Episode

20

Season

2

The Netflix of Data? Clumio, a New Kind of Data Platform

With
Poojan Kumar
Co-founder & CEO at Clumio
Listen this episode on your favorite platform!
Listen in browser!

Podcast Questions

  • The backup-as-a-service and the larger cloud computing market today.
  • Talk about the biggest drivers of cloud spend in the enterprise IT market.
  • Talk about how Clumio makes it easier to leverage agility and scalability of in the cloud.
  • What really separates Clumio from the other SaaS back-up-as-a-service companies today? Hint there aren’t any.
  • Talk about the journey Clumio is on from helping companies secure its on-prem assets (think the red envelope Netflix days shipping out DVDs) to becoming a next generation cloud company (think Netflix Studios) and the journey in between.
  • What advice Poojan has for entrepreneurs, startup founders, and business folks in general about building and thinking with a long-term mindset in business.

Transcript

Joe Toste (00:00):

This episode is sponsored by Nagarro. Nagarro is an 8,000 plus digital product engineering company that excels at solving complex business challenges through agility and innovation. We call it Thinking Breakthroughs. Thinking Breakthroughs is how we've helped industry leaders to embrace digital and accelerate technology-led innovation.

Joe Toste (00:17):

Our clients range from startups to fortune 500 companies like Verizon, Honeywell, Siemens, Lufthansa, Google, Intel, and many more. Our goal isn't just to be another vendor, but a long-term strategic partner. And what really separates us is how we see the changing and evolving world.

Joe Toste (00:33):

The challenges that companies are facing are more unique and complex than ever before, especially with the technology disruption happening across the globe today. And is this technology disruption that our clients look to us to find solutions in a forward-thinking, agile, caring extension of your team kind of way, that can help transform, adapt and build both the now and the future.

Joe Toste (00:57):

At Nagarro we care. Caring is our super power. It drives us to deliver excellence to our clients. It makes us responsible and it makes us better colleagues. It all begins the conversation. You can email me at joe.toste@nagarro.com or message me on LinkedIn. For all information on Nagarro, check out nagarro.com. Let's talk about the possibilities. And now off to you, James.

James (01:27):

Thanks, Joe. And welcome everyone. You're listening to season two of TechTables, a Q&A podcast dedicated to interviewing industry leaders from across the globe, ranging from startups to fortune 500 companies. Mixing it up each week with topics ranging from design and digital product engineering to AI and industry 4.0. Let's do this, Joe.

Joe Toste (01:48):

Thanks, James. I'm super excited as we shift our focus today to all things cloud computing. Special thanks to Poojan Kumar for taking time to come on the show and be with me today. In today's episode, we're going to talk about the backup as a service in the larger cloud computing market. We're going to talk about the biggest drivers of cloud spend in the enterprise IT market.

Joe Toste (02:05):

We're also going to cover how Clumio makes it easier to leverage agility and scalability in the cloud. We're going to talk about what really separates Clumio from the other SaaS backup-as-a-service companies today and there aren't any. We're going to talk about the journey Clumio is on from helping companies secure its on-prem assets. Let's think of this as the red envelope Netflix days shipping out DVDs to becoming a next generation cloud company.

Joe Toste (02:28):

Let's think Netflix studios and the journey in between. What advice Poojan has for entrepreneurs, startup founders, and business folks in general about building and thinking with a long-term mindset in business. But that's quite enough for me. Without further ado I'm thrilled to welcome Poojan Kumar, Founder and CEO at Clumio. Well, welcome to TechTables, Poojan. Super excited for you coming on.

Poojan Kumar (02:51):

Thanks, Joe. Really appreciate the opportunity. Supper excited to do this.

Joe Toste (02:55):

Awesome. Okay. So Clumio, from what I was reading about is, and we talked previously you're describing it as a next generation cloud company, focused on building secure, backup as a service for the enterprise that replaces the complexity of managing data across all clouds.

Joe Toste (03:13):

A great way to think about Clumio as an example, I actually heard it from your CTO, Chadd Kenney, and he used an example of an iPhone and the pictures from his kids last Halloween. I don't know if you saw that video or not, and how he described it, "In order to protect the data, you could back it up to the device," which he was kind of labeling as on-prem, "or you could put it in the cloud," which he referred to as like iCloud or Google photos.

