I never planned to stay that long. When I joined a16z as an EIR in 2010, I did so in order to quickly expand my view of startups to join as an operator to get another at bat to do something special like we had done at Opsware. I had absolutely no intention to be a VC or work for one. I love the granularity of building and scaling a business that can have a transformational impact both technically and financially for customers where almost every day there is a scoreboard telling you how you are doing.
That short evaluation period quickly turned into operating partner role at a16z and I got the unique opportunity to see thousands, and work with hundreds, of founders and startups in my tenure there, but during that time I had never stopped asking myself: would I join this team?
After a long detour, I’m excited to announce that I am joining SignalFx for the following reasons:
“The achievements of the organization are a result of the combined efforts of each individual.”
— Vince Lombardi
How my skill set complements the technical founders was high on my who to partner with criteria list. I’m a team sports guy and I want to work with the best players. This team has learned and earned the secrets of building solutions, markets, and companies.
Phil was our Chief Architect at Opsware and we made numerous customer calls together in the early days to get a deep understanding of customers problems and assist them in their shift to data center automation. Not long after being acquired by HP, Phil departed to Facebook and was on the team that built their modern monitoring solution in the infancy period Dev/Ops, microservices, and containers adoption.
Karthik and I go back to his Delphix days before he and Phil pitched the idea of SignalFx to a16z. Since the initial investment, we’ve worked closely on go-to-market strategy and with his early customers via the a16z briefing program. His understanding of customer problems, of the market opportunity, and his product prowess and vision are unprecedented. Karthik’s invaluable experience running product under Diane Greene in the early phases of VMware’s explosive growth has provided him with a unique insight and muscle memory to guide the company on a similar trajectory.