right, I said eighty percent. There you go, there you go. So just kind of circle around a little bit. What near background made you think that? You know, certainly you've been a number of different startups, but but when you took that first plug foot, made you think, yeah, I think I can do this, I think I've got the tools in the tool box to pull this off. When your background gave you that confidence to make the lead? Yes, I won't go back to my background in Google. So Google, you know, is literally a, you know, a polity of, you know, probably the biggest amount of data out there. And at Google I was I was helping build the Google file system, which is the far the webscale file system that Google built to house all those parabyites and exhibites and Zetabytes of data that they have. And and so it was a that knowledge. It was a the fact that, you know, this knowledge cannot be obtained by going to a university like Stanford, doing some courses and learning how to do this stuff. So I had firsthand knowledge of basically building a webscale file system at Google. I had built the technology at at new tonic it was again a webscale file system and along with the rest of my team, we had built a hyper converted solution. So literally my background was in building web scale distributed storage system and this is a hard, hard problem to solve and the solution is pretty sophisticated. When you marry that to the problem in that eighty percent of enterprise data that secondary storage data that I talked about and like okay, I think there is a company here. So you can marry the complexity that the solution requires to the value that it brings to customers, and that marriage told me that I think I successful and great company can be done here. So that kind of was what gave me the confidence, a little bit of the experience from the ass from Google and the tonics and a little bit about the magnitude of the problem that I saw and combined the two and boom, his these bones. So so mo hit. There is a bit of a there is a bit of an Internet rumor that maybe you can substantiate that your employee number six hundred at at Google, and I think that they're there are a lot of folks that would be listening to this podcast that that find that to be probably a pretty romantic time in the Silicon Valley. And in an addition to that rumor, when you left there were thirtyzero employees. Can you tell us a little bit of what it was like to be there Google when it was a sad the size it was that when you joined and then the size it was at when you left? Yeah, it was just an amazing ride. When I joined Google. I joined Google and early two thousand and three it was literally, you know, a small building that they were housing in Baker bullyvard in mountain view, and I go in there I was, you know, a rout, around six hundred people. You know, they won't even in one big building. It was like a cluster of small buildings that they had and literally the whole we used to have company all hands. We called that Tgif back in Google. It literally felled them like one, you know, slightly big hall in one of those buildings from that point in two thousand and three to the end of two thousand and seven, when I left Google, Google had grown to about thirtyzero people. So back act when I was hired, I think I would say Google was hiring pretty thinly. I think maybe a couple of people per week. Perhaps that was ten in Google standards. But soon, I think a year later,...

...they were literally hiring like a hundred people a week. So growing really, really fast and literally hiring like the whole start up in in one week, and so that growth was tremendous. They moved, of course, their buildings that they first leased space from Sgi to scivocated their buildings gave it to Google. Eventually, I think now they own those buildings and I think they've been expending ever since. It was a pretty fantastic ride and I think you got to remember this was the time when the Internet bust had happened. You know, two thousand two was the time when the Internet can I came down, and so early two thousand and three was when a lot of companies and Silicon Valley were either were already dead or were dying, and here was a company that was massively growing and it was attracting all that talent that was fleeing from the those other companies, and so it was a pretty wildwide and so many smart people right coming and joining Google. And you know, from the outside it look like, Oh, while it's just internet search, but the kind of problems that you read it, you know, dealing with all that data, building products to to manage all that data and then building services on top. Right, eventually they built the Gmail Service and the maps and and finally the android and and the chrome browser. Just the number of things going on. It was just fantastic. I will actually walk the audience through even my interview. Actually, just before the interview, you know Jeff Deane, who's considered one of the boards that Google. He was the one who referred to me at Google and he asked me here. We had just come for lunch. Right, no more. I just want to show you what Google is about and then it's your choice. So we had lunch. We had a nice lunch. In Google used to get a lunch. They had their own chafts, so that was amazing. But then he had set things up. He took me from I would just call them station. He took me through seven stations. The first station was Google news under wraps, so Google news had not been introduced to the world. It was Google news under wraps. The second station was Google video under wraps. The third station was Google print under wraps. So he took me through some seven different products and that completely changed my mind about Google and like okay, this is not a company that's just doing search. This was a phenomenal company. I think there is something great going on here. So that's when I kind of