Author: Ramsey Chapin

A talk with Ann McCormick, the queen of children’s educational software

Educational software is an on-again-off-again space that is difficult to get right. A little while ago I talked with Ann McCormick, co-founder and CEO of Learning Circle Kids, LLC. If anyone has the ability to disrupt the children’s educational software market, she does.
In 1979, Ann co-founded and was CEO of the Learning Company, a children’s software company that most famously created Rocky’s Boots, and Reader Rabbit. She did so with a $1,000 grant and computer from the Apple Education Foundation. The company went public in 1992, and was eventually acquired for $660 million. Since then, she has emerged as a thought leader in education technology, serving in many executive roles including director of Nueva Media at the Nueva School, and at her most recent venture, Learning Circle Kids, LLC. She is a wonderful woman who has dedicated her life to preparing kids for their futures, and is an unbelievable visionary, teacher, thought-leader, and executive.

What is your background?

Ann told me about how she has a masters and Ph.D in Education from UC Berkeley. She has also spent 10 years out of college in successful projects as a teacher in low-income urban schools, and 8 years around private schools, including the prestigious Nueva School in Hillsborough, California.

In 1979, Ann founded the Learning Company with a grant of $1,000 and a computer that she won from the Apple Education Foundation. Then, in 1982, she won more grants from both the National Science Foundation and the National Institute of Education. She used that money to launch her first three products. In 1983, proceeded to raise venture capital and launch six more products. As said above, by the time the Learning Company was acquired, it was a public company purchased for $660 million.

How did you come up with the idea for the Learning Company?

Ann told me about a computer scientist friend from Stanford who had come to her with an idea for a company. It was an idea for software. Ann figured her expertise in education could really help. The idea sparked something for her. Instead of working through the system, this idea presented an opportunity to reach kids directly. The rest is history.

What was it like as the early stage CEO of the Learning Company?

Overall, Ann said, it was wonderful. She was pioneering at a time with no quality educational software options in the home. Her favorite project was Rocky’s Boots, “a commercial educational software product, published in 1982 by the Learning Company.  It won Software of the Year awards from Learning magazine (1983), Parent’s Choice magazine (1983), and Infoworld magazine (1982, runner-up), and received the Gold Award (for selling 100,000 copies) from the Software Publishers Association.  It was one of the first educational software products for personal computers to successfully use an interactive graphical simulation as a learning environment.  It was a precursor to later simulation products such as SimCity and The Incredible Machine.”[1] In other words, the game was revolutionary for the industry.

What are you up to now?

Ann has just started a new venture called Learning Circle Kids, LLC. She is co-founding it with a dear friend of hers that she has known for years. It is based around unique text input into a computer. She described this as her, “20 year dream”. I’m positive it will be getting some high acclaim very soon.

What is the main lesson from the past that you will apply this go-around?

Ann imparted three major lessons:

1) She learned to be part of a team by communicating more effectively.

2) She said to make sure to take the time to fundraise correctly (don’t take impatient money). Her point is that raising venture capital is not always a good fit for a nascent company.

3) Do a profit and anon-profit as a bridge. This way will yield return, but over a longer time period.

Ann is a formidable force as a visionary, and leader in the educational software space. I would keep an eye out for her, and Learning Circle Kids, LLC in the coming months.

Until next time,

Ramsey


[1] http://www.warrenrobinett.com/rockysboots/

Looking Back

Looking back on the TEC experience, I have much for which to be thankful. My experiences these past eight weeks have introduced me to venture capital, more founders in more spaces than I could have ever fathomed, and an amazing company, Piston Cloud, in what I think is a really cool space, cloud.

Venture Capital

The moment that I and my TEC compadres walked through the door at South Park (the True office), True treated us like family. Many founders who have come in to talk to us have said the same thing about they and their respective companies. That consistency is a sign of true character (pun intended). True really does have character, and it starts with every one of their people. If I were to assemble a list of the top 10 most memorable speakers in the past eight weeks, all three speakers from True would be on that list. They were founding partners Phil Black, a walking encyclopedia of venture capital history, Jon Callaghan, the man who named True Ventures (watch the video on that linked landing page), and general partner Puneet Agarwal, the master of emerging markets. Another cool part was that the TEC interns got to experience the Palo Alto True office for some of the talks. Topics included how venture firms raise money, manage funds, think about investments, manage their own firms, etc. For me, their talks and the TEC program overall has shed light on the venture capital side of startups.

