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Joseph (JJ) Jacks for COSS Community

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OCS 2020 Breakout: Scott Dietzen

Scott Dietzen is a tech entrepreneur, philanthropist and outdoor enthusiast. He is a four-time successful entrepreneur with Pure Storage, WebLogic, Zimbra and Transarc. He has a Ph.D. in Computer Science from Carnegie Mellon.

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JJ interviews the legendary Scott Dietzen about his leadership career spanning many exciting companies over the last 2 decades.

(JJ introduces Scott) You’ve been really generous with helping founders, incredibly thoughtful about tradeoffs and building inspiring teams. In your experience, going from WebLogic, very proprietary software technology companies, into Zimbra… how did you start to look at open source dimensions of Zimbra? How did open source at the core affect building a business at Zimbra? - 0:00

(JJ gives a short history of Zimbra, which started in 2005. Talks about the rise of cloud computing, gives an example of JFrog’s successful IPO) I’m curious, at founder strategy level, how did the landscape look 15 years ago? - 5:11

You were on the board of Cloudera from 2010 to 2016, these were really crucial years for the company. You aren’t on the board anymore, so I can ask you some interesting questions. Looking at scale fundamentals, Cloudera has never really punched through multiples of their IPO price, and yet they continue to grow revenue really strongly. How do you think through the lessons and strategic decisions over that period of time you were on the board? How do you translate that to the founders at the early stage? - 8:38

I’d be curious to segue into Pure Storage. You are still on the board, you’ve been at the company for 10 years. What lessons were taken from your experience at Cloudera to build a leading storage company? - 12:50

You are pretty close to Sutter Hill, correct me if I’m wrong, some of the original stimulation and planning for Pure Storage started in Sutter Hill. They are even aligned with the origin story of Snowflake, right? -16:35

You worked across the large spectrum of scale… from small teams, to going public, to great horizons after going public. What are the most critical ingredients you’ve observed at the super early stages? What did you see in the absolute best founding teams? - 17:38

(Closing remarks, thanks, JJ comments about how leaders speak in a collective way and proprietors speak in a singular way… We, us, our opposed to me, mine.) - 21:43

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