Quick Thoughts Post VMworld
From my perspective, I thought the show was great. We had a lot traffic in our booth, but the traffic was mixed. A good number of clients we have been talking to came by and we had a number of new engagements. All very positive. On the downside we had a lot of visits from incumbent networking companies. I did not know there were so many PLM and technical marketing people assigned to attend VMworld.
I had one interaction with a VP (Bus. Dev / Strategy / Strategic ) from one of the big incumbents. We both said hello. He asked me what Plexxi did. I said we are an SDN startup. He laughed and said we are all SDN now (apparently the Nicira acquisition by VMWare was some sort of conversion event for the networking industry), but what does Plexxi do he asked. I said we are focused on the data center. Okay, but what do you do he asked again. I said we were competitors and I was not going to provide details. He said okay and walked away.
Kind of interesting he did not know what we did when I think you can figure it out in about 15 mins of reading on the web. We were also showing the product in the picture in our booth, which attracted a lot of attention and we had a demo of Affinity networking if you cared enough to take the time. My take away was if someone wanted to know about a company on the show floor like Plexxi, they should do some research before the show and know exactly what to look for and ask about in the Plexxi booth. Having worked in three public companies, two of which we are large tech companies, it reminded me how inward focused many incumbent companies can be; it is as if the outside world does not exist. By the way, the last point about doing the research before the show, goes for candidates interviewing for a position too. If you do not care enough to do the research, how can I believe you will care enough to be on the team.
One final note to a reader of my blog. I was very humbled by a potential client who visited our booth and promptly told our CEO that he reads my blog and recently sent my Some Working Thoughts on SDN post to the IT team at his firm.