2018 marks the fifth anniversary of The Fabric. When Rajan Raghavan, Prabakar Sundarrajan, and I conceived the structure of The Fabric, we intended to find a way to collaborate with entrepreneurs we respected to co-create new ideas and technologies that we loved, and to work with investors in an innovative way.
Despite some skepticism from our advisors, we reduced our personal fees and used our capital to seed the operations of three to four companies we believed in. We established co-creation as an approach unique to our combined skill sets – identify an entrepreneurial idea in space we know well – the cloud, build world-class teams, bring in customers who could help define an evolving product, and with laser focus grow the company to Series-A and beyond.
For me, it’s the people of The Fabric who share common traits that has made The Fabric co-creation successful:
Insight: Rajan, Prabakar, and all the founders of The Fabric companies have a keen sense of the evolution of technology, as well as a deep understanding of their unique space. They have spent decades understanding the cloud as an unstoppable force, and the need to create technologies that enable cloud adoption.
Intelligence: They are curious, active learners, who listen, actively engage and are always willing to gather more information.
Inclusive: Both Rajan and Prabakar have the ability to engage people in a conversation that fosters a joint vision for a new way of doing things. They are open to feedback, merit-driven, and truly believe that the team drives the vision and customers evolve the product.
Initiative: Good ideas come easy, but making them happen is what creates success. Our team will relentlessly brainstorm, make phone calls, take meetings, structure ideas, re-work platforms, and put in the hours to do what needs to be done.
Inspirational: Great role models have a style that convinces others to join them. I believe our entrepreneurs and the teams in our companies know that we love what we do. Rajan and Prabakar have demonstrated multiple successes, are willing to share their insights, and excited to make others do well. Personally, I want to be part of anything that they are doing.
Iron-willed: Our founders have the resilience and persistence to keep fighting for their vision. They innately know technology and its evolution, and they stay true to their guiding beliefs. We sense when an entrepreneur is passionate about an idea because we get as excited as they do something new and transformational.
Integrity: Rajan, Prabakar, and I will not compromise on standing by our people and doing the right thing for them.
These qualities guide whom we invite into The Fabric family – investors, advisors, company founders, team members, and partners. As we continue to launch new ventures, we are more committed to these principles as the pillars of everything we do.
In 2017, VeloCloud was acquired by VMware and Perspica by Cisco. With the prior acquisition of Appcito by A10 networks, three of the four The Fabric 1 co-created projects generated wealth and opportunity for the founding teams, our investors and the broader Fabric ecosystem. Our overarching themes – software-driven cloud and networking technologies, virtual services and the Internet of things – have only become more important. Projects like Spanugo, Cancun and IoTium continue to progress well.
New ideas around cloud infrastructure, campus networking, and security around the distributed applications as well as the internet of things promise to keep us deeply engaged and challenged to match the success of the last five years.
I am grateful to be part of The Fabric, and confident that we will continue to evolve while staying true to our mission.
Welcome to 2018!