What are you working on lately?
I spend most of my time at Rackspace thinking about what’s next for the company – lines of business we should be in, where we should go as a company from spending time with customers. SMB customers tend to pull us forward, they are early adopters moreso than bigger companies. One of the unique insights we have is that out of our hundreds of thousands of companies, many are startup in nature. It gives us a first look in terms of where things are going in a macro view.
How did you first meet Jason Seats?
I knew Jason through Slicehost. He was looking for new projects and Techstars Cloud was such a perfect opportunity for him. We have been connected the whole time. He and I work together as mentors on another project, 3 Day Startup, which is geared toward undergrads and grads and based in Austin. As a mentor or a student, you learn on the fly in that program.
This is our inaugural class for Cloud. What’s exciting about cloud infrastructure?
That’s easy. Every generation has a kind of big moment where there’s a shift in the way things are done. Ours is the way computing is being consumed. Now it’s being done over the web and not in some back room. It drives the price down and when things become cheaper, there are more ways to utilize things. It used to be that everyone had to generate their own electricity locally, paying for what you used. With Cloud, instead of digging a theoretical well at your house, you just pay for what you use over the web and as a result everyone is going online in bigger, broader ways. Looking at what our customers at Rackspace are doing, I see something new that amazes me on a daily basis.
At the time of this conversation, Cloud has just begun. Have you met the founders yet?
I met with half of the founders yesterday and it’s a great group of companies. One thing that’s different about this program is that it’s vertically focused so you end up getting companies that are more similiar than they are different. Everyone is somehow related to cloud infrastructure and I think they will collaborate because they’re using the same technologies and it will increase both the quality of mentoring and how they support one another as a class. I’m so excited to watch it unfold.