TAPE SUCKS: Inside Data Domain, A Silicon Valley Growth Story

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9780615484068: TAPE SUCKS: Inside Data Domain, A Silicon Valley Growth Story
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Silicon Valley has been birthing renegade technology companies for the better part of a century, a storied lineage that traces from Stanford’s Fred Terman to the Varian brothers’ Klystron amplifier, from the hallowed garage of Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard to the bold “traitorous eight” who fled Shockley Labs to form Fairchild Semiconductor. These companies, to be sure, broke new science and engineering ground—yet their most lasting legacy may well be their pioneering approach to business itself. They blazed a path that led to Intel, Apple, Oracle, Genentech, Gilead, Sun, Adobe, Cisco, Yahoo, eBay, Google, Salesforce, Facebook, Twitter, and many, many others. What causes a fledgling company to break through and prosper? At the highest level, the blueprint is always the same: An upstart team with outsized ambition somehow possesses an uncanny ability to surpass customer expectations, upend whole industries, and topple incumbents. But how do they do it? If only we could observe the behaviors of such a company from the inside. If only we were granted a first-person perspective at a present-day Silicon Valley startup-cum-blockbuster. What might we learn? This document—the story of Data Domain’s rise from zero to one billion dollars in revenue—is your invitation to find out. For anyone curious about the process of new business formation, Tape Sucks offers a provocative, ripped-from-the-headlines case study. How does a new company bootstrap itself? What role does venture capital play? Why do customers and new recruits take a chance on a risky new player? Frank Slootman, who lived and breathed the Data Domain story for six years, offers up his clear-eyed, “first-person shooter” version of events. You’re with him on the inside as he and his team navigate the tricky waters of launching a high-technology business. You’ll feel—deep in your gut—the looming threat of outside combatants and the array of challenges that make mere survival an accomplishment. You’ll catch a glimpse of an adrenalin-fueled place where victories are visceral, communication wide open, and esprit de corps palpable. The upshot is that the principles of the early entrepreneurs of Silicon Valley are alive and well. Their straightforward ideas include employee-ownership, tolerance for failure, unfettered meritocracy, faith in the power of technology breakthroughs, a preference for handshakes and trust over contracts and lawsuits, pragmatism, egalitarianism, and a belief in the primacy of growth and reinvestment over dividends and outbound profits. Tape Sucks is an honest, informed perspective on technology wave riding. It allows you to observe a high-growth business at close range and get an unvarnished picture of how things really work.

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About the Author:

Frank Slootman served as President and Chief Executive Officer (CEO) from mid-2003 through the acquisition of the company in the summer of 2009. Prior to Data Domain, Frank held executive technology management roles at Borland and Compuware Corporation. A native from The Netherlands, Frank started his career with Burroughs Corporation in Detroit. Today, Frank is the Chief Executive Officer of Service-now.com in San Diego.

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