Joe Toste (03:38):

So Chad mentions the huge value in one central place, last year's Halloween photos, the simplicity of getting it to work, the cost basis for capacity that I could store and don't care about the infrastructure. Really great. I don't want to have to manage the infrastructure. And so the simplicity, predictability and security of running it outside of my own house or office.

Joe Toste (04:00):

And I thought that was a really great, simple example from an outsider view to understand and explain Clumio. For the uninitiated like myself and maybe a few other listeners out there, can you describe what's important to understand about the backup as a service and larger cloud computing market today?

Poojan Kumar (04:20):

Yeah, absolutely. I think the Chad example is right on, right? If you think about it, that stuff has already happened in the consumer world, right? How you did backing up your pictures or your memories of your loved ones and stuff like that. How you did it a decade ago is very different than what you do today, right? And thanks to all the services at Google and Facebook and Amazon and stuff like that you're able to do that in the consumer world today.

Poojan Kumar (04:47):

I think something similar fundamentally needs to happen in the enterprise world, right? Because at the end of the day, data is the most important asset any customer, any enterprise has out there. And so protecting the data is one of the most important things that need to happen in the light of user error, failures, ransomware attacks. And there's multiple reasons why you need to protect your data and back it up and stuff like that.

Poojan Kumar (05:14):

And that firstly, I guess, what needs to stop is this whole thing around, "I have to do it the way I did it a decade ago." Right? You don't do that for your own personal assets and pictures, similarly for an enterprise assets you need to essentially consume a service that does it for you, right?

Poojan Kumar (05:35):

So that basically was the genesis of Clumio essentially to go out there and say, "Whether or not data resides on-premises, or more and more data itself is dispersed today." Data itself is sitting in the public cloud and applications built on the cloud. Data is sitting in other SaaS services, like your email data is sitting with Microsoft 365, your CRM data sitting with Salesforce and so all your data is sitting with SaaS services also out there.

Poojan Kumar (06:02):

So basically build a service that goes across all of your data sources and essentially backs up all of your data. So it's data in a single place, compliant, secure, all of those things. And really you get out from the business of doing it yourself and really it's basically uploaded like you upload other things like email and stuff like that, right?

Poojan Kumar (06:26):

So that is the fundamental reason behind Clumio. To take a step further in that same example, if you look at what happens today with Google Photos, for instance. You back it up, and then you're able to go on your app and search and you can say search, if you need to tag people, or you can search for a dog for instance.

Poojan Kumar (06:43):

You want to show a picture of your dog to somebody and you just type, dog. And it shows all the pictures that has dogs in it very effectively. And obviously you can show the picture of your dog. I think that kind of stuff is possible because they build the service in the cloud and you gave your pictures to them so that you can be able to classify it.

Poojan Kumar (06:59):

That something similar is now the next level of evolution where not only you want to back up the data, you want to derive value out of that for the end customer. And that's only possible in the cloud because of all the computing available in the cloud. So that's the next frontier at some level for us. We want to go and build applications on top of this data that derive value on it longer term.

Joe Toste (07:21):

That's really great. We're, in a couple of questions in the future... There's a great post by Josh Klein. I'm not going to get to it quite yet, but he talked about Netflix and Clumio and that was a really great. That was a really great example of the evolution that Netflix has taken to the evolution that Clumio is on to.

Joe Toste (07:38):

You did mention something that was really, really good just a minute ago. And you were talking about deriving value from the data. Data is the most important asset. And I was just talking to Bill Schmarzo, who's the Chief Data Officer at Hitachi Vantara yesterday when I was recording his podcast episode. And it was interesting because he was describing, you have the data but unless you actually leverage and derive value from the data, it's just a cost. It's a liability.

Joe Toste (08:07):

And so if you're not actually deriving value from the data, it's really just a liability for you. Obviously Clumio helps protect that data, so it doesn't become that big of a liability, but I love that deriving the value, the Google Photos, the dog. I type in daughter and a photo surfaced. That's the type of classification and intelligence that I can picture in the backup market.

Joe Toste (08:33):

And so one of the next questions I have for you is on our prep call, you had mentioned the cloud computing market, and I just follow it from the Wall Street Journal perspective. But I kind of really dived in a little bit, and I know you know this, but I was looking at AWS, Azure, Google Cloud. AWS's revenue 10.8 billion for Q2 of 2020 compared to 8.3 billion in Q2 of 2019.

