The last three years have been a fantastic journey. With PernixData I have personally been part of helping more than 100 customers getting low latency storage performance with FVP and never before experienced insight into their data center with Architect. I have made a lot of new friends, and I will miss all of the great colleagues at PernixData, never before have I been part of such a talented team. I did not expect our ways to part already but due to some rumours about a company acquiring PernixData I have chosen to get back to what I love the most: Evangelizing and helping a new young startup get their message out in the Nordics.
PernixData was my first startup and I was hired as employee number 75 and number 3 in EMEA. Working for a startup is nothing like any other job I have had. The energy, the passion and the dedication all around is unbelievable. Everybody wants to succeed and prove them self. All individual contributions makes a difference. There is no way to hide and great work is appreciated and applauded.
Shortly after I started working I was sent to new-hire training at the HQ in San Jose. I was bombed with information about the product, the processes, salesforce, marketing etc. Being this early has its benefits though. One thing I particularly remember was having private lunch with the CEO Poojan Kumar at a nearby restaurant. He welcomed me and told me how much he appreciated that I had chosen to join the company. I was in awe, my feeling was “thanks for letting me be the first SE hire in all of EMEA”, working with a great product with big potentials. I now understand that when you join a young startup with only a few months history of selling you are taking a big risk, the adventure could last many years or just a few months if things don’t work out.
Thinking back about the last 33 months it has been a thrilling experience. We celebrated many victories but also had our downs. One quarter selling like crazy to the next with PSOD (purple screen of deaths) that killed some major deals that was on the table. This is how it is, product is still maturing and not everything is perfect (yet)
My title at PernixData was “Systems Engineer” – but in the startup world your job far exceeds that of your title. You are doing marketing, lead generation, partner enablement, actual SE work like POC’s and presentations at VMUG. You pretty much do whatever it takes, and that is what is expected.
What I liked the most was how close you get to everyone at the company. You can talk directly to the CEO, you can give the Product Manager a call and have a big influence on the development of the product. Many things experienced in the field was brought back to PM, and later added or changed in the product.
Now that I am about to open a new chapter it has to be with another startup with disruptive technology. Joining one of the big established players is not even something I consider. Luckily timing is great and when my current employment ends I will start working for Cohesity as a Systems Engineer in the Nordic region. I am certain that we will meet at VMworld or many VMUGs to come. I am getting ready for another wild ride, with long working hours. (or as my girlfriend says, “Frank you do not work, you do what you love to do”)