By Dave Hitz
Dave Hitz loves to clear up enjoyable difficulties. He didn’t got down to be a Silicon Valley icon, a enterprise visionary, or perhaps a billionaire. yet he grew to become all 3. It seems that company is a mosaic of fascinating puzzles like coping with chance, constructing and reversing innovations, and looking out into the longer term by way of deconstructing the past.As a founding father of NetApp, an information garage enterprise that all started as an idea scribbled on a placemat and now takes in $4 billion a 12 months, Hitz has obvious his corporation plow through each significant cycle in business—from the Jack-of-All-Trades mentality of a start-up, during the tumultuous interval of the IPO and the dot-com bust, and eventually to a mature company corporation. NetApp is among the fastest-growing computing device businesses ever, and for 6 years in a row it's been on Fortune magazine’s record of most sensible businesses to paintings For. now not undesirable for a highschool dropout who begun his company profession promoting his blood for cash and typing the names of ailments onto index cards.With colourful examples and anecdotes, tips to Castrate a Bull is a narrative for everybody attracted to figuring out company, the explanations why businesses be triumphant and fail, and the way robust classes frequently come from unusual and unforeseen places.Dave Hitz co-founded NetApp in 1992 with James Lau and Michael Malcolm. He served as a programmer, advertising evangelist, technical architect, and vp of engineering. shortly, he's accountable for destiny technique and path for the corporate. sooner than his profession in Silicon Valley, Dave labored as a cowboy, the place he obtained worthy administration event by way of herding, branding, and castrating livestock.
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Extra resources for How to Castrate a Bull: Unexpected Lessons on Risk, Growth, and Success in Business
22 | Beginnings visits your company and wants to see e-mails that your CEO sent five years ago, you had better be able to find them. We have software that makes sure your data has been saved and proves that it hasn’t been tampered with. Or if you have private information that you don’t want anyone else to see, even if they steal it, we have encryption to make it unreadable. Banks use our encryption to protect their customers’ financial data, and the military uses it in Humvees in Iraq to make sure that secrets stay secret.
Two weeks later, the board announced that Dan Warmenhoven would be the new CEO. Dan had been CEO of NET, a telecommunications equipment company. He had started his career as a programmer at IBM and worked his way up through the management ranks there and at Hewlett-Packard. He was an engineer at heart and completely understood what we were trying to do. indd 49 11/12/08 10:00:21 AM 50 | Beginnings Dan was happy to take over, but he also recognized Mike’s skills. Mike had built a product and a company with eight people and very little money.
In retrospect, it seems obvious: stick with what you know—design a product you would buy and use yourself. Even before we raised any money, I started programming on my PC at home. indd 26 11/12/08 10:00:10 AM Starting NetApp | 27 had no way to prove it because our PCs were old and slow. I decided to sneak into Fry’s, the legendary Silicon Valley computer store, to do some performance testing. I created a special floppy disk that would take over a PC, replace Windows with my special software, run some tests, and then display some data about the speed.