Joe Toste (08:59):

AWS revenue grew 29% this quarter. And while Amazon breaks out AWS revenue, Microsoft only reports Azure's growth rate, which you mentioned. A really great insight, and that number was 47% revenue growth over the previous quarter. And this time last year growth was reported at 64%.

Joe Toste (09:17):

Azure is under the intelligent cloud business, which grew 17% to 13.4 billion. I know. Audience bear with me. I'm going to circle this around. Alphabet broke out the revenue for its cloud business. This quarter, Google Cloud, which includes Google compute engine and G Suite generated 3 billion revenue growth of 43% year over year.

Joe Toste (09:39):

And as I started to look at this market and the market breakdown, I think it's maybe at 30 billion or so. The top four providers account for, I think it's 63% of the cloud spend. And I started to realize the huge potential for Clumio. This is kind of the aha moment because I started to look around and go, "Only 30 billion."

Joe Toste (09:59):

And so I know it might've been a little bit boring as I'm reciting the statistics, but when I looked at the top four providers, and I think you started to kind of exude this on our podcast intro call, but only 30 billion. I mean, I'm going crazy right now. I mean, Clumio is going to grow like a rocket ship and there's just a huge market available. So I was curious, what are the biggest drivers of cloud spend in the enterprise IT market, especially in this post-COVID world?

Poojan Kumar (10:31):

Yeah. So if you look fundamentally for the last 30, 40, 50 years, the only choice enterprises had is to essentially go and build data centers and buy a bunch of software, hardware, and all of that, and kind of put all of these things together, right? So it took time and energy. And obviously there's been a lot of simplification that has happened over the years like virtualization of VMware helps simplify.

Poojan Kumar (10:56):

Before VMware to get a server it would take you two months and now you get a virtual server in two minutes, right? So that was the big aha moment with VM-ware 20 years ago, right? Obviously. The big driver at the end of the day, and even let's start with the pre-COVID world, because obviously all of this started happening in the pre-COVID world. It's only getting accelerated in the post-COVID world.

Poojan Kumar (11:15):

But even the pre-COVID world, at the end of the day, the biggest differentiator you have as any company out there, no matter what you're doing is your ability and agility to go and build more and more technology faster, right? So that you can essentially simplify lives for your customers or whoever it might be, right?

Poojan Kumar (11:34):

And that agility is fundamentally what cloud makes happen, right? No longer do you need to assemble stuff, you only worry about building data centers and managing it all. All that stuff is being done by the public clouds of the world, right? They're laying out infrastructure around the globe, right?

Poojan Kumar (11:51):

You can become a global company overnight if you choose to. But before that, you're going to have to do a lot of heavy lifting yourself, right? And just consuming services in the cloud, right? You want a database, you go and use RDS. You want a queue service, you can use SQS. I'm just talking in AWS parlance, but same thing applies for Azure and GCP.

Poojan Kumar (12:11):

So the idea of going and building an application becomes very, very simple. Of course you'll still write the code for the application, but you can basically use all of these things and it might be that all of these things can scale also. As application and users grow it can scale.

Poojan Kumar (12:24):

So more and more that agility and the speed of execution and your differentiation can be very different as you start using cloud. So that has been the driver for cloud consumption. And this is pre-COVID. Post-COVID has only accelerated all of this because again it's like people don't have access to go physically in data centers, everybody is remote, right?

Poojan Kumar (12:46):

And so just being able to spin up stuff in the cloud is so much easier and faster than kind of figuring out and doing it yourself, right? And then the stacking hardware is not a option for most people anymore. And going to a data center is hard and then so on and so forth. And so you're going to see a much more acceleration on the cloud.

Poojan Kumar (13:02):

It's already happening. I think it's going to happen much, much faster. And it makes a ton of logical sense. It's one of those things where it's like after I give you, quote unquote, an iPhone. You're not going to go back to the phone you used 15 years ago, pre-iPhone, right? You just won't, right? You just can't, right?

Poojan Kumar (13:18):

Same thing. Once you start using the cloud, it's like a drug. It's a good drug in the way that once you start using it, there's no going back. It is so much easier, so much better, so much faster, right? You'll basically go there.

Joe Toste (13:32):

Yeah. No, that's really great. I was curious, do you think that, in this post-COVID world we've kind of crossed the Rubricon where we're not going back and we're only... The world has fundamentally had this shift and it's permanent. As in the world is permanently changed or do you think there's going to be a de-acceleration at all?

