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Friday, February 10, 2012

An interesting experience with the CEO of a very popular Flash Storage company

In 2009 I had an interesting experience and was very close to joining a popular Flash Storage company. I was talking to the then CEO and then CTO (David and David). I was in conversations for a potential VP of Engineering role with them but did not want to relocate to Utah. (I had done my time in Utah working for Novell and did not want to move back to run engineering for FusionIO).

Nonetheless, the important point was that I was telling my views of what the company should be doing for the next few years and the then CTO and now CEO was extremely impressed with me as I had his playbook open in front of him. He was not only surprised but also impressed as to how I could have known so much without working for the company.

To be honest, I did feel a little proud of myself as well.

Anyway, musing over some older memories. Have the snippet of email between me and the company execs below.

S


=======================================================



----- Forwarded Message -----
From: "David Flynn" < dflynn@fusionio.com >
To: "Sukanta ganguly" < sganguly@yahoo.com >
Cc: "David Bradford" < dbradfordvc@yahoo.com >, "Jessica Dunn" < jdunn@fusionio.com >
Sent: Sunday, February 8, 2009 1:31:40 PM GMT -07:00 US/Canada Mountain
Subject: Re: Company lands the Woz as Chief Scientist; opportunities

SG,


I'm impressed... You've correctly gotten the long-term vision for the technology.


We should talk. We are scaling out our Redwood City offices. So, depending on role, there may be some options.


Jessica, my admin, can let you know when I'm out that way next, and help us set up a time to meet. I'd love to get to know you.


-David







---------------------------
David Flynn
CTO Fusion-io
dflynn@fusionio.com


"The performance of a SAN in the palm of your hand"







On Feb 7, 2009, at 11:06 PM, Sukanta ganguly wrote:





David,
Thanks for your note. Fulltime and Utah would not be possible for me.

Hi David Flynn (had to use your last since two David's on the same email...),
Very nice to connect with you. I read the specs on your 80/160/320 Gig SSD's. Some real interesting applications can be built with them. A high-end persistent shared disk subsystem (real-time cluster) for higher thought put can be built using your SSD's. With some clustered software running over an IP network it can be very cheap way to create a high throughput system for Web based infrastructures. Today's Facebook's Hi5 and other high profiled network with several million connections a day serve a lot of data over the Web and they have orders of magnitude more hardware and software combo to address them and even then theay can't address the market's need hence you see tons of replication and redundant data bases for network segmented solutions are offered.
Really interesting product and lots of exciting things can be done with it.


Warm Regards
SG


From: David Bradford < dbradfordvc@yahoo.com >
To: Sukanta ganguly < sganguly@yahoo.com >
Cc: David Flynn < dflynn@fusionio.com >
Sent: Saturday, February 7, 2009 8:46:02 AM
Subject: Re: Company lands the Woz as Chief Scientist; opportunities

The answer is Yes we are looking for people - but not necessarily as Consultants. I have copied David Flynn on this note and you can share your background and Resume with him. We need people to drive hardcore day to day development here in Utah. Regards, David b

=======================================================

Monday, March 28, 2011

Book Review, titled "Django Javascript Integration: AJAX and Jquery"

Review for “Django Javascript Integration: AJAX and jQuery

Author: Jonathan Hayward

The author has done a fine job of presenting a practical discussion of how to use a popular Python framework, namely Django and using another popular Javascript library, namely JQuery to develop a nice application through the chapters presented in the book. The AJAX usage within Django and client side JQuery to leverage the client-side Javascript is presented very elegantly. A simple explanation of AJAX and “how to use it” is shown earlier for an AJAX icebreaker. Later in the book the author continues to buildup the server side logic with database queries, showing how to AJAX a user interface, reduce traffic and UI churn on the front-end. The book starts walking the depth of Django and the backend framework to show the value that developers can get by using the framework. Albeit, this book is not about Python but strong understanding on Python as a programming language is strongly desired to understand all the details that are presented in the later chapters. Each chapter utilized the components that are required to build up the “Employee Photo-sharing” application that is developed during the course of the book.

I particularly liked the way the author presented details of the components when the application presented the necessity for it. The aspects of templating that Django uses and how one can plug their own templating is also touched up in the mid-chapters. Chapter 8 was a very interesting read as it explained the Django ModelForm at greater depth. It was also titled appropriately as CSS makeover.

Although the book surrounded itself around the application to bring the usage of Django and Jquery it did a decent job of covering many aspects of Django as well as Jquery. In short this book is not a dry Django tutorial but a more customized view of Django in a real-life application and the merging of JQuery to improve the application quality.

