I heard something recently, that resonated, about success. In a simple (but not easy) three-step plan; success happens when the following three things align:
- Have a contrarian idea.
- Be proven right.
- Execute massively.
A great example is, of course, Steve Jobs and Apple. The contrarian idea was that every single human would need a personal computer. He was proven right. And he executed expertly (with a few ups and downs obviously!)
“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower.” - Steve Jobs
When we started Cloudsmith, our contrarian idea was that all software artifacts belong in the cloud. It’s the only place to democratize the accessibility of open-source software AND the software you build yourself. Back in 2016, there were some discussions about software bills of materials (SBOMs), package dependencies, and software security; but no one had yet popularised the notion of Software Supply Chain Management (SSCM).
Cloudsmith was one of the first companies to identify SSCM as a burgeoning problem and built a platform (and service) to solve this issue for customers and the wider ecosystem. It was a hard problem to solve.
We have been proved right; SSCM is now an accepted industry-wide discipline.
At the beginning of the year, as co-founder and CEO, I came to the conclusion that we needed a refresh in management. After positive discussions with the Board, we agreed to investigate the possibility of bringing in a strong go-to-market leader, based in our primary market, the US. We had a large list of other criteria but it had to include a history of success in growing startups and serving the software development community.
We got lucky. Again.
Fairly early on in the process, I was introduced to Glenn Weinstein, then the Chief Customer Officer at Twilio. We had an instant rapport, and a fun initial conversation relating his background to Cloudsmith.
About a week later, we scheduled interviews with three “round 2” candidates on the same day. I remember the feeling of relief when I realized the first call was with Glenn. It was an important moment. The feeling was really telling. He instantly jumped to the top of the list.
We spoke to some fantastic candidates all with excellent pedigree but Glenn always and consistently stood out.
He is the real deal.
A Computer Science graduate, a veteran of the US Navy, a co-founder of a startup that grew into a mature exited business, and a customer-focused C-Level executive at one of Silicon Valley’s best tech companies.
It was a dream come true.
When we kicked off the process, Jason at Daversa Partners said if we did everything right, we could get someone hired in about 4 months.
We didn’t do everything right but still managed to do it within 4 months.
Fortune favors the bold. We’ve been bold and fortunate.
Glenn started on August 21st, and it's been an awesome whirlwind for us both. His people skills, his awareness, and his positive attitude have given the team a new growth mindset.
I look forward to many years working closely with him, to build Cloudsmith into the tech juggernaut we know it will be.
So to Glenn, I ask one thing; Go execute massively.
I dare you to do better.
PS: Thank you to the following people for their support and advice throughout this process; Steve, Nicola, Jason, Sarah, Will, Danielle, and last but never least, Lee.