What a difference a year makes!
I love startups. And one of the things I love most about them is being part of rapid growth and change. Startups look and feel very different from one year to the next, and in the virtualization startup space, we measure our years from one VMworld to the next.
Looking back, our presence in 2013 reminds me a lot of Veeam’s first attendance, in 2007, my first year with that company.
Veeam’s first VMworld in 2007
Last year, we were introducing the first version of a brand new product based on a concept that required some explanation. What on earth did we mean by “downloadable storage performance”? Conversations on the show floor frequently started with a more familiar reference point. “SSD performance without the SSDs” was convenient shorthand to explain what we offered. It was fun to be the new, shiny thing, making our debut and being named one of only two finalists for “Best New Technology.” It was exciting, and our days were adrenaline driven.
Infinio’s first VMworld in 2013
A year later, Infinio came to the show with more than promises of future benefit.
In 2014, we had proof points: real, live customers achieving dramatic results with our product. We launched Accelerator 2.0 with broader platform support and great new features. This year, we were part of a known (and exploding!) category: I/O optimization. This year, our conversations started with “We offer storage performance for VMware administrators with no new hardware.” It was still exciting, maybe more so because the product category was better defined, and the opportunity is clearly there for us to succeed in a big way.
The best thing about VMworld is the community – the chance to connect with people in person, put faces to names, and get to know the characters behind the Twitter handles. This year we had customers who graciously agreed to share their experiences on camera. We had a new CTO, Scott Davis, available to share his insights on the state of the industry, and we had Peter Smith, our VP of Product Management, walking us through what’s new in v2.0. With these videos, we have great content to share online with those who couldn’t attend the conference.
A great deal changed in 2014. We had a much bigger booth, with three demo stations instead of one, and a hanging sign visible from across the show floor. We had our first-ever customer and partner appreciation dinner.
One thing that didn’t change was the enthusiasm and energy of our on-site team. Both years, our booth staff was the most dedicated I’ve ever seen. They didn’t eat, they didn’t rest. They made the most of every moment with potential customers and partners. Every day, as the exhibit hall lights were being turned off and other booths were packing up, Team Infinio was still talking, still demo-ing, still scanning badges. That’s the other thing I love about startups – everyone cares so much, because everyone truly has a stake in the success of this event, this product, this company.
Today, if you look at Veeam, you see one of the biggest presences at VMworld. They’ve come a long way since the early days.
Infinio is well on its way to following the same path. See you next year!