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OCS 2020 Fireside Chat: Astasia Myers and Idit Levine

Astasia Myers is an enterprise investor on Redpoint’s early stage team. She focuses on the next generation of enterprise software across developer tools, cloud infrastructure, big data and machine learning infrastructure, AI applications, and cybersecurity. She led investments in LaunchDarkly, Solo.io, Gremlin, among others. Prior to Redpoint, Astasia worked at Cisco Investments, where she focused on cloud-infrastructure M&A and investments. She helped drive Cisco’s inorganic growth strategy for the data center and led investments in Cohesity, Datos IO (acquired by Rubrik), Elastifile (acquired by Google), Guardicore, Springpath (acquired by Cisco), as well as the funding of internal stealth projects. Astasia earned dual bachelor’s degrees with honors and Phi Beta Kappa from Stanford University and a master’s from the University of Cambridge’s Judge Business School.

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Idit Levine is the founder and CEO of Solo.io, a company that develops tools to help enterprises adopt and extend innovative cloud technologies alongside modernizing their existing IT investments. The Solo.io portfolio of open source and commercial products includes Gloo API gateway, Service Mesh Hub and WebAssemblyHub. Prior to Solo.io, she was the CTO of the EMC Cloud Management Division and a member of the global CTO office. She has spent her career building all areas of cloud infrastructure and open source software in both startup and large enterprise companies including Dynamic Ops, VMware, CloudSwitch and Verizon.

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Come listen to Solo.io CEO and founder Idit Levine and Solo.io investor and Redpoint Ventures investor Astasia Myers.

Astasia introduces Redpoint Ventures and focus in the open-source space, starting in 2004 - 0:00

Astasia introduces Idit Levine of solo.io - 0:53

Idit introduces herself and background as CTO and innovator - 1:03

Astasia shares her experience working with Idit and Solo, including adoption, growth, and Idit’s developer evangelism - 1:40

Astasia: Tell us more about Solo and the products you offer. - 2:20

Astasia: You went from being an engineering leader to founding Solo. What has that transition been like for you? For other engineers who are listening, what would you recommend to them to think through before making the leap to become a founder? - 6:18

Astasia: It sounds like the business acumen, persusations skills, knowing how to work with people outside the organization, understanding politics and motivations. It sounds like that experience at EMC really helped you. - 9:48

Astasia: From your experience, if you were going to give advice to founders or founders-to-be, what constitutes a great early engineer at a startup? What are some things that you look for? - 10:22

Astasia: Does the role of an early engineer at a startup change if the startup is open source or a closed commercial offering? Does the engineer you need to hire vary between the two types of businesses? - 12:31

Astasia: Are there any pieces of advice you would give to other early-stage founders about hiring their first five engineers? - 16:06

Astasia: You talked about the scaling that you went through at Solo. How do you think about the structuring of the engineering organization, particularly since you have a few product lines that you sell? - 18:07

Astasia: I like how you have these floating experts going in that can help problem-solve or accelerate. I think that’s really smart, so you have flexibility. - 21:18

Astasia: Some people divide whose working on open source and whose working on the commercial product. How have you approached that? - 21:49

Astasia: Thinking about product, sometimes early founders struggle to understand what should be open source and what should be closed source. Is there a framework that you use to make these decisions? - 23:22

Astasia: Do you actively manage the engineering team’s time between the open source and the commercial offering? - 26:14

Astasia: Are there any final words of wisdom or guidance that you would give to listeners about structuring engineering teams or building open core products? - 27:35


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