melt at I'm like, okay, I think this. I need to be in this company. That's when I agreed to interview and, Lo and behold, early two thousand and three, I joined them six ender employee perhaps, and you know, five years later when I left them and a two thousand and seven, it was thirtyzero people. I've never been in a company that big and it was just absolutely well. Well, I think if you're on something, certainly about you know, the initial hires, those first employees, the kind of set, the set, the tenor and then, you know, before you hit that ramp up speed, those founders and the expertise they bring is so key. When you went to new tannics and to Cohe City, how did you find your founders and some of those key new hires were they? Were they folks that you'd work with for a long time, or with these just people that you knew of and you kind of put the band together? How did that all work? Yeah, so I actually went from Google to another startup, not my startup. I joined a start up. It was in the data warehousing space. The name was ASKEDATA systems. Eventually it got a quiet by Tara data and I met my cofounders at new tonics over there, and so we kind of decided, you know, I was at ASDATA systems for about two years and we decided that, you know, we can actually do a company. You know, we had a cool idea, or the Beignings of an idea, and and so basically I had my cofounders who would all add that company. And so he came out. Spent maybe three or four months doing dude diligence, you know, thinking more about our thoughts. Of course the whole idea changed a little bit. You know, when you actually...

...said them, think twenty four hours about the idea, you realize the fallacies and then, you know, you talk to customers and you realize that what you were thinking was not quite right and then you change the ideas more of it. So finally we refind it into something that it went. He became what neutronics is. So was our first company. So we, like so many first time founders, we didn't know a lot of things. So even hiring was a little bit of a challenge. But the first few guys came just from our network or, you know, people who knew people that you know they referred to us. So maybe I know someone from my task company. That person is in a good place, he doesn't want to leave, but then he has a friend that he refers to me and and so that's how we hired our first initial crop of people. It was all from the network. There comes a point when you run out of your network and so if you hand out of our network, and so that's when we started deploying some recrud. We actually eventually even hideer inhouse recruiter whose sole job was to hunt on, you know, Linkedin or other site and get us get people to interview with us. So it's just building one block at its sign and you know, the founders have to do a lot in the beginning and it takes a long time for the company to be on Auto Phalot. There does come a time when critical mass is reached and now the company will grow without you directing, getting involved in everything, but it takes one to two years to get to that pail. So you got to work extremely, extremely hard. To get to that phase. So that was the fun. That's you know, that's how neutronics was born and into either he I was the only founder. I decided to go solo and, like you know, I've done one company before. I think I can work with a team of people. So I had multiple early employees, but I was the only founder and I had already wed at the market. I knew there was a gap here. So I've been now in story industry for a while to kind of new the industry, you know, talk to some customers, spoke to some venture capitalist. I knew I would be able to raise money. Given the reputation that genlated back from my newtonic days. I knew people would join me. Even before I started Kherity. They were about was a team of about ten to fifteen people working with me informally and they wanted to join as soon as the company was was formally started. So that's how cohity was born, the meaning the only founder, but from day one I had about, you know, about ten people working with me. You know, as soon as the company was incorporated. Well, you mentioned when you were going for a VC funding with cohe city, because he had that track record there were probably VC's lined up all along sand hill with their wallets outstretched, but I imagined that it was probably a little more challenging when you were pitching newtanics. How did that go? What were those initial pitches like? Did you guys hit it out of the park your first time, or did you have to kind of struggle and get your story down? You know, we didn't have the credibility when we did it sonics. We didn't have a company under our belt, so to say, but some of our track letors, you know my own track lector, given that I had helped build the Google file system. So that gave some confidence to the VC's that at least these guys can build the technology. They went really showed these guys can actually build a business, but at least they knew we can build the technology. So that helped a little bit. So at new tonics we raise what is called seed money. Seed money is literally raised on a deck of flies, on an idea. You really don't have a product to sell, and seed money is is typically ten so the day is about one point five million dollars. But at couhesity I, since I had a back record, the vcs who are a little bit more. You know, they had more faith in in both the technology as all business that I could belt. So in Quhisity I did not have to raise seed. I directly went to what is called series a financing and we managed to raise fifteen million dollars, with the sequoia being the lead investor, and there was another invastor, ring benches. So between the two we raised fifteen million dollars. And so that only happens on a litterally on a deck of slide, if you have the right reputation. So so, while I would...