Poojan Kumar (13:58):

No, not at all. If at all, I think at least on the cloud side, acceleration is already happening. Amazon was growing. AWS specifically was growing 35, 40% year over year. Pretty large numbers, right? They're not small numbers, right?

Joe Toste (14:12):

Yeah.

Poojan Kumar (14:12):

And I believe that was fundamentally happening because of more and more people realizing that to maintain their competitive edge they have to embrace it. No, it was not cheap. So the cost always became a reason. Compliance became a reason. In our case, we are enabling data protection and backups on the cloud. So more and more vendors like us also that are building on the cloud are removing those roadblocks, right?

Poojan Kumar (14:36):

The more people are going, the more they're hitting road blocks, the more innovation is coming in in the cloud. All the innovation is in the cloud right now. You're going to be hard pressed to find a company that's trying to innovate in the on-premises world, right? In the data center world, so to speak, right?

Poojan Kumar (14:51):

So all the innovation is there. And so now customers and all the SaaS services are there. So more and more I think all of this is helping accelerate the move to the cloud because you're now more and more just removing roadblocks for the end customer. Because again, it's a big move for a lot of them, right? Especially as they're trying to move some legacy application, it takes a lot to move in the cloud.

Poojan Kumar (15:11):

New application building is one thing, but moving what hasn't been done in for 10, 20, 30, 40 years for you is not going to be straightforward. The more you can kind of remove roadblocks, some of the cloud vendors will remove and some platform companies like Clumio and Snowflake and all of that will go in essentially remove on the public cloud.

Joe Toste (15:31):

Yeah. That's really great. So to pick up on the big trend in enterprise IT, I think one is, Agile comes to mind. You've kind of hinted on it, not just in the sense of project management, because in the IT world you can have that project management, but more mindset, which we've kind of been touching upon, so it's perfect transition.

Joe Toste (15:49):

So, you have the traditional storage models, which are really the antithesis to Agile IT. You don't want to have a bunch of racks and legacy storage stuff everywhere and you're trying to move fast at the same time.

Joe Toste (16:02):

And as I was thinking about that, I was curious about how Clumio really makes it easier for the end consumer by allowing them to leverage the agility and scalability on the cloud. I know you've touched upon it briefly, but I wonder if you could dive a little bit deeper on the agility and scalability in the cloud piece.

Poojan Kumar (16:21):

Firstly look at us, right? The fact that we are fundamentally built in the cloud allows us to be really scalable and performant. Zoom is a good example. We are on Zoom right now. Guess what? Zoom was built on the public cloud and that made them agile, and so essentially suddenly when their demand grew and it's growing as we speak, right?

Poojan Kumar (16:45):

They had their earnings call yesterday and their stock went up 40%. And because the demand is over the roof right now, but guess what enabled them to kind of service the demand. That's what I'm talking about, right? When we, as Clumio or any such platform and any new generation platform today in the enterprise world is built on the public cloud, right? You name it.

Poojan Kumar (17:06):

You look around. Any innovative company out there is built in the public cloud. And what it gives them is, not only does it give them the ability to essentially be on the cutting edge of technology and essentially build things faster, it gives them the ability to scale, right?

Poojan Kumar (17:22):

So, today I can onboard a big enterprise customer. In fact, we literally onboarded one in a couple of days ago, and guess what? We didn't notice it, right? They didn't notice it, we didn't notice it. The platform obviously is built right, scales in the backend and it scales on the heels of innovation that obviously the cloud vendors have done over the last decade or more, right?

Poojan Kumar (17:45):

And so that is what I'm talking about, right? So essentially you can get 1000 customers on the platform tomorrow, and guess what, we'll be able to scale. We'll be able to make it happen. You could not do that 20 years ago, or again, not that you had a lot of this going on 20 years ago. But when Salesforce started 20 years ago, it was a SaaS company building SaaS on top of its own data center.

Poojan Kumar (18:10):

You could not give it 10,000 customers in one day and then they would scale, right? They would obviously have some serious issues that happened, right? So the thing is that is what is happening. And now think of this thing that is happening across multiple companies. Many companies are doing this.

