Executives from large infrastructure companies about entrepreneurship [3/5]

Rajan and Prabakar host The Fabric Spotlight talks and speak with different people on everything cloud/infrastructure/enterprise. Guest speakers are:

  1. Enterprise CxOs
  2. Executives from large infrastructure companies
  3. Investors in cloud space
  4. Entrepreneurs from the cloud/infrastructure

At the end of every talk, we ask a guest what learnings and advice they would give to entrepreneurs to work with their large companies.

In our previous blog, enterprise CXOs shared their views.

Read what executives from larger infrastructure companies, such as Google Cloud, Intel, VMware, Nvidia, Nutanix, Juniper, Cisco, Microsoft Azure, IBM, GE Ventures believe it’s a necessary ingredient to make an entrepreneurial ride successful. They think that maniacal focus, constant learning, clear value proposition, rigorous prioritization, and a good team are crucial for every startup.

Ramin Sayar, Sumo Logic:
“When you go through the journey – it’s never a straight line. You have to traverse, and you have to have the stomach for that. Relationships are what drive businesses and highly productive teams. Humility and humbleness in terms of how you lead, how you correct, how you give feedback. It starts with everything you do by your actions every day and not what you say.”

Frank Cittadino, QoS Networks:
“Entrepreneurship is a labor of love; you have to fall in love with the process. There will be ebbs and flows. You get to learn from the ebbs and celebrate the flows. The team is what matters.
It’s okay to fail, but don’t fail for the same reason twice. Don’t let perfection get in the way of progress.”

Punit Minocha, Zscaler:
“Focus on what you are building. You also want to adapt and get validations from customers, what pain points they are facing. The real opportunity lies in a solution that doesn’t exist today.”

Klaus Oestermann, BedRock Systems:
“Surround yourself with phenomenal people. Stick to your strategy but also constantly experiment. Have clarity on what the milestones are. Find your partnership with advisors and investors, and keep updating VCs in real-time. Diversity is very important.”

Amit Zavery, Google Cloud:
“If you have ideas and ability to help customers overcome challenges in this difficult time, you will have customers for life.”

Anil Rao, Intel:
“Look at what problems the entrepreneurs are trying to solve and then approach the right engineering or right business leader at Intel who is responsible for finding a solution in the same space that the entrepreneur is working on.”

Milin Desai, VMware:
“Surround yourself with good people. Ask yourself: how important is this problem for you. If you think you bring value, and your customer wants that, it’s a great place to start talking to VMware.”

Yogesh Agarwal, Nvidia:
“The secret sauce is building the right team and getting the go-to-market right. Rigorous prioritization is needed and find out how you will measure your early success.”

Sunil Potti, Nutanix:
“At every stage of the company, you have to scale yourself faster than the company. Two ways to do that is with continuous learning and high quality continuous hiring.”

Manoj Leelanivas, Juniper:
“You have to have maniacal focus, what is your core competency, what’s the problem you try to solve, what’s the product-market fit and be ruthless in saying no to things that are not aligned with that.”

Pankaj Patel, former EVP, Cisco:
“Embrace, speed, agility, and simplicity. If you do that, you’ll do great.”

Kushagra Vaid, Microsoft Azure:
“Make sure that you have a very clear value proposition. Try to leverage what the big cloud providers are building, so you can have that wind behind you, and you solve new areas that customers want you to solve.”

Ben Hendrick, IBM Security:
“Startups who are working with IBM customers who started to embrace a startup’s technology, and it becomes the use case and part of the solution. That becomes a much easier opportunity for IBM Security to engage because it is coming from the client.”

Abhishek Shukla, GE Ventures:
“Nobody is going to pay me for being just an IoT system. The outcome given approach is becoming more central for our customers. The value to my customers needs to be outlined clearly and articulated well.”

Erasmo Leon, VMware:
“When startups come and talk to us, we want to see how they think we can jointly solve customer’s problems. We also want to see how we are adding value to solving those problems.”

We will be updating this post whenever we discuss it with an executive from a large infrastructure company in the near future.

In our next blog, investors from the cloud space will share their insights on entrepreneurship.

You can watch all the episodes and get insights on the cloud, infrastructure, and entrepreneurship at www.thefabricnet.com/videos or The Fabric YouTube playlist – Spotlight Episodes.