Next Play – Valtix
In my early days as CEO of Big Switch Networks, I had the opportunity to meet Jeffrey Weiner, the longtime CEO of LinkedIn. Jeff had some great perspective on leadership and company culture. One topic that resonated with me with the concept of Next Play. Next Play is the mantra of Mike Krzyzewski of Duke University, the winningest coach in college basketball history. The premise is simple. That in sports as in life, the most important play you are running is the Next Play. This applies to whether your shot goes in or if you miss. Quickly celebrate the score or learn from the miss, but in both cases get back down the court to the Next Play. I found this particularly insightful in the context of running early and growth stage companies. Things change rapidly and you always need to be focused on what’s next to delight customers or to beat a strong incumbent.
Which leads me to my Next Play. I recently joined Valtix, an emerging network cloud security startup, as CEO. Valtix is an incredible company founded in 2018 by Vishal Jain, Praveen Patnala and Vijay Chander. The founding team is nothing short of exceptional. Over the course of many startups, they have collectively created products that today generate billions (yes with a B) in revenue. Their focus is best in class architecture, thinking differently, and customer first. They focus on solving real world, deeply complex challenges for end users.
So why Valtix? Simply put: team, technology, market, and stage. The founding team’s reputation speaks for itself, and the first cohort of employees is outstanding. They boldly think in terms of platform and not point product. In less than two years, the team was able to GA the Valtix platform on AWS, Azure and GCP, and land paying customers across all three.
The Valtix approach to technology is differentiated and delivers the industry’s first cloud native network security offering. Valtix took what we learned from Google and others regarding the inherent value of the separation of the control and data plane, and married that with a suite of security services (firewall, WAF, DLP, IPS, etc). This is about re-imagining security for a cloud native world, not forcing legacy design into the modern era. We think in terms of VPCs, VNets and transit gateways. We think in terms of scale out, automation and pay as you grow services - and not boxes. Simply put, this provides a comprehensive cloud experience.
A critical part of this is the Valtix 3 Ds: Discover, Deploy, Defend. Discover provides a comprehensive picture of what apps you have, how are they networked and what security controls, if any, are in place. Deploy focuses on a one click platform deployment that integrates seamlessly into your cloud environment. Simple, auto-scale and no maintenance. And finally Defend, a rich suite of security services that provides use cases across egress, ingress, east-west, and PaaS security.
Lastly, I joined Valtix because of the market and stage. It is irrefutable that the cloud has won, that AWS, Azure and GCP are here to stay, and that they are transforming technology as we know it. And of course, security and compliance will play a fundamental part in the cloud journey. This is an opportunity to create and own a category just as companies like Snowflake and Data Dog did before us. Being early is truly exciting as it is an opportunity to create a great culture and a great company.
I am thrilled about the Next Play and look forward to an exciting journey ahead.
Pictured: Doug Murray and Vishal Jain in San Francisco