Today we are talking to Joe Kinsella, the CTO of CloudHealth by VMware, and we discuss key takeaways from scaling a company, the entrepreneurial mindset of having the will to make it happen, and establishing a culture of goal setting to get everyone rowing in the same direction.
All of this, right here, right now, on the Modern CTO Podcast!
Joe Kinsella is the CTO and Founder of CloudHealth Technologies. He is an entrepreneur, technologist and executive who’s passionate about Boston, startups, baseball, and all things cloud (not necessarily in that order). He founded CloudHealth in 2012 with the goal of disrupting the growing complexity of cloud computing. His company has rapidly grown into a global leader in public and private cloud management for the enterprise, partners and SMBs.
Joe was previously VP of engineering at the Amazon-backed cloud archiving company Sonian, where he was a pioneer of using the multiple public clouds at scale, and also building one of the earliest Cloud Centers of Excellence (CCoE). He was also a managing director at Dell, where he led global engineering teams delivering multiple SaaS products, and VP of Engineering at SilverBack Technologies (acquired by Dell), where he helped pioneer remote IT management software. He also has the unusual distinction of having been a member of the “first Scrum team”, as a founding member of the Easel Synchronicity team before the advent of the Agile Manifesto. He is an advisor to the University of Massachusetts Boston Entrepreneur Center, a member of the Forbes Technology Council and a 2017 Boston CIO of the Year award winner.
- How did you fall in love with tech? – Apple 2 computer at 11 years old and started hacking on it
- Grew up a big baseball fan and found out he love software as well
- Have to have a drive to push through to learn the craft of software engineering
- Started his own company 6 years ago – Been building CloudHealth technology
- Dealing with the next challenge of cloud computing. Cloud 2.0 moving away from better virtualization –
- Cloud Doctors – Cloud Management company
- Started as a one person business. Worked in the space for a while. Was an early adopter of amazon
- Closed a customer by accident – hit the market at right time with right message and found a CEO to come in in 2012.
- Had around 320 people when acquired by VMware
- Both a part of the Forbes Technology Council
- What are some big takeaways from growing from 0 – 300 people?
- It’s really hard and never feels like the graphs make it appear
- You never feel like you’re as successful as the outside sees you
- Were there struggles with product fit?
- Signal to noise ratio – Pay attention to the issues that matter
- Work closely with the first set of people you bring in. Founding team
- As you scale newer individuals get less time from the core 10 so it becomes harder to spread the culture
- If you had 2 super powers what would they be and why? Flying and shooting webs
- What has the acquisition been like with VMware? Acquisitions are hard to get right
- Scaling interdepartmental relationships – Put in to place a good system of Goal Setting. Rowing in the same direction.
- Muscle memory for shared success
- If you work hard, good outcomes happen
- What are you most excited about? On the tech side, on the cusp of transforming IT management
- Lex by Amazon
- What piece of advice would you give yourself at the beginning of your company? Lucked in to first customer. You need to go find a customer who is what Steven blank calls the early evangelist. Go look for it. When you get rejected, accept it. Admit what you have isn’t as valuable as what you thought. Keep emotional Distance from your Idea. Success is a series of failures.
- Search Early Evangelist on google. See his breakdown of the definition. 4 Steps to the epiphany. Book to search as well. Manage Risk
- Part of being an entrepreneur is you have to Will it to happen. Act of willing yourself to believe that and then convincing the people around you that you can achieve it. Used to wake up in the middle of the night unable to sleep. The weight of obligation. It’s an unnatural act to believe something that you can’t prove to be true
- Staring into the abyss and eating glass.
- The emotional side of starting a company. It’s an emotional grind.