Tuesday, January 07, 2014

Starting a new role at Battery Ventures

Careful what you wish for. Take some side interests and activities that aren't central to your real job, have a bit too much fun with them, mention to a friend that it would be cool to do them for real, and have him convince his company to create a completely new position tailored for you that they've never had before, and haven't heard of anyone else doing. In a week.

Over the last few years I've given a lot of talks, and the industry reaction to Netflix's all-in public cloud strategy has evolved from "It won't work" through "It only works for unicorns like Netflix" to "How do we get there?" My answer to that question is the Netflix Open Source Software (NetflixOSS) platform, consisting of around forty distinct projects shared at netflix.github.com that provides an on-ramp for applications to move to a cloud native architecture.

I have presented aspects of this work to different audiences at public conferences, private events and directly within companies. For developers, I concentrated on explaining the NetflixOSS components, DevOps and continuous delivery patterns. For managers I concentrated on how an open source and cloud native strategy delivers rapid product evolution, scalability and high availability. As interest from individual companies grew it became clear that there was an opportunity to take what I had learned and apply it directly to a wider audience.

In my new role at Battery Ventures I will be continuing my conversations with large enterprise companies planning a move to cloud native, and SaaS vendors who are re-architecting for scale, to understand the gaps and demands of this market. With that context I will work in the Battery Ventures team that is looking for opportunities to fund companies who are enabling the transformation of enterprise IT, and I will also provide advice and mentoring for portfolio companies.

The role is called Technology Fellow. It's different to the short term Entrepreneur in Residence (EIR) position, and is similar to full time investing staff. Battery just raised their tenth fund, and have a total of $900M to invest. My job is to help spend that wisely and get the best return. That also means even more conference presentations, more international coverage, and a broader range of subjects to discuss.

I will no longer explain how Netflix works, so the starting point for my new presentation materials is going to be something like my Flowcon talk with the Netflix specific parts removed. If you still want a Netflix Architecture overview talk, start with @jedberg, he's a very highly rated speaker, and he can also connect you to the many excellent speakers at Netflix that cover their own specific areas.

It¹s going to take me a little while to figure out the new role, but a big part of the job is meeting lots of people. I'm taking bookings for February...

Press Coverage

Press Release by Battery Ventures
The Full Stack blog post by Mike Dauber of Battery Ventures
Business Week story by Ashlee Vance
GigaOm story by Stacy Higginbotham
Reuters story on Yahoo UK
Boston Globe story by Michael Farrell
Wall Street Journal story by Deborah Gage
The Register story by Jack Clark
Venture Beat story by Jordan Novet

About Battery Ventures

Battery invests in cutting-edge, category-defining businesses in markets including software and services, Web infrastructure, e-commerce, digital media and industrial technologies. Founded in 1983, the firm backs companies at stages ranging from seed to buyout and invests globally from offices in Boston, Silicon Valley and Israel. To learn more, visit www.battery.com and follow the firm on Twitter @BatteryVentures.

14 comments:

  1. Congratulations on your now role! I am sure you will help move a lot of great companies and technologies forward.

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  2. Sounds like fun. All the best!

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  3. Congratulations, Adrian. Best of luck in the new role. Let's reconnect once you get your feet under you. -- James

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    1. Definitely, see you at Strata if not before.

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  4. Happy new gig :-).

    "Mission accomplished" at Netflix, it would appear!

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  6. I hope you can apply the principles of your Simian army to investment strategy :-) Excellent news and hearty congratulations. I know this is a role you will enjoy and relish.

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  7. Oh, well done! Looking forward to a great string of excellent companies coming out of Battery.
    Best,
    - Rich

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  8. Congratulations Adrian! All the best in the new role. I look forward to hearing more from you at future conferences.

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  9. Congratulations! You've walked the walk, and I am sure you'll both identify great new ventures, and provide them with the help it takes to make it.

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  10. Congratulations, Adrian. Sounds like an exciting new role. Hope we won't be seeing too much less of you.

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  11. May the wind be always at your back and Good Luck....

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