...say raising money in both cases wasn't that hard, the magnitude of money that we raised was very different between new phonics and Ghisity. Hey, thanks, no here. I appreciate you walking us through that. You know, when you start, you know two companies that are there to kind of serve the needs of technology leaders. I'm sure you've had some some great feedback of folks who who've really been excited about what Coh City can do for them and their business. Do you have any examples of some maybe gratifying comments some customers have shared with you about your product, a cohesiity? Oh, I can speak volume so, first of all, you know, sometimes I liken what he's really does to the kind of innovation the smartphone brought to us in the consumer space. Before the smartphone came, we used to carry multiple devices, where we used to carry a phone, music player, camera, GPS device and so on support, and the smartphone came, the first thing it did was a consolidated all of those onto one platform. Who He's he is doing the same thing for enterprise data. So we start with backups. So what a phone was to a smartphone, backups is to us. We need to be a the beston breed in backups before we can do anything more. So we go out there and we started back and then, once we've done that, we like, okay, what else can we consolidate? Well, how about? How about five years? Right? Why do people have to go to other companies for basically buying a filer that you can just do that on to heasty? How about analytics? How about hast development? So we start one by one consolidating all of that stuff on us and so realize examples. Without naming I don't have the luxury to name names, but you know, one of the big credit card companies you carry in your pocket most of the time. They replaced six backup products with us and then, once they did that, they replaced their legacy nest with us on the same platform, and now they're looking to replace their analytic stylos with us. So we just like a smartphone. We also added the ability to download apps through a market place, and so, for example, you know, you can download splunt as an APP and then run it on the cohasty platform, and other other APPS, other kinds of analytics or other kinds of ediscovery APPs or random are APPs or security APPs. So this company is literally making use of All our vision, starting with backups, going to Naz, now going to analytic and in future going to other parts of their that lower powder, that iceberg, that eighty percent of the data that they have, and also, you know, panning the cloud with us. So anyone who wants to become cloud ready, who wants, you know what, a platform that can transparently move workloads between the data center and the cloud, we are for them. That platform, that one platform I spoke about is something that spans the data center and the cloud. So all these companies are basically entering the new age. They're getting out of those silos that are becoming very cloud ready. They're able to move workloads back and forth between the data center and the cloud. All that stuff becomes possible now through tohiory. But again we start with backups, right. A smartphone had to be great phone to begin with, so we thought with backups and from there we go in and do a lot more. Well, certainly you know your journey through pastor and Tara, data, new tonics and now cohesivey. You've probably been faced with numerous occasions for you've had to pivot your products set, either because the competitive landscape change, customer demands changed, the underlying technologies change. What are some of the factors that you brought in to determine whether it was better to stay the course and be persistent or to maybe move the crossers a little bit named a new target? Give us some insize,...