Poojan Kumar (18:27):

There's a reason Amazons of the world, AWSs of the word, add amount of computing capacity that multiple companies do in a year. They add that stuff in a day, right? There're statistics around this. And that enables you to essentially go and scale and service the demand for the customer.

Poojan Kumar (18:45):

So that is where it's important as an enterprise company, if you're investing in technology today, it's important to invest in technology that is future proof and forward-looking, that's built in the cloud for the cloud. And that's the only way as you scale, you're going to be leveraging something that scales behind the scenes.

Joe Toste (19:05):

That's really great. So you just gave the perfect segue when you started talking about Salesforce and 20 years ago. So I wasn't in diapers. I think I was maybe 10 or 11, but I was reading the history. And so in the SaaS world, let's call it gen one, gen two gen three. Let's break this down.

Joe Toste (19:23):

Gen one, being Salesforce NetSuite. And then we have a gen two Dropbox and Desk, and then gen three, we'll call it Stripe, Twilio, Clumio. With the next generation. I kind of wanted to put you in this gen four that doesn't really exist yet, but I'm going to put you in the gen four. And the reason why I was calling it gen four is because... So gen three, we have Stripe, Twilio.

Joe Toste (19:42):

Twilio is that platform supply chain SaaS. But as we dive into the Netflix example pretty soon Clumio is really evolving. And I don't want to give it away, but really evolving to that data platform that we've been talking about. So I was curious, before we jump into the next question, what really separates Clumio from the other SaaS backup-as-a-service companies today?

Poojan Kumar (20:06):

Yeah. Actually SaaS backup as a service as a category at some level is something that we are creating effectively, right? Because if you look at any of the previous generation companies, these are companies that were essentially born in the data center world, because guess what? I think 10 years ago, people only worried about the data center, if at all, right? There was no... You know what? Amazon AWS launched with the first rudimentary service around S3 and a couple other things in 2007.

Poojan Kumar (20:34):

It was very rudimentary back then, right? So it's not really old stuff. It's 12 to 13 years old right now. AWS is 12 to 13 years old, right? And Azure is even younger than GCP. Google Cloud is even younger. Sure they had some technologies that they leveraged from the consumer side, but as cloud vendors, they're pretty young, right?

Poojan Kumar (20:52):

And so if you essentially look at that, 10 years ago, all the companies that have been built in the last eight to 10 years that are supposedly the giants of today and the leaders of today are all legacy stuff, because they're only focused on the data center workloads. Whereas now the world is moving to the cloud, right? And even faster in the post-COVID era.

Poojan Kumar (21:12):

So we are the first real enterprise platform company that's going after multiple use cases cloud with a single platform view and saying, "Okay, whether your data is sitting in SaaS or public cloud, or for that matter, whatever is remaining on on-premises, we'll give you the single platform experience to back it all up."

Poojan Kumar (21:35):

And that's what a CIO wants to hear because there's one single pane of glass, one platform, and one place where I know I can land all of my data. Obviously we have some work to do to get all of the data, but essentially that's the vision. And we are the only ones that is delivering this as a true service offering, built natively in the cloud and doing it across all use cases, right?

Poojan Kumar (21:55):

So it's a category that or things that you're going to see other people try to go and emulate over the next few years, but that's where the world is going. So anybody who wants to stay relevant longer term in this space basically has to do this. And I don't see legacy vendors being able to adapt to it. So typically what happens is...

Poojan Kumar (22:16):

Innovation in Silicon Valley happens in startups and the startups either grow and become large companies. Or if the company does not have the ambition to do so, they get acquired by a bigger company and the bigger company gets the technology and is able to essentially maybe, if they execute well, evolve, right? So that's how it'll all play out over the next decade or more.

Joe Toste (22:37):

Love that. Creating a brand new category.

Poojan Kumar (22:41):

Yeah, absolutely. Yeah.

Joe Toste (22:42):

So I was scrolling through, saw this LinkedIn post, it was a fantastic write-up from the beautiful mind of Josh Klein, drawing the parallels to Netflix. We are just getting started. And it was such a great, simple post. I'll link to it in the show notes for those who are listening. And I'll be honest, we had our podcast intro call. I listened to what you said. And I walked away basically thinking to myself, "I don't really understand Clumio right now."

Joe Toste (23:12):

I was like, "I've got to do some more research." Right off I was like, "I just don't understand it." And then I was listening to one of my favorite podcasts right now is Invest Like the Best by Patrick O'Shaughnessy. I don't know if you've listened to that podcast at all.

