SYS-CON MEDIA Authors: Liz McMillan, Carmen Gonzalez, Zakia Bouachraoui, Roger Strukhoff, David Linthicum

Blog Feed Post

Pirates and Successful Startups-Many Similarities!

“Pirates and startups?” you ask.  ”Colin’s definitely lost it – too much time in ND.”  But wait, read a little bit of this and then tell me what you think.

I love to scuba dive.  And I love history.  Much of the scuba diving I do is in the Caribbean where there’s a rich history of piracy there.  I’m reading a book called, “The Sea Rover’s Practice,” by Benerson Little, a Naval SEAL.  The title’s a good pick because during the time from 1630-1730, often referred to as the “Golden Age of Piracy,” there were many ruffians about – pirates, buccaners, privateers, freebooters, filibusters, crusiders, and corsairs.  And as different as they all were, they had one thing in common.

MAKING IT PERSONAL

Above all, the most significant commonality amongst all sea rovers was the personal, material gain by force of arms upon the sea.  So, despite group predispositions to different countries, navy’s, and such – they all just wanted to get rich.  Sound familiar?  Why do you bust your backside for the ‘this is bestest Twitter client ever man!” startup, working long hours, forsaking relationships and health?  For the ping pong table in the lunchroom?  Methinks not.

CALCULATED RISKS

Most sea rovers chose to take calculated risks in their search for plunder.  Certainly their skill, cunning, and bravery would sometimes allow them to take bigger prizes.  But for speed and agility, most rover’s boats were smaller and carried few guns.  This made them faster and more maneuverable than their targets.  So, if these rovers didn’t have the ships, guns, funding and men that their targets did, how were they so successful?  Images of the NoSQL camp confronting Oracle & MySQL come to mind here.

I’ll TAKE TACTICS FOR $200 ALEX

So, how were these rovers so successful.  Seems it all boils down to a couple very important tactics supporting a goal – $$:

  1. The Surprise Attack
  2. Using a Ruse
  3. Effective Use of Limited Resources/Intelligence
  4. Speed & Mobility
  5. Strategy & Management

If you look at this list and think some don’t apply, remember Facebook and how they provided all of these wonderful capabilities to you for free.  While they were selling all of your data out the back of of the store (Ruse).  Of maybe the fact that you can use GMAIL now to make free voip calls (Surprise).  And there’s always the basecamphq.com guys who run a multi-million dollar business with less than 20 employee (Effective Use of Limited Resources).

Rovers needed the ability to outsmart their targets, they used smaller, faster ships for this purpose – most successful campaigns were conducted via sloops – much smaller than a ship.  But it allowed the gang much greater maneuverability and the option to either pursue or run and hide to fight another day.  Today, in the age of the lean startup, we call that a Pivot (Speed & Mobility).

But the single most important item on the list above, Strategy, really dictated all the others.  Above all else, the rovers had a plan.  And they stuck to it.  There was the ship’s charter – why were they here and where where they going?  Your compliance with the charter was recorded in the ships documents – you had to read and agree to it before joining on.  Rovers had a well defined compensation plan, and the first realization of stock options ever – each crew member, according to their position, was granted a share of the plunder.  Rovers provided insurance, if you were injured during a campaign, you were compensated according to the  seriousness of the injury.  But one thing, and probably the most effective, was that the crew elected their captain.  And if that captain didn’t deliver on the goods, or failed to lead (like out in front with cutlass and pistols blazing), they were replaced.  Sure, the captain might be able to fire a few mates first, shifting the blame.  But in the end the CEO could only fire so many VP of Sales before finally taking responsibility for the failed mission.  Through effective Management, the pursuit of the charter’s goals were pursued relentlessly.

WHAT KIND OF ROVER ARE YOU?

Is your company a band of Pirates?  Are your goals aligned with your shipmates?  Is your startup governed by a charter?  What is your strategy?  And how will you amplify your strengths in the face of larger, more well financed, entrenched competitors?  The rovers knew what to do.  Do you?  Does your captain have the crew’s faith or is a mutiny on the horizon?

AND AS ALWAYS

It’s important to note that many rovers ended life poorer than they began.  And that for all their extraordinary efforts worthy of book and film, that many also were hanged or died in prison.  Maybe there’s even something for venture capitalists to learn from the Golden Age of Piracy.

THANKS FOR READING!

Read the original blog entry...

More Stories By Colin Clark

Colin Clark is the CTO for Cloud Event Processing, Inc. and is widely regarded as a thought leader and pioneer in both Complex Event Processing and its application within Capital Markets.