...because you certainly had the opportunity to navigate those rapids quite successfully. Yeah, so for I'll say the first of all, my philosophy for doing companies is that companies are done on two things. One is an entry point. This is the first thing you're going to address, if where you go and sell first, and the second thing is a bigger vision that you expand into. Right. So in Newtronics is case, that entry point was addressing the pain around what your death stops. Before Tutronics game people had to go to fear four different vendors to put together a platform that could do what your death stops. Neutonics of case. It basically gave them a simple, consolidated platform to do da which your death stops, and beyond that. Neutronics would then hype converge the rest of the infrastructure, and so that became the bigger vision. Hype of convergence was the bigger vision. Now, whenever you know you start with that entry point, which is the first thing you sell into, you are starting with a gut, maybe with some customer conversation. There is always the possibility that your intuition or your due diligence is not quite tract and by the time you start telling your product that particular market, that entry point isn't quite resonating with the market and so you got to pivot. So one of the things I use in building our product is to keep some additional entry points in mind. Call Them PLAND's and plan P's. Right. So if your plan a doesn't work, you should be able to pivot to plan D and plan P. so, for example, in Utronics is case, plan B was to literally run virtualize how doop on the platform, because at the time, you know, how do had a problem. It had merited a note that if that note failed the whole loop installation would be down. So if you were to effectively virtualize how do that problem would go away. So we had that in mind and therefore the product was architected not just to be a vidi platform but the but so that it could quickly be pivoted to running analytics through who do? Should that primary paint point note work? Now I find the paint point did work, so they didn't not have to pivot to it and later on they went in a different faction. So that's fine. But that fivote point did exist. And the funny thing is in two thousand and twelve, when ream worked, it Sonics even one and award for basically the fastest terror sort benchmark performance on virtualized loop. So that was a lot of that and people can have scratching their heads. Why is this media company running to do right? And that was because that third point was built in incasies case, something similar happened. So the first entry point was backups, like I said earlier. But we could have pivoted to something else and those pivot points fall out of our vision. So we could have pivoted to be analytic platform, we could have pivoted to be a copied a management platform. But has done that combined with the backups? Now it doesn't seem based on our success, is that that primary pivot point did work. So now these additional pivot points that were arc attected into the product just become a way for us to, I tread on the vision. Like I said earlier, the company is formed on a on a well defined entry point and then a bigger version, and now it's just a matter of I trading to do more on that vision and some of these additional entry points just become part of that journey. So the not shallenge that I actually did not have to pavote in either of my two companies. I guess I was a little bit lucky, but if I had to payvote, the pavotes were ready. The product was arc attected. To feel at least two to three more pivots just in case the primary favorite didn't work and did we have to actually payvot know, but those pivots were useful because then we can just make them part of our vision and then, you know, the basically have continuous innovation as a result as the...

...market and build towards those trimarts. Well, I think you know. You guys have proven the US of all companies that scaling up the feature set of a product is is certainly a tricky bit but achievable goal. You guys have done a trivic job with that. But when we talk about scaling up the company, not just financially but culturally, you had the opportunity at Google to see this massive, explosive growth. You also saw that same growth that aster and then through telex and cohesively. I'm sure that those all were the same type of story. Did you have growing pain scaling up culture and retaining that individuality that startups kind of use like jet fuel? What were some of the solutions you brought in on Scaling Culture? That's very good question, because everything is about people, and people you can only hire great people if your culture is great. So I'm fanatic about culture. Google had a great culture, but I never quite appreciated some of the things that led to building that culture. So you know I'm you're going to cut to the chain and say one of the most important things to have a great culture is to have to start with some core values. Now, Google had a core value card don't be evil, and it had some other core values that nobody quite remembers. But at Quiherity, for example, we have five core values and I we have every employee remember them because they can be remembered to the acronym radio. Our stands for us fact we respect everyone irrespective of where they come from, and that's sort of stuff. A stands for attitude or holiday attitude. They're always problems in companies, but if we solve them with a holiday attitude we can move mountains. But people with negative attitudes, they are going to just bring down the company. Whiners just bring down the company. D stands for a delivery. Everyone has to deliver, including myself. Nobody can be just nice and not delivered right. Companies are built because there are people who can row the boat. They can actually deliver. So these very important delivery I stand for antegrity. We just don't tolerate any politics or backstabbing or or behavior that not ethical. So integrity is very important to us. And finally, I owe stands for a session or customer obsession. Everything we do is for the customer. We