Saturday, January 29, 2011

Techno-preneurship is raising its head back in the valley

Techno-preneurship is coming back, Welcome 2011. Yuri Milner confirmed at an unplanned YC session that he (i.e. DST) will invest $150k on all YC startups, and that too with very less strings attached. This can't be anymore exciting for entrepreneurs who love building evolutionary products, which is what 99% of the market needs.
I love it and love to live it. Being a small angel myself this is actually great. I invest and want to invest more in my affordable range and love these opportunities to actually help build these businesses.
Decent maturity in technology and more ways to get conservative investments, this is why I am in the Silicon Valley. Love it!

SG

Sunday, December 19, 2010

Success in current day high-tech startup...

Wanted to voice my views about what I see happening in the high-tech space now. Success is built in multiple layers. All phases have to be successful in order to record a business success.
First, something new should be shown by the founders. These are classically the entrepreneurs, some lone range warriors, who want to change how things happen. Better user interface is the biggest focus making the trend alter in high-tech software products life cycle. Simplicity in getting things done is another driver. Lots of work is done in this space, take a look at most if not all YCombinator start-ups; that is the mantra. Programming languages and implementation strategy driven around interpretive realm have suddenly caught a lot of attention. Look at the absurd growth in JavaScript, Ruby-on-Rails, PHP, Python, etc. (Old school Java is also making moves in this space). They are easy to learn and quick to mock up. That is what most investors want now. Spend less, build quickly. If it has to fail then fail fast.
So the first phase of success is measured by showing something working. It don't matter if it is really relevant or not but show something working is key.
The second phase is the set of team-members who will build or at-least try to build the real business. This is where big money and serious commitments are required. Also, this is where real experience is required for success to materialize. Let me tell you that this is where lots and lots of money is required. Look at Twitter, Zynga, Linkedin, Facebook and I can go on and on and on. Between phase one and two most of the so called angels trade out of the market (Their are a few brave-hearts to hang onto their ownership, but the scare of getting diluted by the bigger investors are always the main worry). Angels are more like opportunistic stock traders, if you will.
The third and the most important phase is the exit. Two choices exists, IPO or buy-out. The last few years have shown us that IPO is extremely tough it his economy. You have show strong growth, multiple quarters and sometimes multiple years of profitability with demonstrations of gains in top-line as well as bottom-line revenues. So you have to be bought out. If you don't get bought out traditional investors don't get their returns.
A significant percentage of the entrepreneurs and their businesses die in second phase for a few reasons, the most important being their lack of experience and eal business know-how. Many have difficulties detaching themselves from the business and inviting more experienced doers. Doing a startup is like betting in Las Vegas most of the times. Their is only so many combination available to win. You don't hit the slot at the right movement, you lose.
Times are different and so we have to adapt and adjust to this model. Interesting times and interesting plays around for all of us.

Happy Holidays!

Saturday, December 4, 2010

Skype's move to the Web

Skype is finally moving to the Web. The following link discusses these moves from Skype. The funny part is that Linkedin is supposedly in talks with Skype to integrate VoIP over Web. The funny part is that your's truly was trying to do the same with Linkedin in 2008 when I was heading Products and Engineering of a VoIP software startup. Linkedin's VP of Engineering then and CTO as well as then CEO Reid did not seem to get it then.
Hope they get it now.

Sounds like Facebook also is excited about this integration with Skype

Wow, may be we were a little early then. The likes of Twilio will get it now and more importantly go beyond the minute arbitrage.

SG

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Novell bought out by private equity firm

Thus ends the era for Novell, sadden by the way the deal was done but I believe Novell needed a new face. Being an ex-Novellian and a strong well wisher for the company, I am unhappy to see the outcome. I do think a proper plan before the push-out would have been better received than what went through.
http://blogs.wsj.com/deals/2010/11/22/hedge-fund-forced-novell-buyoutbut-didnt-get-rich/

Also am hearing rumors of Novell selling off the Suse unit to VMWare. Why would a virtualization company need an Operating System? VMWare is a pure play; Microsoft is clouded (literally) with its bias from its own Operating System on its virtualization play.

So nontheless, no rants but a list of questions on what will happen with Novell's bits and pieces. Novell lost the IP battle a long time ago. It is a company where the sum of the pieces are not greater than the while entity. Novell's corp-dev would have done better justice if they had done a deal with IBM or Oracle (in either case it would have been a very good exit and a future for the existing Novell folks).

I will I had a deeper association with a large PE/Equity firm to make good on this deal.

My thoughts
SG