Back to Basics
I was just thinking how young a company we still are. Nutanix was incorporated in Delaware on September 22nd, 2009. It took us another four months to get the idea together, and a convertible note round came together on December 26th, 2009. In these last 7 years, we’ve learned so much about life — celebrating failures, people, and camaraderie. Every “near-death” experience became an opportunity that brought people together and made the team stronger. Humor stitched it all together. People say that my boisterous laughs played their bit too!
Taleb calls it “Antifragility,” not simply resilience or robustness. We’ve sometimes failed our stakeholders — employees, end users, and partners. But we’ve come out stronger, responding to every underwhelming experience with humility and poise. That obsession for the frontline is what makes us special. In the coming weeks, we’re adding one more stakeholder to that frontline: the public market investor. In the design of this business, we’ve never taken hacks for the short term, and yet we’ve been one of the highest velocity innovators in the game. That fundamental yin yang between quality and velocity is not new to our business. Culture and execution are one and the same — culture is execution, and execution is culture. The best designed businesses will “checkpoint” results every quarter, and yet not veer away from the bolder long term disruption plot they have in their heads. I know it’s easier said than done, and we will be tested in this mass exposure world driven by media scrutiny and high-frequency trading. “What is the media saying,” “what will they say,” “they don’t like us today” is not how we’ve designed our products, messaging, or go-to-market partnerships. That contrarian approach to product, business, and organizational building is what has brought us here. We need to stick to those basics, even as we enter a different world in which a new stakeholder jostles for attention with the other three.
As I look back at my activities this last week, I realize that I was subconsciously adhering to those fundamentals, trying to downplay the IPO roadshow in my head. I was in Beijing for less than 24 hours, attending .NEXT On Tour, focusing on an event that only comes once a year to China. I spent a ton of time with our OEM partners this week. And on Saturday, I went back to answer some questions on Quora, something I had been procrastinating for a few months. I firmly believe that if we take care of our employees, customers, and partners, the public market will take care of itself.
So back to the product… the business… and fixing that cracked windshield of the 8-year old beauty of a car that I appreciate even more so every day.
P.S.: I was going down memory lane, and could think of at least two of my old blogs that are reminiscent of “Back to Basics” and how this company was built: Because Xiaomi, and Building Things That People Like. Take a read, if you have some time.