can't have people just go off on the side with no thought about the customer and mind and do whatever. So these are core values. They are kind of like dating them is like a slone fan, you know, repeat, Ye, it, why it has of our core values are not going to be in our family anymore. That's how important they are. Tou was. Now we surround those core values with what we call cultural guideline. I'm going to give one example. You know, be humble and keep learning is something that you see plastered on our walls if you if you ever weather the officers, and so that's a cultural guideline. Now you know if you're not humble, is that a following offense? No, it's not a follow new fence. But you'll just be a good citizen if you're humble, if you go about doing your business every day in a humble way, if you talk to people with humility. You know that. That's why it's a cultural guideline. And so this combination of core values and cultural guidelines is something that we take every occasion to remind people. I want the audience to look at this book good to great. It's a famous book by, I think, Jim Collins, and in that Book Jim Collins Studies a lot of companies and he identifies some great companies and he says one thing common in all those great companies is that they all had core values. Definite. Really matter what exactly the core values were, but the fact that they were fanatical about what they stood for, what their core values were, was what set them apart from all the other companies that were like them but could never perform like them. So that's where the culture comes from and that's where you know it kind of flows from the top. We want every one of our exactives to be a model of these core values and every one of our exactives to display those...

...cultural guidelines and with that model we it kind of flows down. So so now the company is you, one, twelve, hundred bag we are hiring very rapidly, but every time and you employee joins, we make it a point to tell that person, Hey, these are our core values and these are cultural guideline and these are what we expect when you join us. That's how you will be in our culture. You'll get tune with our culture if you observe these. So that's how we keep our culture and we've been rather successful. I think people here rave about our culture. We had pretty good reviews whenever we do an internal review on how people think about our culture, and it's all very, very positive. People think this a family away from family. That's use it to my ears, because that's exactly what I want to hear. So that's how we managed to retain our culture. That's how we attract with talent. That's how we retained with talent, because we make people feel like who'm here. You mentioned that's by the way. That's that's amazing. You mentioned good grade and in one of the big things in good degrade is to also have a leader with with humility, and it's obvious that that it starts from the top. Moh Hit with you. One of the other things you know. You mentioned you know radio, which is very clever easy to remember. So again, Kudos to you and the marketing team, or the DHR team over there. One of the ones I like best is is delivery. You know, everyone as to deliver and you also put that on yourself, and I'm sure the management team is well, you guys also have to deliver. That's right. So, for instance, I take myself. If I'm not able to deliver for the company, let's say, you know my job is. You know, I be at multiple hats, but one of them is to raise funding. If I'm unable to puture funding for the company, well, I'm not delivering right and not able to deliver. If I'm not able to deliver good growth for the company, I'm not living. So even I have to deliver, I can just sit and okay, you know, let the people who their job. No, no, I got to deliver. I have some deliverables myself and so does my executive staff. Each one of them has deliverables. It's all about delivery. But we got to deliver with all the other core values. In my we can't deliver with low integrity behavior or we can't, you know, have a bad attitude when we deliver something. So all the core values are important. And yes, though, you know, the fact that we have five was very important because I want everyone to remember the core values. If I have like ten, fifteene core values, nobody's going to remember. So that's why we came up with this Radio Act remembers, which becomes really easy for everyone to remember what the core values are and to live by them every day. Well, I think that you know, certainly the culture over the coy city, having bounced around your office, is for a little bitter. It's quite evident there really is kind of that entrepreneurial spirit. You certainly have attracted a ton of talent there. But in starting these these companies and certainly going through the scaling, I'm sure that you've bumped into some myths about startups that you found to be untrue. If I was going out starting my own company, what would be some sage advice you give to me about pitfalls that I should avoid? So let's talk about some mets and let's talk about some petfalls. So one of the myths, while the numbers are correct, but people misunderstand the numbers, the myth is that ninety five percent of the startup spell so why they have bothered doing a startup right? I think that's incorrect, even though the numbers are cracked. I think start up sale, because people don't understand how to do startups correctly. So you know, I have a list of about ten filters I use to evaluate startups and you can search my name and the phrase framework and somebody has put those filters out there. Are Because I gave a thought elsewhere and and they were captured. But one of them, for instance, is that the market you're addressing better be more than five million dollars worth at least, because if you're in a small market it's becomes very, very hard to raise funding. Right. That's just one of the filters. Another one is, you know, do you have a short term entry points and a long term focus? Because if you don't have that short term thing, if you only have a long term vision and it's got thanke you forever...