Having spoken with over 24 founders in these eight weeks, we interns have gained valuable insight, listened to unique experiences, and encountered many different types of founders. One speaker in particular that sticks out in my mind is Rohit Sharma. He is currently co-founder and CEO at syfto. He talked to us on Friday and had some incredible insights on how to think about an idea and its execution, how to think about one’s role in a company, how to find co-founders, good managing practices, and more. Out of all these, his generosity struck me most. On a Friday afternoon, he stayed for a significant block of time, imparting knowledge and fielding our questions until we had no more. He genuinely wanted to be there, and so did we, to milk every last drop out of the experience. That was an amazing day.

Piston Cloud introduced a previously unbeknownst world to me: the exciting and growing world of cloud. I am extremely fortunate and grateful to have been paired with them. I have worked closely with co-founder Gretchen Curtis, design lead Eric Frank, and technical writer Paul Merlyn. Together we comprise the marketing team at Piston Cloud. We work hard to get the word out and cultivate our brand. At a year old, Piston currently is undergoing a unique period of growth, so merely being here has added to the learning experience. Over the past eight weeks I have learned an entirely new market, learned about our powerful product, Piston Enterprise OpenStack, and improved my understanding on branding and customer acquisition. I am also thankful for the opportunity Piston has given me. I will be staying on with Piston for the rest of the summer and into next school year (my final year) part time.

TEC has given we interns experiences that we will never forget. It has provided invaluable information, and created experiences with extremely talented people from around the Valley. I am extremely grateful and will carry this into all of my future endeavors. Tomorrow is the last day. There is one more blog post to come from me, so until then, so long.

Until Next Time,

Ramsey

On Track to Silicon Valley

For seven years of my life, I devoted a great deal of my time and energy to a single passion: running. Specifically, I competed in cross country and track and field. My journey began in eighth grade and ended my sophomore year at Stanford. The ensuing experiences taught me important lessons including strict discipline, maintaining perspective, perseverance, and many others. That journey took me to many different places and that introduced me to countless new people. That journey also introduced me into a world of competition, and all of its ensuing implications. I decided to stop running my sophomore year because at that point, my passions had shifted to a new path: entrepreneurship. Now, a year into the switch, I can definitively say that there are more similarities than differences between the world of track and the world of entrepreneurship. In fact, the two worlds differ only in subject matter. Three major similarities between a track team and a startup are the coach, the team, and the men with the money.

Coach

The coach is the leader and crux of the team. In the running realm, the coach is, as you might have guessed, the head coach. His counterpart in the entrepreneurial world (from here on out, the e-world) is the founder.  The coach is important in both cases because the whole enterprise leans on her in the early days, she is responsible for putting together a world-class team, and ultimately, she is responsible for steering that team to victory.

The coach’s road to success starts with recruiting world-class talent. A significant portion of a head coach’s time in cross country and track and field is consumed by recruiting. Competing against the tens of teams for the same top-ranked athletes in each class is a time-consuming and delicate task. The recruits consider factors under the coach’s control, such as culture, teammates, and training regimen, but also some that are not, including financial factors, location, and other teams’ actions. A founder faces a similar environment. Multiple founders that have come in and talked to us at True attest to the fact that a majority of their time during the early stages of their companies is spent recruiting. They also say that when a world-class candidate that is a fit with a founder and her company comes along, make sure to hire that person. Candidates like that do not come along often. Building a world-class team is imperative to that team’s success in both worlds. The other half of the coach’s job comes once that team is assembled.

Running has particularly apt parallels to entrepreneurship when compared to some other sports. It is an individual sport that requires one to focus on oneself and maximize one’s performance in order to best benefit the team. Because of this, it is the coach’s job to nurture each individual team member’s potential in order to maximize the potential of the team. Not all coaches agree with this strategy. There are certain coaches that maintain a strict, controlled, high-intensity training regimen. It is a one-size-fits-all regimen and the thought is that if a team member emerges from this regimen triumphantly, she is ready for battle. If not, then she either has the choice to keep her head down and find a way to beat the training, or find another job. I like to call this the, “throw them in the pot and see who gets out” approach. This difference in philosophies is important to understand because it applies to team members in the startup world. As a job seeker, and an eventual team member, one needs to know under which philosophy one works best.

