Recently, I had the privilege to attend a World President’s Organization (WPO) breakfast with Meg Whitman, the CEO of HP, one of the largest companies in the world by most measures. She was incredibly personable, authentic and inspiring. I haven’t been able to stop thinking about a few of her insights into leadership and business, and how they apply to what we’re building at ElasticBox.
Most of us know HP is a $110B (yes $110 billion) dollar company. A company in the midst of a 5-year turnaround, which she admits is hard, hard work. While ElasticBox is a fraction of the size of HP, we also work extremely hard to transform our business and that of our customers to deliver innovation.
Technology at the core
“Every company is a technology company,” shared Meg. I couldn’t agree more. At the heart, a company’s competitiveness is its ability to execute on a strategy. Regardless of your industry, you need technology and operational acumen to execute at scale. This ability manifests in many ways, ranging from say a customer-facing application that enables easy ordering, to an internal application that helps employees expense their travel. HP is re-emphasizing engineering and innovation as part of their culture. We do the same at ElasticBox. We emphasize simplicity in our innovation and product, and we value operating at scale, which reflects in our product experience. We were founded by developers who wanted to help other developers deploy and manage their applications in the cloud, faster and more efficiently.
Communication is key
“Communicate and over-communicate,” advised Meg on driving change. She was primarily referring to her work at HP to drive hunger and urgency into the culture. I think this also applies to how we communicate our mission externally. As a growing company, at ElasticBox we need to communicate constantly what we do and why we do it, both internally to our team and also externally to analysts, prospects, customers, and my mother. We love to go deep into our features and technology but often forget the why. Why do we do what we do? I’m convinced that the companies that communicate the “why” are the ones that prevail and prosper. It’s the reason that people join companies, and it’s the real reason customers buy products and services. So here’s the “why” of ElasticBox: we’re passionate about developers and your potential to change the world.
If you’re a developer or in DevOps, I’d love to hear from you.