Copyright M. Leslie 1The Story of VeritasAnd Some Things I Learned…mleslie@leslieventures.com
Copyright: Mark Leslie 2007Veritas…The Journey2$95K  $1.5 Billion12  6,000 employeesStartup  Fortune 1000…In 11 years
VERITAS – A Story of Strategic Transformation 1982 – 1993Hardware to Software OEM business 1982 – 1988: Tolerant Systems...
VERITAS – A Story of Strategic Transformation 1994 – 2000Emergence as the leader in Storage Management Software Revenue: ...
VERITAS – A Story of Strategic Transformation 1994 – 2000Emergence as the leader in Storage Management Software 1997: Acq...
VERITAS – A Story of Strategic Transformation 2001 +Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda… 2001: Hired new CEO Revenue of $1.5 B – gro...
Copyright M. Leslie 8And Some Things I Learned…
Copyright: Mark Leslie 2007Great Businesses Great Product / Great Market / Perfect Time Rich in DEFENSIBLE and SUSTAINAB...
Copyright: Mark Leslie 2007Software is a Great Business Making money in high-tech is all about getting paid for your IP ...
Copyright: Mark Leslie 2007The More Grandiose the Plan,the Less Likely to Succeed Tolerant Systems, Go Computing, General...
Transformation – The Signature ofGreat CompaniesCopyright M. Leslie 12BankruptcyStartupDeclinePeakGrowthtime
Transformation – The Signature ofGreat CompaniesCopyright M. Leslie 13StartuptimeTransformationTransformation
Transformation – The Signature ofGreat Companies (or NOT) Apple Cisco GE HP Intel Microsoft Oracle Sun Microsystem...
Copyright M. Leslie 15And Some Things I Learned About Leadership…
Be a Steward, Not a Proprietor T H E F I R S T P R I N C I P L E of leadership Proprietorship is about “ME”…and what you...
Copyright M. Leslie 17Be Visible, Be Invisible Be Visible There is a large part of leadership which is public (and mostl...
Copyright M. Leslie 18“Glamorous” is the Opposite ofLeadership Don’t get confused -- It is not about “ME” A Leader must ...
Copyright M. Leslie 19If You Are Loyal to One, You AreLoyal to None A leader must be loyal to the mission above all else...
Copyright M. Leslie 20The Further You Are from a Problemthe Less You Know About It Trust those on the front lines – they ...
Copyright M. Leslie 21The Higher Up you Get, the FewerDecisions You Should Make Everyone “offers” you the decision What ...
Copyright M. Leslie 22The More Power You Give Away,the More You Have You empower individuals by giving them Knowledge; ...
Copyright M. Leslie 23Know Thyself We all want to know everything, and be best at everything It is a hallmark of great l...
Copyright M. Leslie 24Trust and You Will Be Trusted The first level of trust is based on the “fair play” that is visiblye...
Copyright M. Leslie 25Listen to Everyone, but Trust yourOwn Judgment Each business is complex and unique There are no fo...
Copyright M. Leslie 26Confront the Issues Directly,But be Thoughtful, Gracious and Caring There are many tough things tha...
Copyright M. Leslie 27The Truth, the Whole Truth, andNothing but the Truth… A key job of leaders is to “Fix Broken Stuff”...
Copyright M. Leslie 28There is Life after Death In the course of events there WILL BE black days…days so black that all y...
Only Those Who Are Both Paranoidand Courageous Will Survive Every Idea has a finite lifetime You never know where and ho...
Copyright M. Leslie 30There is No Finish Line… Building a great company is like building a cathedral Those who start it ...
Copyright M. Leslie 31Values and Culture make itworthwhile We spend more time “at work” than any other single activity in...
Copyright M. Leslie 32We All Have to Make Choices Each time we make a decision, we leave a “road untaken” – we cannever k...
Copyright M. Leslie 33If you want a friend……Buy a dogROXIE
Copyright M. Leslie 34One Final Thought…
Copyright M. Leslie 35it is regret for the things we did notdo that is inconsolable.Sidney J. Harris (1917–86)Regret for t...
