Two credos that I live by in terms of my career choices are:
- Always be willing to challenge yourself by trying something new and by learning new things
- Assuming you have enough resources to take care of yourself and your family, do the things you are passionate about and not just what makes you more money or feeds your ego.
The first credo was the primary reason I made the move to EMC last year. I wanted the opportunity get involved in business strategy and development; I also welcomed the challenge to be an agent of change within a large established IT vendor. So for the past 12 months, I had been a Business Development Manager (BDM) in EMC’s Cloud Solutions group, helping my former employer develop their OpenStack solutions strategy. I had the opportunity to work with some brilliant people and to form some great friendships. With the help of my former colleagues, the Cloud Solutions group had some significant accomplishments, including creation of the EMC OpenStack Reference Architecture Program. I wish EMC all the best as they move forward to transform themselves into a relevant vendor in the new world of cloud computing, distributed systems, and open source technologies.
However, over the past few months, I’ve also been evaluating if the BDM role is really what I am passionate about. After certain events occurred, I realized that the answer was NO. I then made the determination that, following my second credo, what I really wanted to do was to go back to technical marketing and evangelism. I also thought this may be a good time to try working at an early stage tech startup.
Within weeks of my reaching that conclusion, Sirish Raghuram, Co-Founder and CEO Platform9 reached out to me about possibly joining his new OpenStack startup. Sirish and I had first met 2 years ago at a Denver VMUG when the company was just starting to launch and we spoke again last August when Platform9 came out of stealth mode with their Private Cloud-as-a-Service offering. I had been impressed with the company from the very beginning and jumped at the opportunity to meet the co-founders in their Sunnyvale offices while on a trip to the Bay Area. So there I was in a room with the four Platform9 co-founders – Sirish Raghuram, Madhura Maskasky, Roopak Parikh, and Bich Le.
It was an engaging conversation and I quickly realized that not only was I NOT the smartest and most accomplished person in the room (more like #5) but that the co-founders were all genuinely great people with great ideas about how to bring the benefits of private cloud to the masses whether customers are choosing to run KVM, vSphere, or container technologies such as Docker. That meeting and subsequent discussions made the decision to join the team and to help Platform9 grow as a company an easy one.
Today marks the beginning of a new adventure for me in a career that has followed anything but a straight path. I am joining Platform9 as their Director of Technical Marketing with the purpose of telling the world the Platform9 story and showing customers how we can make them more agile and more productive through our SaaS managed OpenStack solution. In my role as lead facilitator for our Show-and-Tell mission, I will be working with the brilliant engineers at Platform9 and eventually building a Technical Marketing team to do the following:
- Company Branding – Tell the Platform9 story through blogs, presentations, panels, webinars, and workshops at various conferences, OpenStack Summits, VMUG User Conferences, and VMworlds
- Community Engagement – Give back by engaging with and educating the OpenStack, VMware, and Container technology communities
- Content Creation – Show our value through sharing of deep technical content and helpful resources using various mediums
For example, some of the content I may end up working with various teams to produce could include these topics I’ve jotted down in my notes:
But why Platform9 exactly? That’s something I go into more depth about here and will also continue detailing on this blog as well as the official company blog. Meanwhile, if you are interested in finding out more about Platform9, you can go our company’s resources page and YouTube channel (more content to come). I would also recommend reading a couple of relevant blog posts from my friend, Eric Wright (aka. DiscoPosse) and checking out the videos from Sirish’s and Madhura’s presentations at Tech Field Day. The first of these Tech Field Day videos can be seen below:
More to come but I look forward to sharing and engaging with a number of IT communities in my new role. Please let me know what you would like to see and hear; you can reach me at firstname.lastname@example.org.