...to build a product and maybe your money will run along the way. Or if you only have a short term pain one and not a long time vision, there was going to happen is you maybe you to build the product quickly, but then other people woul try to copy you and you have nowhere to go like. So in one or two years you basically have run out of innovation and now you just a commodity product fighting ten other vendors. So some of these filters are very important. I think that's why you know these are. It's celebrate of a myths that it's just a bunch of probability, that's a roll of dice whether a company will succeed or not. I think if you play this well, you can significantly improve the probability of success. So that's the first thing I would say. Now, in terms of pet falls, I you know, every every potential entrepreneur out there. I have fallen into this pitfall myself. So I'd like to talk about this a little bit, and that's about how to hire great people. So I personally was technical person and we technical people tend to just hire one way, which is, hey, you know, bringing a person who you know, interview. Ask that person of you puzzles on the White Board and if he saw, he or she saw that puzzle, boom, that person is high right. That might be a decent way to hire technical people. Where nowhere. Not How you hire business people, because you can't have business people puzzles on the on the white board right. It just doesn't work. So over time I had to learn the hard way, after making a bunch of very bad mistakes, I realized that the in person interviews with business people are basically just to get a chemistry match and and also perhaps to detect any obvious red flag. But the real meat comes through blind references, and that too from people who have either reported to the candidate or people who were peers of the candidate and have had a chance to observe that person's work. Closed. Those that the two guys can keep people who will give you the troupe. The one person who probably will not give you the truth is the person's Xbox, because most x bosses want to treat their reports like their heads. You don't, they won't want to say anything negative about them. You go ask them about how this person is, they'll try to focus on the pile. There's never on the negative. So those are insufficient for doing a reference check. Always go to people who reported to the candidate or people who were peers of the candidate, and they will probably tell you more about the red flag. So there are some of the pet falls I fell into and you know, gonna brought up and climbed up and he and ran again after making those mistakes, but I hope that other people don't make such mistakes. Another pitfall that I fell into was trying to save too much money up front, so I was very skinny. As I said, I hid my initial people through the network, but I also started hiding my leaders through the network, and so that gave me a very limited supply of people. So I made some mistakes there and now, through the hard way, I realize that it's better to spend, you know, some money on a good exactive recruiter right and then build a pipeline of great people from maybe you can take from. So I would strongly recommend that the first few great hires, you makes first few important executive you know hire. Maybe you know beat of engineering or weep of marketing or maybe beep yourself. I would strongly recommend people to go get the best exactive accrual in town, pay some money to that person and then get a pipeline of people that you can pick from, because if you make a mistake there the costu million. So whatever you know, Maybe Ninety Tho a hundred thousand dollars that recruiter my charge. You know, pay way more if you make a mistake. And hiving these important fires. So those are some of the pitfalls. I can learn the hard way that I need to do things differently and and so I can advise people to learn from my mistakes and and don't make the same mistakes again. Well, certainly sage advice. You may have just saved several companies. You don't know, but I greatly thank you for being with us today. I will certainly enjoyed watching over the years the path that you,...

...in cohesive, have been on, and it's pretty exciting on where you're going to be heading. But thank you ever so much for spending some of your precious time with us today. Certainly better thrill. Thanks, Mohany. All right, I appreciate it. Yeah, thank you so much for having me and I had fun and hope for the audience like some of the things I spoke about and faith you and for all the good enough coming out of with you city and I hope to talk to you again some time in the future. We certainly will be looking for that. Well, a great job. Thank you so much. 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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