Copyright M. Leslie 36The Story of VeritasAnd Some Things I Learned…mleslie@leslieventures.com
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Mark Leslie - Leadership and Veritas

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Mark Leslie - Leadership and Veritas

  1. 1. Copyright M. Leslie 1The Story of VeritasAnd Some Things I Learned…mleslie@leslieventures.com
  2. 2. Copyright: Mark Leslie 2007Veritas…The Journey2$95K  $1.5 Billion12  6,000 employeesStartup  Fortune 1000…In 11 years
  3. 3. VERITAS – A Story of Strategic Transformation 1982 – 1993Hardware to Software OEM business 1982 – 1988: Tolerant Systems $50 M startup in the high availability fault tolerant systems business,(Tandem built with microprocessors and Unix) 1989 – 1993: Tolerant  Veritas the OEM company Revenue $0 – $10 M “Restarted” from Tolerant Systems (200 12 employees) Established industry standard file and disk management software forUnix Novel OEM Business Model Closed 60 OEM agreements and became industry standard IPO in 1993, $64M market cap post money However, the business as constituted would likely top out at~ $50M / Yr…Copyright M. Leslie 4
  4. 4. VERITAS – A Story of Strategic Transformation 1994 – 2000Emergence as the leader in Storage Management Software Revenue: $15 M – $1.2 B Established Strategy for TRANSFORMATION in 1994 Additional System Products to sell to OEMs Build EU products to sell to OEM’s customers and restructure OEMagreements: Reseller (Revenue Center)+ OEM (Cost Center) Acquire Backup Business and Direct Channel Enter NT Market 1995: Acquired High Availability Failover Business (StrategyElement 1)Copyright M. Leslie 5
  5. 5. VERITAS – A Story of Strategic Transformation 1994 – 2000Emergence as the leader in Storage Management Software 1997: Acquired Open Vision Veritas and OV each had trailing revenues of $36M (shed ~ $15M of OVproducts) Acquired Direct and high-end Reseller Channel (Strategy Element 2) Entered Backup / Recovery business (Strategy Element 3) 1999: Acquired Seagate Software and entered NT market (strategyelement 4) 2000: $1.2 B revenue, F 1000 companyCopyright M. Leslie 6
  6. 6. VERITAS – A Story of Strategic Transformation 2001 +Woulda, Coulda, Shoulda… 2001: Hired new CEO Revenue of $1.5 B – growth in revenue and profit in nuclear winter ofbursting tech bubble Next Strategy for company: Acquire VMware (2003) Acquire Red Hat, Jboss, MySQL, etc., to build the complete serverstack to compete with Microsoft Unfortunately…Copyright M. Leslie 7
  7. 7. Copyright M. Leslie 8And Some Things I Learned…
  8. 8. Copyright: Mark Leslie 2007Great Businesses Great Product / Great Market / Perfect Time Rich in DEFENSIBLE and SUSTAINABLE BARRIERS to ENTRY Intellectual property Network Effect Unique business models Other Yields: High growth High market share High gross margins High profits High stock multiples Market consolidation…And the Rich Get Richer9
  9. 9. Copyright: Mark Leslie 2007Software is a Great Business Making money in high-tech is all about getting paid for your IP The better (and more unique) the IP, the more valuable In the hardware business the IP is embodied and delivered in theform of a “machine” The business of making and shipping machines is error prone, whichcan sap the profit from the business In the software business you just deliver the IP – sometimes in theform of bits transmitted over the ether… At Veritas At the extreme delivered a $1.50 CD in exchange for $20 million Raised a total of $20 M including IPO, and ended with > 2.0 B in cash10
  10. 10. Copyright: Mark Leslie 2007The More Grandiose the Plan,the Less Likely to Succeed Tolerant Systems, Go Computing, General Magic, WebVan andZaplet were “grand plans”… and so many others But many of the great companies started out with small goals andvery little capital, and became “overnight successes”…after many years Like HP, Dell, Apple, Oracle, Microsoft, Veritas, Ebay, Google,VMware… and so few others11
  11. 11. Transformation – The Signature ofGreat CompaniesCopyright M. Leslie 12BankruptcyStartupDeclinePeakGrowthtime
  12. 12. Transformation – The Signature ofGreat CompaniesCopyright M. Leslie 13StartuptimeTransformationTransformation
  13. 13. Transformation – The Signature ofGreat Companies (or NOT) Apple Cisco GE HP Intel Microsoft Oracle Sun MicrosystemsCopyright M. Leslie 14 Chrysler Computer Vision Mainframe BUNCHcompanies Digital Equipment /minicomputer companies GM Silicon Graphics Sun Microsystems
  14. 14. Copyright M. Leslie 15And Some Things I Learned About Leadership…
  15. 15. Be a Steward, Not a Proprietor T H E F I R S T P R I N C I P L E of leadership Proprietorship is about “ME”…and what you can do for me today Stewardship is about “US”…and what we can build together for the futureCopyright: Mark Leslie 2007 16
  16. 16. Copyright M. Leslie 17Be Visible, Be Invisible Be Visible There is a large part of leadership which is public (and mostly obvious) MBWA Many and varied public meetings Be exceptionally accessible Be Invisible The real work of leadership is behind the scenes, OFTEN ALONE Leadership is creating an environment where: You attract the best and the brightest people …who can independently apply their intellect judgment and energy …to advance the vision and goals of the organization …and achieve a personal sense of accomplishment in their work It is NOT “management”, which is accomplishing complex tasks throughothers.
