Archive for April, 2011

89!

Thursday, April 28th, 2011

Say no more…leaving my job obviously agrees with me. I can’t remember the last time I hit below 90 (but then again I think last time I played golf I may have been a little hungover in Cabo….don’t really remember). 42 on the front nine – yeah – and then back to reality on the back 9.

Went into the Nimsoft offices today; I am working today and tomorrow doing some final customer hand-overs and then, c’est fini (practicing for my vacation).

But I have to say one thing….there’s a big box of mugs in the Nimsoft kitchen. Where are the “Nimsoft….we rock!” mugs ?

lol….only kidding….I’m sure everyone is very happy to have something to drink their coffee from.

Kids….

Tuesday, April 26th, 2011

Really cool walking the kids to school in the morning (but of course they want to walk on their own and not with dad….they don’t want me to be a “helicopter dad”….)

Met a company founder the other day of a really successful business. Was a great meeting and loads of potential.

Also met founder of a 6 person start up. Nothing like the passion and commitment of starting your own business. You can tell from meeting someone in 5 minutes whether they’ve got the commitment and work ethic that they need.

Starting to really enjoy my new life. A balance of business and personal. Actually got a game of golf tomorrow and another one next week. 2 games of golf in a week…been about 5 years since that happened.

Finally, going to the Goldman Sachs Cloud conference next week. That should be interesting listening to multiple cloud company CEOs present.

Oh and going to Champions League final at wembley in May. See my team play either Barcelona or Real Madrid. Could be a classic.

Customers, customers, customers

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

Why don’t most companies care? They pretend they do but they don’t really because the CEO is not passionate about it.

I spoke to an ex-Amazon employee the other day and he was telling me how focused Jeff Bezos was about customer satisfaction. It needs to come from the CEO and be repeated all the time. If the rest of the company realizes how important it is to the CEO, then they will adopt the same attitude. Customers, customers, customers.

Let me show you an email I received this morning from a customer of Nimsoft….I have hundreds of these but this one I think wrapped it all up in a single email – these guys were customers for ours for nearly 8 years!

Gary,

As much as I hate to see you leave Nimsoft (and I do!), I’m excited to see what you will excel at next, as I have no doubt you will do.

When you and Paul first visited us here at XXX back in January, 2003 (I still have the original e-mails!), I must say that I was a bit skeptical of installing software from a company named after a sneaker, but you delivered on your promises and then some, and Nimsoft soon became (and continues to be) a mission critical piece of our company’s IT toolbox. So much so in fact, that I’ve never hesitated in recommending Nimsoft to colleagues.  And as your company grew, evolved, and thankfully changed names, I was always greatly appreciative of your keeping customer satisfaction in the forefront of your business decisions.  I hope CA continues that model.

Perhaps you should branch out into the telecommunications or utility business and take your customer-centric vision to them? Imagine the positive revolution AT&T, PG&E, or Comcast would experience if they were to put their customers first the way you always did! My God, you could change the world!

Regardless of the direction life takes you, my hat is off to you, Gary! All the best in your new endeavors!

Hope you keep in touch.

XXXX

P.S. Feel free to friend me on Facebook if you would like

Delivering mission critical apps as a service

Friday, April 22nd, 2011

When anyone thinks of SaaS companies, the first and primary example is always salesforce.com

But, when you are delivering something that is mission critical “as a service”, then you simply cannot afford the donwtime and the maintenance windows that companies such as salesforce have. The argument is that, salesforce.com is a business application, if it is not available because of system maintenance, then customers can live with that, particularly if the maintenance is done outside of core business hours.

But, if you are delivering say a monitoring product, that is your eyes and ears for your entire IT infrastructure, then you simply can’t afford for it to be not available. I noticed yesterday the EC2 outage and the amount of companies that it took down…Reddit, Foursquare, Quora was just 3 that were reported….clearly those companies do not consider themselves providing a mission critical service just yet. When you are the supplier, your customer holds YOU accountable….if EC2 or anyone else is down, that is not your customer’s problem…it is YOUR problem, no point in pointing fingers because YOU are the one that signed up to deliver the service to your customer.

Quora posted this yesterday….

“We’d point fingers, but we wouldn’t be where we are today without EC2.”

Which is basically shifting the blame to someone else. How about, instead of that the post should have been:

“One of our suppliers had an outage yesterday and as such, we are conducting an immediate review of our infrastructure so that no outage by any supplier can effect the service that we are providing to our customers”

Obama in SF….

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

My iPhone video of President in San Francisco

Day 3….

Wednesday, April 20th, 2011

I promised myself to work out every day….grade D (1 out of 3)

I promised myself to not go back to work for a few months…grade D (looking at many different things)

I promised myself to spend quality time with the family….grade A.

I promised myself to fix a bunch of things around the house….changed a few light bulbs (yeah yeah….it’s harder than it seems), had someone round to quote on some painting, had someone round to figure out kitchen…..grade B.

I promised myself to not spend too much time on the computer…..grade D.

I promised myself not to think about Nimsoft too much….grade B.

Overall a C so far….need to get better and I can start by working out more.

Only a couple of zeroes difference…

Monday, April 18th, 2011

Here we go….

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Last night of President’s Club yesterday and Richard Branson joined us. Talk about leaving at the top.

Now we’ve got the worst part which is the journey home after partying hard. Necker to Tortolla to San Juan to Chicago to San Francisco. Ugh.

Got lots going on next week but none of it Nimsoft related.

Meetings with multiple VCs, some personal stuff to catch up on, meeting one company founder, talking to someone else about an idea…..oh yes, and detox, healthy eating, working out….going to try and start P90X

Beat that!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Seriously. How do you top the Nimsoft experience? One for the record books. What a team!

Don’t forget, my blog moving to www.garyread.com very soon

Monday, April 11th, 2011

Of course, it will not be Nimsoft centric in the future (actually not sure it ever was). But, I will continue to update as I wind down my Nimsoft involvement, re-discover certain things and figure out what the next great opportunity will be.

Silicon Valley is abuzz with opportunities right now…..got to figure out the right one and then execute like crazy.