Team

The team members are the workers on the ground moving enterprises forward. In the running world they are the athletes and in the e-world they are the team members of a company. Again, the individuality of running creates even more parallels to startups than other sports. Especially in the early stages, each individual has to be exceptionally talented. This is because just as in a startup, a track team is small. For example, only the top seven runners score in cross country.  Also, cross country and track programs receive significantly less money than other mainstream sports programs such as football and basketball. These big programs are the major corporations in the same market as startups. Therefore, team members have to have a certain type of personality to work at a startup instead of a big corporation, they have to be excellent in order to maximize resource expenditure, and they have to be self-driven. Runners have an entirely different personality than that of other sports (The runners themselves often say that runners start in the sport after they fail at all of the others. My former teammate Chris Derrick has said so on record. In other words they discover their lack of coordination). This often makes them very devoted to the sport. That devotion must translate into proactive action beyond the attention of coaches, or anyone else, in order to succeed. About 30-40% of all time spent training is with coaches. The rest requires initiative for workouts, second runs of the day, additional core workouts, stretching, recovery time, etc. on your own or with other teammates. Sound familiar startup veterans?

The Men with The Money

The men with the money are the enablers. They technically outrank the coach, but in practice they more hire the coach at the outset, serve as an umbrella with resources to keep the team going, and expect results from the coach. These are athletic directors in the running world and venture capitalists in the e-world. They are often ex-team members and ex-coaches themselves. As a team member, one may meet them once or twice, if at all. The coach does the blocking and tackling between upper level management and the team.

Conclusion

Looking back on these parallels, running could not have been better preparation for the startup world. My experiences in that world gave me the personal tools to succeed as a team member, the exposure to a small team environment, and the understanding of the dynamic between the team member, the coach, and upper management.

Silicon Valley and San Francisco: They’re Buddies, but They’re Not the Same

Hello Everyone,

When I first found out that I would be living and working in San Francisco this summer, I thought, “How cool! I FINALLY get to experience the city!” Implicit in that thought is the separation between San Francisco and the heart of Silicon Valley: Palo Alto. While many think that Silicon Valley stretches all the way to the Golden Gate Bridge, I must say that my experience living and working in SF has proven that is not quite the case.

I will give a little background on my perspective. I am living in a house with classmates from Stanford in Nob Hill, so I have been in downtown SF for pretty much five week straight. I have no car, and rely on public transport, my bike, and my legs to get everywhere. My only prior experience with the West Coast is living at Stanford (for three years now), and prior to that I had only visited California to look at colleges. I have also traveled a fair amount, but never lived downtown in a city. Bethesda, MD is the closest to living in a city that I have ever experienced. I have no family out here. I am an East Coast boy through and through. When I was younger my family spoke of Silicon Valley and San Francisco as this mythical land where people always wear jeans and say, “way cool”.

I admit that I have had three years to warm up to life in Silicon Valley as an undergrad at Stanford, but those first years in Palo Alto just accentuated the difference between Palo Alto and San Francisco. I like to call Palo Alto the West Coast Bethesda. It is a nice, safe, high education-per-capita, bustling suburb that is highly family-oriented (the main avenues of both cities even have almost identical storefronts!). The heads of those families are often the veteran, established players in Silicon Valley. They live and work in Palo Alto amongst the blockbuster names in tech that are largely scattered and hidden in office space up and down University Avenue. For example one day I was walking with a friend and he points to a 2nd floor, unmarked office, and says, “See that there? That’s the new home of Eric Schmidt’s new venture arm!” Due to the high a cost of living with few viable options for low-budget living, it’s a perfect place to reside for the already established, but an almost impossible one for the up-and-coming. For that reason the young people in Palo Alto largely commute in, either from Mountain View, San Francisco, or Stanford. I say “commute” from Stanford because of the “Stanford bubble”. Students openly acknowledge that the bubble exists. It’s a mindset that happens at Stanford where students and faculty get so immersed in their work and life on campus, that everything outside ceases to exist. The bubble keeps things in as well as out. It keeps information out (let’s just say that while at Stanford happenings in the outside world don’t get inside the bubble). It also keeps students in. Students get so immersed in their work and dread the 14-minute bike ride from campus to University Avenue that they rarely venture off campus. Thus to Stanford students, getting out of the bubble and to University Ave is a commute with an implicit understanding that the trip is for a purpose and that they will soon return to their responsibilities inside the bubble. The other reason for this is that everything on University Avenue is so expensive. The exception was Coupa Café, largely because it had the best tasting caffeine and the reputation for the entrepreneur’s place to be, but now that Coupa has three sites on campus, that motivation has disappeared. The motivation now is for the aforementioned world-class companies like IDEO, Palantir, Quora, and others, but again, in that case the student will commute to the Valley for that purpose and then commute back. There is a distinct divide. Palo Alto is a small town with a ton of talent that has been there and done that.