Poojan Kumar (23:25):

No.

Joe Toste (23:25):

Okay. It's [crosstalk 00:23:26] He was interviewing Jeff Lawson, the Founder and CEO of Twilio. And what I realized on the interview was he said that Twilio represents the supply chain of communication much like how GM and Ford would have supply chains there. And this was the aha moment that just hit me over the head when I started thinking about this. And then immediately I was like... Then I started looking is Clumio public? It's not.

Joe Toste (23:52):

And after I realized that, I realized that Clumio is in the very early stages of building a data platform and it wasn't until it hit me with that, that I really started to realize that Clumio represents the entire supply chain of backup. This category that you're creating, you are creating literally the supply chain for all of these other enterprise companies out there who are going to need your services. So future investor I'm paying attention.

Joe Toste (24:20):

So very simply Clumio is attacking the use cases of today. The red envelopes at Netflix, protecting those on-prem assets. Netflix is streaming platform, which is the emerging markets and organizations that are moving to the public cloud and SaaS, and then the Clumio data platform, which is Netflix Studios. And this is the platform playing next-generation cloud that you've been talking about.

Joe Toste (24:43):

So this is what really got me excited about Clumio. Once I finally, between the podcast episode with Jeff Lawson and then reading this Netflix analogy I thought just the lights went off in my head. Could you dive deeper on the Netflix analogy? I'd love to hear it from yourself?

Poojan Kumar (24:58):

Yeah. No, absolutely. I think obviously it's all credit to Josh for thinking about that example, but it's very fantastically put, especially from my analogy perspective, right? It's like this... I think anytime you get into a very big established market, this is what, say, Netflix was trying to do from DVDs and movie rental market so to speak, I think you have to take the customer on a journey, right?

Poojan Kumar (25:24):

It's not always possible. There's examples of that too, there's rare examples, but generally speaking if you can take the customer on a journey and really go and meet the customer and help the customer on where they are today, right? You start there and then take them on a journey in terms of where they want to be, right?

Poojan Kumar (25:42):

And then obviously go surprise them with the equivalent of the studios and content and really show them what else they could get and free ourselves from some of the limitations, right? I think that's what Netflix is doing. It was all about going and simplifying.

Poojan Kumar (25:59):

Everybody was going and going and renting these DVDs from your blockbusters and Hollywood's and stuff like that for the folks who have been around like I am. And then they kind of simplified that and really focused on that market initially with their vision ultimately being to get into streaming.

Poojan Kumar (26:17):

But as customers themselves, as broadband starts happening and their own technology started maturing back and behind the scenes so that they would essentially do that, they took them on a journey and started taking them into streaming and ultimately when they arrived there it's like, "Okay, let's not limit you with the content that Hollywood gives you." Really get in the content game and unleash the whole power of the platform with their original content.

Poojan Kumar (26:41):

I think something similar applies to us. When we started the company, it was customers sitting on-prem. They want to go to the cloud, right? We're like, "Okay, let's meet you where you are today and take some of your infrastructure that you don't want to keep managing in terms of data backup and really move it to the cloud.

Poojan Kumar (26:57):

Let's start that journey. Let's start taking that into the cloud." And as you move to the cloud and the only customers who will be interested in this are customers who are looking to move the cloud. If you cannot move to the cloud, that's fine. I'll come back to it.

Poojan Kumar (27:10):

It's like the person who still wants to stick to the cable provider today or whatever, right? That's fine. Netflix will get to them eventually. It's all good, right? When you go after those early adopters and innovators that essentially want to move the cloud, we'd meet them where they are and take them through this journey. So that's what we did, right?

Poojan Kumar (27:28):

We started off with the equivalent of the envelope stuff and meeting the customer and started backing up their on-premises workloads, right? And then as we started moving to the cloud, it's like, "Okay, now let me protect your cloud assets and SaaS assets, because they are reducing the on-prem footprint and really going into cloud and SaaS. That's what the footprint is growing."

Poojan Kumar (27:48):

And that basically became equivalent of saying, "Okay, that's a streaming solution. This is the permanent home where you ultimately want to be for the next foreseeable future, 20, 30, 40 years or more. And that's where I'm going to essentially help you also and protect the assets there." So that became our streaming platform, which again, requires more and more technology to be built.

