At our Sales Kickoff this last August, I presented a few slides about companies with “Staying Power.” As insurgents, they disrupt incumbents. Then when they are about to become incumbents, they decide to reinvent themselves. And the most successful ones repeat this cycle several times.
Microsoft in the 90’s: Consistency, Ambition, Fierce Resolve. They disrupted IBM OS/2 and Apple (with Windows), Lotus (with Office), Novell (with Active Directory), Unix (with Windows NT), and pre-Linux Oracle (with SQL Server).
Oracle in the 90’s: Resiliency, Foresight, Fierce Resolve. Moving past the side-letter scandal of 1990, losses on Wall Street against Sybase, the Wintel juggernaut, then thumping Sybase, Informix, IBM DB2, envisioning OLTP in e-commerce, and finally reinventing itself with Linux and Intel x86.
Netflix: Disruptor, Disrupted, Reinventor. From disrupting Blockbuster with e-commerce, to being ridiculed as an also-ran in a rapidly digitizing online world, to reinventing itself with online delivery, and finally taking Hollywood head-on by producing own content.
Amazon: Building Never Stops. From obliterating Barnes and Noble with e-commerce, to challenging eBay and Walmart, to learning to compete with itself on its marketplace, to challenging the computing old guard with a passion for 1-click consumer-grade delivery.
Apple: Resiliency, Vision, Fierce Resolve. From close to being bankrupt to redefining music, starting small with iPod, conceiving the iTunes marketplace, expanding to iPhone and iPad, resurrecting the MacOS, to now trying to reimagine wearables (and cars)!
Salesforce (CRM): Insurgent, Incumbent, Back to being Insurgent. From a bold SaaS torchbearer to an app of necessity; from SMB to being a force to reckon with in the enterprise; from a simple business application to becoming a magnet for developers (a true platform).
So what do the histories of these companies tell us? That an IPO is a mere pit-stop in a long journey of company-building. Today, we’re going public on Nasdaq. Thank you to every Nutant, every customer, and every partner who has helped build this company. NTNX should be celebrated for the sacrifices of the “Nutant Nation” and its families, but that celebration will probably be short-lived if we forgot our mantra on staying power: ambition and attention-to-detail.
NTNX was fast-growing in utero, and is born today. For sustainable growth (video), it needs to retain that insurgent mission and that unparalleled obsession for the frontline. The rest… will take care of itself.
P.S.: Back to Basics.