  17. 17. Copyright M. Leslie 18“Glamorous” is the Opposite ofLeadership Don’t get confused -- It is not about “ME” A Leader must always think of others and put them first You can be a comrade to your followers, but you can never beone of them When you are doing the “glamorous things”, you are just doingyour job on this teamWarning of Danger:GLAMOUR IS VERY SEDUCTIVE…
  18. 18. Copyright M. Leslie 19If You Are Loyal to One, You AreLoyal to None A leader must be loyal to the mission above all else A leader is responsible for the well being of ALL of hispeople A leader is the keeper of fairness and equity in theorganization
  19. 19. Copyright M. Leslie 20The Further You Are from a Problemthe Less You Know About It Trust those on the front lines – they really do know more than those“back home”. The first line manager knows less about the specifics, and THENEXT manager knows even less. When you get to the top you don’t really know anything aboutanything anymore! You trade situational knowledge for judgment, experience andperspective
  20. 20. Copyright M. Leslie 21The Higher Up you Get, the FewerDecisions You Should Make Everyone “offers” you the decision What is the impact of the decision Have they thought about it? Are they, more or less, in the right quadrant? What is the downside? Allowing others to make decisions has real meaning to them, anddevelops their judgment and maturity
  21. 21. Copyright M. Leslie 22The More Power You Give Away,the More You Have You empower individuals by giving them Knowledge; Authority; and, An acceptable margin of execution error “What I know that you don’t know makes me more powerful thanyou.” A leader has the power to level this playing field!!! And diminish politicization of the organization Empowered individuals will be loyal to the company and loyal to theleadership A loyal empowered workforce is a force multiplier for the leader
  22. 22. Copyright M. Leslie 23Know Thyself We all want to know everything, and be best at everything It is a hallmark of great leaders that they know their own Strengths (the easy part) and Weaknesses (the hard part) Likes Dislikes Augment your weaknesses with other people’s strengths If possible find others to do the things you don’t like Check to see if your self-assessment is shared by others
  23. 23. Copyright M. Leslie 24Trust and You Will Be Trusted The first level of trust is based on the “fair play” that is visiblyexercised Great leadership comes from a deep sense of trust between theleader and the led As a leader, you MUST take the first step, you must trust first! You may occasionally get disappointed, but the payoff is greater thanthe cost
  24. 24. Copyright M. Leslie 25Listen to Everyone, but Trust yourOwn Judgment Each business is complex and unique There are no formulas, fads and gurus with quick and easy answers Be genuinely open, listen constructively and learn Hold your opinions in abeyance while you collect information – this iscounterintuitive to all we have learned. It is very hard to do! At the end of the day, trust your own judgment“If something does not seem to make sense……it most probably isn’t sensible”
  25. 25. Copyright M. Leslie 26Confront the Issues Directly,But be Thoughtful, Gracious and Caring There are many tough things that you need to do Firing one of your executives who is a friend Negotiate hard deal Go after a competitor Reduce your work force But you can do all things with caring and grace Treat each and every person (and company) you meet with dignity andrespect And…, you never know when you will run into them again…
  26. 26. Copyright M. Leslie 27The Truth, the Whole Truth, andNothing but the Truth… A key job of leaders is to “Fix Broken Stuff” If you do not know what is broken, you can’t fix it Everyone wants to tell you what they think you want to hear… … in a way that will make them look good… You must find a way to convince people that you need to know thetruth……and you must always “Honor the Messenger”
  27. 27. Copyright M. Leslie 28There is Life after Death In the course of events there WILL BE black days…days so black that all you will see is despair Everyone will be looking at you! Communicate candidly and directly Be calm and show them a little bit of light at the end of the tunnel, butnot false hope Focus on the things that you can do to make a difference Overcoming adversity together forges teamwork and trust Dark days are “leadership opportunities” When things are great, remind people that there will be dark daysagain
  28. 28. Only Those Who Are Both Paranoidand Courageous Will Survive Every Idea has a finite lifetime You never know where and how the world might change – it’s just amatter of time It is all about Strategic Transformation Do it early rather than late. You may have to put your whole company at risk in order to save it You need the courage to stay the course in spite of many who tell youotherwise It is the critical differentiator – it is what makesGreat Companies GreatCopyright M. Leslie 29
  29. 29. Copyright M. Leslie 30There is No Finish Line… Building a great company is like building a cathedral Those who start it hopefully will not see its completion Each accomplishment is a prelude to the next challenge The IPO is not a “harvest”, simply one step on the longroad
  30. 30. Copyright M. Leslie 31Values and Culture make itworthwhile We spend more time “at work” than any other single activity in our life The outcome of our efforts is not always predictable so the quality ofthe daily experience is important Values and culture define the character of the company Values and culture permit us to do our work with integrity, and toconduct business in a civilized and honest environment Values and culture help the organization to recruit the best, thebrightest, and the principled Values and culture do NOT sap the competitive capability
  31. 31. Copyright M. Leslie 32We All Have to Make Choices Each time we make a decision, we leave a “road untaken” – we cannever know what “could have been…” Success in anything requires: COMMITMENT FOCUS INTENSITY ENDURANCE Whatever success we achieve, we will by definition sacrifice otherdimensions of life’s opportunities
  32. 32. Copyright M. Leslie 33If you want a friend……Buy a dogROXIE
  33. 33. Copyright M. Leslie 34One Final Thought…
  34. 34. Copyright M. Leslie 35it is regret for the things we did notdo that is inconsolable.Sidney J. Harris (1917–86)Regret for the things we did can betempered by time;
  35. 35. Copyright M. Leslie 36The Story of VeritasAnd Some Things I Learned…mleslie@leslieventures.com

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