Why Consider Wasabi?
Really smart and talented individuals are always in demand, but not every company is a good fit for you. The purpose of this letter is to describe Wasabi – our goals, our culture, the kind of company we are – so you can get a better idea of whether this might be the right place for you.
Let me start by describing our goals from a product standpoint so that you can appreciate the magnitude of the opportunity before us. All we do is data storage in the cloud. I shouldn’t say “all” because data storage is one of the greatest opportunities in the IT industry. Along with electricity, bandwidth, and raw computing power, cloud storage is fundamental to nearly everything we do. And it is growing like crazy.
Thanks to the genius of my co-founder Jeff Flowers and his team, we have found a way to do cloud storage faster, cheaper, and more securely than anyone else on the planet. We’re up against some big entrenched competitors like Amazon, Google, and Microsoft who already have billions of dollars of cloud storage business. But they also have hundreds of other products, and they can’t be best at everything. We do the storage part better than any of them. At 80% cheaper and 6x faster than Amazon S3, they can’t even come close. Big competitors don’t scare us. At Carbonite, our last company, we had EMC, Iron Mountain, and HP as entrenched competitors in the consumer backup space. We kicked their butts and they all ended up exiting the business.
Our customers are in industries that have a lot of data and are very sensitive to price and speed: movies and tv, surveillance, astronomy, genomics, medical imaging, scientific research, and media-rich social apps. Since we’re knocking down the price of cloud storage by almost an order of magnitude, I’m sure that among our customers are startups who may be the next Instagram or YouTube, coming up with new and innovative business models that wouldn’t make sense at Amazon’s prices. We can’t even imagine today how things will change as the price of storage continues to plummet. Our goal is to be like the Walmart of cloud storage – always a high-quality product at the lowest price. There’s no point in shopping around, because that’s what our brand stands for.
As a prospective employee, you might want to know a little bit about Jeff and me, because as co-founders we set the tone for the kind of company we are. First of all, this is not our first rodeo. Jeff and I previously co-founded 4 successful companies. Jeff and his hand-picked team builds the product, and I set overall strategy and raise the money we need to successfully launch ourselves. We both have large families and lots of outside interests. My undergraduate training was in music composition and if you google me, you’ll see lots of affiliations with the Boston cultural scene. Jeff has been very active in philanthropic activities as well and is very involved with the Walnut Hill School in Natick – one of the country’s top arts high schools. We believe in modesty and honesty. We don’t like boastful and arrogant people who flaunt their wealth or power. We have an almost upside-down view of organizational hierarchy. Rather than a pyramid with me at the top, I see it more like an upside-down pyramid with me at the bottom. My job is to create an environment in which the people who actually get all the work done can flourish. The engineers writing code, the QA people testing the product, the sales people on the phones, and the marketing people think up our ads, are the people who will make or break Wasabi. Every day I think about what I can do to take away all the friction that’s slowing them down.
We love our work. It’s such a thrill and a privilege to start with nothing and see a real company grow up. When we build a successful company, I feel like an artist must feel when they finish a great painting or piece of sculpture, or like a great baseball team must feel when they win the pennant.
Because we try to choose people who are bristling with ideas and ambition, we don’t have many work rules. Some people prefer working from home because they can get more done. That’s fine with us so long as you really do get more done. Similarly, we don’t have a formal vacation policy. When you need time off, take it. Nobody’s counting. Self-motivated people who love what they do never abuse such policies.
In the early years of any startup, everybody is involved with everything to some extent, so it’s a great educational experience. A lot of people who have worked with Jeff and me over the years have gone on to become successful CEOs or risen to the tops of their professions. I’m still on the boards of some companies founded by former employees. I would bet that among the people working at Wasabi today there will be future CTOs, CMOs, VPs of Sales, and maybe even CEOs. We are willing and anxious to promote people as fast as they can grow. If you’re the kind of person who takes initiative before having to be told to do something, and if you are the kind of person that is always curious to learn and try new things, there are few limits to what you can achieve here.
Someday when Wasabi is a big, successful, and highly admired company, all of us will be able to look back with pride at what we created and how the journey changed our lives.
Dave Friend, CEO