San Francisco is much more of an eclectic ecosystem of different types of people, and businesses. The city is a more hospitable environment for younger up-and-comings. Granted this is all relative, but there are options for cheaper cost-of-living in San Francisco than Palo Alto. This includes commuting in from the East Bay and Oakland on the BART. As with any city there are also more established people, but their experience did not necessarily come from startups. Being a major city, San Francisco is entirely different from Palo Alto in that there are many different industries in SF. The financial district contains huge banks, and there are many major consulting firms downtown. These businesses therefore intermingle and inevitably have more exposure to one another than would be possible in Palo Alto. Proximity is an important factor and whether intentional or not, affects factors like who employees hang out with after work. This can lead to different perspectives than would happen in Palo Alto. For example, I now have dinner with other interns in totally different industries. They work at places like Goldman Sachs, Wells Fargo, Greylock Partners, in the fashion industry, and KRON 4 (a local news station).

For these reasons Palo Alto and San Francisco are hubs for startups, but they are slightly different environments. Founders should be aware of these when deciding between these two locations.

Until Next Time,

Ramsey

Specialize, Specialize, Specialize

Hello Everyone,

Out of the many motifs that have emerged from talks with the amazing people that have spoken to us at TEC, one of the most pertinent is the importance of skill specialization. I’d estimate over 60% of our speakers have stressed the importance of becoming an expert in one particular field in order to successfully work in the startup world. The underlying reason for this is the concept of value added. Value added is how you as an employee move the company forward. Value added answers the question, “How do I, myself, further the company?” An employee who is the “jack of all trades and the master of none” offers the most limited value added to a company compared to any other candidate. Here’s a good test. When asked the question, “So, what do you do?” you better have a definitive answer. That definitive answer does not start with, “Well I can do…”, it starts with “I can get you X.”

Skill specialization is an important concept to think about as a prospective startup employee, a current startup employee, a founder, and a venture capitalist. As a prospective startup employee, it is important to position yourself and pick one field in order to get a job. This also contributes to one’s “personal story” and helps paint a picture as to whom one is and why that person is where she is. In this way, you can distinguish yourself and stand out in a founder’s mind. As one founder who came in talked to us said, you should have a clear story that you can tell about yourself. You answer the question above and get the founder excited about answering that question for the company and moving it forward.

As a current employee, it’s useful to think about this in order to maximize your value added for her company. If she is already at a startup, odds are she is most likely at the point where she has specialized. Not always though. Keeping in mind a person’s specialty helps in two situations. First, it helps those, particularly non-technical, who find themselves doing “a little bit of everything”. At TEC we have had a few speakers that have mentioned this. Each said that while this could work in the beginning, the number of roles diminish as the company expands. In other words, as the company expands and hires more employees to do more things, everyone becomes more specialized. In this way a “jack of all trades” can work herself out of a job. It would be wise to find one or two roles that contribute the most value added. Second, it helps any employee optimize her time, effort, and value added. Occasionally taking a step back and thinking about the best way to utilize one’s skills allows one to best prioritize the tasks at hand, and it also could illuminate unexplored areas to contribute and further the company. In other words, looking for the best way to apply one’s skill and maximize one’s value added is an effective lens through which to look for career guidance.

A founder should appreciate the importance of specialization in order to hire better candidates, more effectively manage employees, and best lead her company. Given the limited resources available to a founder, especially in the beginning, hiring candidates who can sufficiently answer the value added question builds a world-class team while efficiently using those resources. Once the founder has her team, she should also use the value added lens to help keep each individual employee focused and efficient in what he’s doing. Lastly, the founder’s answer to the value added question is important because it significantly contributes to the founder’s vision for the company, especially to those whom the founder pitches her idea.