Follow Colin on Twitter at http:\\twitter.com\EventCloudPro to learn more about cloud based event processing using map/reduce, complex event processing, and event driven pattern matching agents. You can also send topic suggestions or questions to [email protected]

Latest Stories
The platform combines the strengths of Singtel's extensive, intelligent network capabilities with Microsoft's cloud expertise to create a unique solution that sets new standards for IoT applications," said Mr Diomedes Kastanis, Head of IoT at Singtel. "Our solution provides speed, transparency and flexibility, paving the way for a more pervasive use of IoT to accelerate enterprises' digitalisation efforts. AI-powered intelligent connectivity over Microsoft Azure will be the fastest connected pat...
There are many examples of disruption in consumer space – Uber disrupting the cab industry, Airbnb disrupting the hospitality industry and so on; but have you wondered who is disrupting support and operations? AISERA helps make businesses and customers successful by offering consumer-like user experience for support and operations. We have built the world’s first AI-driven IT / HR / Cloud / Customer Support and Operations solution.
ScaleMP is presenting at CloudEXPO 2019, held June 24-26 in Santa Clara, and we’d love to see you there. At the conference, we’ll demonstrate how ScaleMP is solving one of the most vexing challenges for cloud — memory cost and limit of scale — and how our innovative vSMP MemoryONE solution provides affordable larger server memory for the private and public cloud. Please visit us at Booth No. 519 to connect with our experts and learn more about vSMP MemoryONE and how it is already serving some of...
Darktrace is the world's leading AI company for cyber security. Created by mathematicians from the University of Cambridge, Darktrace's Enterprise Immune System is the first non-consumer application of machine learning to work at scale, across all network types, from physical, virtualized, and cloud, through to IoT and industrial control systems. Installed as a self-configuring cyber defense platform, Darktrace continuously learns what is ‘normal' for all devices and users, updating its understa...
Codete accelerates their clients growth through technological expertise and experience. Codite team works with organizations to meet the challenges that digitalization presents. Their clients include digital start-ups as well as established enterprises in the IT industry. To stay competitive in a highly innovative IT industry, strong R&D departments and bold spin-off initiatives is a must. Codete Data Science and Software Architects teams help corporate clients to stay up to date with the mod...
As you know, enterprise IT conversation over the past year have often centered upon the open-source Kubernetes container orchestration system. In fact, Kubernetes has emerged as the key technology -- and even primary platform -- of cloud migrations for a wide variety of organizations. Kubernetes is critical to forward-looking enterprises that continue to push their IT infrastructures toward maximum functionality, scalability, and flexibility. As they do so, IT professionals are also embr...
Platform9, the leader in SaaS-managed hybrid cloud, has announced it will present five sessions at four upcoming industry conferences in June: BCS in London, DevOpsCon in Berlin, HPE Discover and Cloud Computing Expo 2019.
At CloudEXPO Silicon Valley, June 24-26, 2019, Digital Transformation (DX) is a major focus with expanded DevOpsSUMMIT and FinTechEXPO programs within the DXWorldEXPO agenda. Successful transformation requires a laser focus on being data-driven and on using all the tools available that enable transformation if they plan to survive over the long term. A total of 88% of Fortune 500 companies from a generation ago are now out of business. Only 12% still survive. Similar percentages are found throug...
When you're operating multiple services in production, building out forensics tools such as monitoring and observability becomes essential. Unfortunately, it is a real challenge balancing priorities between building new features and tools to help pinpoint root causes. Linkerd provides many of the tools you need to tame the chaos of operating microservices in a cloud native world. Because Linkerd is a transparent proxy that runs alongside your application, there are no code changes required. I...
In his general session at 21st Cloud Expo, Greg Dumas, Calligo’s Vice President and G.M. of US operations, discussed the new Global Data Protection Regulation and how Calligo can help business stay compliant in digitally globalized world. Greg Dumas is Calligo's Vice President and G.M. of US operations. Calligo is an established service provider that provides an innovative platform for trusted cloud solutions. Calligo’s customers are typically most concerned about GDPR compliance, application p...
Modern software design has fundamentally changed how we manage applications, causing many to turn to containers as the new virtual machine for resource management. As container adoption grows beyond stateless applications to stateful workloads, the need for persistent storage is foundational - something customers routinely cite as a top pain point. In his session at @DevOpsSummit at 21st Cloud Expo, Bill Borsari, Head of Systems Engineering at Datera, explored how organizations can reap the bene...
"NetApp's vision is how we help organizations manage data - delivering the right data in the right place, in the right time, to the people who need it, and doing it agnostic to what the platform is," explained Josh Atwell, Developer Advocate for NetApp, in this SYS-CON.tv interview at 20th Cloud Expo, held June 6-8, 2017, at the Javits Center in New York City, NY.
Druva is the global leader in Cloud Data Protection and Management, delivering the industry's first data management-as-a-service solution that aggregates data from endpoints, servers and cloud applications and leverages the public cloud to offer a single pane of glass to enable data protection, governance and intelligence-dramatically increasing the availability and visibility of business critical information, while reducing the risk, cost and complexity of managing and protecting it. Druva's...
Kubernetes as a Container Platform is becoming a de facto for every enterprise. In my interactions with enterprises adopting container platform, I come across common questions: - How does application security work on this platform? What all do I need to secure? - How do I implement security in pipelines? - What about vulnerabilities discovered at a later point in time? - What are newer technologies like Istio Service Mesh bring to table?In this session, I will be addressing these commonly asked ...
BMC has unmatched experience in IT management, supporting 92 of the Forbes Global 100, and earning recognition as an ITSM Gartner Magic Quadrant Leader for five years running. Our solutions offer speed, agility, and efficiency to tackle business challenges in the areas of service management, automation, operations, and the mainframe.