Hallway Conversations and Peer Reviews – Circa 2014

A question I am often asked by people outside of tech industry is: why do I use Twitter and what is it good for? Most people think that Twitter is good for following athletes, musicians and actors. Now that Google Reader is gone, it has for the most part replaced my RSS reader application. I consume news via Twitter. I actually like that I can choose to tune in or tune out.

Twitter also serves a far more important role. It serves as a communication medium across companies. I communicate with my colleagues who are often at competitive firms. This is the introspective nature of Twitter. I can create a community of peers within my industry. This was a very challenging construct ten years ago. By using the DM function of Twitter, we can have ongoing conversations about the industry, technology, etc. I call this a peer review committee that I can turn on or turn off. What was a random hallway conversation twenty years ago is now possible over geographic distances and corporate walls.

For example, a few weeks ago I received the following via DM “Network Virt is not really catching on. The cloud guys, some telcos and a few of the really big guys in finance. Too much $ I think.” It is no secret that I work at a networking startup and my competitor is primarily Cisco with 75-80% market share. I think many of us in the non-Cisco market share category were hopeful that network virt would disrupt incumbent market share. The thinking was that companies looking to deploy overlays would also look to refresh part of their network and it would put some amount of incumbent market share in play.

I have no idea with netvirt takes off or not, but from my seat I am not counting on it to be a disruptive event that puts incumbent market share in play. From my view, we are going to have to take incumbent share by building a better network.


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