The venture capitalist should look for a good answer to the value added question from founders just as founders do from employees. This is because the founder ultimately carries the burden of adding the most value to her company to drive it forward. As most, if not all venture capitalists will tell you, the founder is a crucial ingredient to the success of a start-up. The founder’s specialization should be able to keep her company’s momentum moving forward. For these reasons, specialization is a crucial element for an individual’s success in a start-up, and ultimately the start-up’s success itself.

Until next time,

Ramsey

Inside the Cloud

Hello Everyone,

One of the coolest things I have learned so far is about the cloud computing space. Cloud computing is a major part of my experience here in SF because I am spending my TEC internship at an open source cloud computing company called Piston Cloud. The story behind Piston Cloud and its founders is an impressive one.

Cloud computing technology falls into three main categories: IaaS, PaaS, and Saas. The “aaS” part stands for “as a service”. The “I” stands for infrastructure, the “P” stands for platform, and the “S” stands for software. The infrastructure enables the platform to function, which in turn enables the software to function. To use an example, think of an Android phone. The IaaS is the hardware (including the enabling code on the chips, etc.), PaaS is the Android operating system, and SaaS are all of the apps available in Google Play. The two pyramids of cloud computing traditionally represent this structure. The first (labeled below as Figure 1) depicts the layered structure in the Android example, known in the cloud world as the “architecture”. It resembles the food group pyramid with IaaS as the foundation, PaaS in the middle, and SaaS at the top. The second pyramid (labeled below as Figure 2) describes the number of companies in each of the three categories. It has the same three categories in the same three spots, but the pyramid is inverted, meaning that IaaS has the fewest companies, with PaaS in the middle, and SaaS with the most. Think of this as if only a few manufacturers made Android hardware, numerous companies built different app stores for the Android operating system, and then numerous developers and companies built many different apps. Piston Cloud and OpenStack are both IaaS platforms.

The other main characteristic about cloud computing is public vs. private  clouds. According to the technical definition a public cloud is, “a service provider [that] makes resources, such as applications and storage, available to the general public over the Internet.”[1] In other words, a third party owns and manages a cloud and charges a fee for customers to use it. Amazon Web Services, known as AWS, is a major player in this space, as well as Microsoft, Google, and others. Companies often use public clouds for their services because it is expensive and cumbersome to deploy, but public clouds are also less secure and render customers powerless during outages.

A private cloud is one that an individual or company owns, protects behind its firewall, and manages with its IT department. Usually companies have a private cloud to protect valuable information or run services that it cannot afford to fail at ANY time. They also give companies more flexibility and capability with the capabilities of their cloud. Google, Apple, Microsoft, and many other major companies have built its own for this reason. Apple, for example, recently built a $1 billion data center in North Carolina to significantly bolster the capabilities of their cloud. The major player in this space that provides products for companies to build their clouds is VMware. This is also where OpenStack and Piston Cloud fit in.

In July 2010 Rackspace Hosting and NASA first announced OpenStack. They partnered together with the mission of creating a cloud-computing platform that was compliant with all standard hardware. Believe it or not this was not previously the case. With behemoths like VMware, the products they provided often worked only with other VMware products. OpenStack changed this, finally providing a viable alternative IaaS platform to VMware. Piston Cloud contributed its own amazing services on top of OpenStack to create an enterprise-ready IaaS platform that is much easier, more secure, and more open than the competition. That, my friends, is the cloud computing space in a nutshell.

Until next time,

Ramsey


[1] http://searchcloudcomputing.techtarget.com/definition/public-cloud

West Coast Best Coast

I ended last time with a promise to detail my experience of living in the city (that’s what we Stanford folk call San Francisco. Yes, we’re really cool…). San Francisco is a city of quirks, rules, and technology. The last point has gotten quite a bit of press in the past few months. I’ll talk about that below.

Quirks

SF seems like a relatively young city, specifically in terms of its people. While the city does have its historic landmarks and architecture (i.e. the trolley cars, Alcatraz, and many other sites), but I’ve encountered many businesses and coffee shops owned by 20 and 30-somethings. Following that same vein, I’ve observed fewer chains and franchises, and more independently owned and uniquely themed enterprises. The city has tea-only beverage shops, coffee-only shops, unique kinds of coffee, exclusively vegetarian Thai food-themed restaurants, as well as independent car body shops and optometrists. In other words, this is the land of small business. It’s the land of youth, and so it makes sense that it’s the land of opportunity. There are so many small, up-starting niche ideas and products; so many tools, spawning from the needs of many different communities. I have a hypothesis that the comparatively mild and consistent weather enables these small communities to pop up. It creates an environment for gardening communities, exercising communities (think the triathlons listed above, as well as the cycling community. For example, Old La Honda road in Palo Alto where Lance Armstrong was fabled to ride in order to gauge his fitness before the Tour de France, as well as the COUNTLESS cyclists all up and down the peninsula every day), outdoor restaurants, farmers markets, and many others. Unfortunately, the land of opportunity is also the land of rules.

Rules

California is essentially a direct democracy. Like the linked article from The Economist explains, the direct democracy provisions in California law were supposed to protect from the tyranny of the rich in exceptional situations, but instead special interests have exploited and used them routinely. This leads to an inordinate amount of laws favorable to particular and powerful special interests that sound good on paper, but are cumbersome in practice. This first hit me a few weeks ago chatting with a friend at dinner. The same age as I, he was an intern working at a large corporation. Later on in the conversation he mentioned that he was making a lot of money this summer, and the biggest reason for this was that the corporation was paying him by the hour (for the purposes of this blog and his privacy, I will just say over $20 an hour). The kicker, he said, was a clause in the California Labor Code that said every hour over eight hours he works, his employer must double his wage. Sure, he is making overtime pay, but California is unlike most other states, where it defines overtime as either over a 40 hour work week OR 8 hours a day. This is the main reason, he said, why he chose to work in San Francisco instead of another major city. I agree that this law is beneficial to those earning minimum wage, and can see why it passed considering it looks great in fine print, but laws like this also increase complication and financial burden on small businesses. It piles on the risk of an already overwhelmingly risky venture. No wonder companies are gradually moving out of California. Such stifling laws and the process in which they were passed need reform to support the magic that exists here in San Francisco and Silicon Valley.

Tech

That magic and those quirks mentioned above culminate into a supportive community. That community has recently rooted even more firmly in San Francisco with the scarcity of available space in Palo Alto. Being from the east coast, it astounds me that most everyone, even pretty important professionals, is willing to sit down and discuss ideas. The current TEC interns prove this when they reach out to phenomenal people, just like my TEC classmate, Tyler Wilson did just last week when he sat down and talked to Hunter Walk, current director of product management at Google. There is such a tremendous support system here in San Francisco and in the Valley. It might just get us over the hump of those legislative hurdles…

Until next time,

Ramsey


A Summer Made Out Of Clay

Hello Everyone!

My name is Ramsey Chapin (As anyone who sees my name on an official document will inevitably point out, Ramsey’s my middle name. It’s really STEPHEN Ramsey Chapin, but I’m the III, so my grandfather is Stephen, my dad’s Steve, and thus I am Ramsey!). I’m a rising senior (per Kait’s comment about this, “Yikes!!”) at Stanford University studying political science. I’m the oldest of three boys and a former distance runner for Stanford (check out one of my many races during my freshman spring track season). Given the fact that I’m 6’6, I’m the one who people will describe as “that tall guy.” I’m big on tech, food, traveling, meeting new people, and creating new things. I will be living in Nob Hill on Clay St. This summer I will be working at a super awesome company called Piston Cloud. Piston is an enterprise IaaS open source cloud computing company built on OpenStack. In layman’s terms, OpenStack is the Linux for private cloud services, and Piston Cloud builds on top of that to make it even better.
“Political science?!?!?! What are you doing in SF and at True??” you say? Well, I’m from Washington DC and through living and the city I caught the political bug at an early age (I’ve watched the West Wing all the way through four times). The funny thing about politics is it has a major emphasis on communication, messaging, and branding. All of those characteristics translate extremely well to starting a business, particularly marketing and sales. I also have a background in business. That’s what I’m doing at Piston Cloud!

Piston Cloud has an amazingly talented and smart team that has created the enterprise solution to private cloud computing. I work on the marketing team with co-founder and chief strategy officer Gretchen Curtis, and design lead Eric Frank. We’re the ones working on getting out the message! We’re in a particularly unique situation because we are an enterprise solution built on top of a completely open source platform. We therefore provide our own product, Piston Enterprise OS, as well as significantly contribute to the OpenStack community. I am learning a ton both about the technology, the company, the space, and new marketing techniques. That’s what I’m doing here! Next time I’ll talk more about the San Francisco experience after I’ve gotten a couple weeks under my belt.

Until next time,

Ramsey

Also, check out Piston Cloud!