Poojan Kumar (28:11):

We're not completely there. We're going to keep building that over the next five, 10 years, right? So that whole platform has to evolve and scale. What Netflix is today is not where it was when they started streaming, for instance. 10 years ago. There's a lot of technology involved.

Poojan Kumar (28:25):

And then comes the whole thing around as you're protecting all of that data and you have that platform that you're using in the cloud. Let me now show you what else can be done in the cloud because cloud unleashes a lot more potential because of the computing available in the cloud and services available in the cloud. And now I can essentially go and build those applications in the public cloud to get more value out of the data.

Poojan Kumar (28:51):

It could be analytics use cases. It could be security, ransomware, you name it, right? More visibility use cases across your entire data set, which was not possible when I was giving you the DVD, so to speak, right? So I couldn't put it on a DVD, but I can actually stream your content in your home, right?

Poojan Kumar (29:10):

And that's essentially where we go with this as we kind of mature our own equivalent of a streaming platforms. So it's a perfect analogy and that's the journey, but ultimately it's about this journey that you need to take the customer into, right? You can't just... There's no shortcuts. There's no shortcuts.

Joe Toste (29:30):

Yeah. I love that. I love the customer journey. How you describe it. When I was a kid, and I'm referring to myself as 18. The day I turned 18, I got the blockbuster card, right? [crosstalk 00:29:40] You had to be 18 to actually rent a DVD. And so I'd go in there, get the DVD and then over time Redbox appeared and they didn't really catch on.

Poojan Kumar (29:51):

[crosstalk 00:29:51] They're still there.

Joe Toste (29:52):

It's still inside the Albertsons near my house, which I'm just shocked. Now, Netflix was around and Netflix was doing, and I loved this meeting with where they are. And so they have this whole distribution system set up for mailing DVDs. And I personally didn't really get into the mail DVDs. I was like, "Oh, I just love my blockbuster card."

Joe Toste (30:11):

But the moment that they started to make that transition to streaming, I was like, "Oh, I've given up the DVD. I'm not going to blockbuster anymore." And you start to have... Well, the competition is dying, and in this case the blockbuster is dead. But meeting them where they are so powerful and taking them along the journey and as they evolve and as your platform evolves, it's going to benefit everyone.

Joe Toste (30:38):

So it's just a huge win-win and keeping in mind, and it's easy, right? So now it's 2020, we're almost on 2021 at the rate this year is going and it didn't happen overnight. And it's so easy to think like, "Man, I can stream on four different devices. I've got this cool wifi, I don't even know what they call it in my house, but it's surround sound wifi and I've got Disney Plus, I've all these streaming devices." But it didn't happen overnight, right?

Joe Toste (31:07):

It was just slowly building, building, building, which is really great, and I just... See that's exactly what Clumio is doing. And as I was starting to put it together, I can start to kind of extrapolate, "Oh, what does the next 10 years look like?" And now I'm thinking, "Oh man, when this company goes public, I'm going to have my eye on it."

Poojan Kumar (31:25):

Honestly the journey also is not binary, right? If you look at it there was a time when a new movie came out and maybe the only choice we all had is we had to go and rent a DVD for it or get it from Netflix or rent it from somewhere else, because that content was not really available for streaming for [inaudible 00:31:41] amount of time. Even when the DVD was out and things like that, right?

Poojan Kumar (31:45):

So there was this hybrid mode we were all in for some time. I think that something similar is this true for enterprise customers, if not more true, right? Because there're application, there're business has to run. So they're going to remain in this hybrid mode for some time. But again, as we've all discussed it, central gravity is moving towards the cloud if at all it went faster than it would before.

Poojan Kumar (32:04):

But guess what? There is that hybrid mode and everybody's stuck. And we are in that and depending on the customer, some guys are completely on streaming, some are completely still on the DVD, but most of them are in this hybrid mode. So it's more important to kind of be a partner in this journey because you have to kind of solve the problem that the customer has.

Joe Toste (32:25):

Yeah, that's really great. And I think just to wrap up, meeting with the customer where they are with the hybrid model, Disney, great example, cannot release a movie to the theater right now, especially in California. All theaters are shut down and they're going to release Mulan I think next week or something, or this week.

Joe Toste (32:43):

I don't know what week it is, but they're going to release it on Disney Plus. And they're going to charge you $30 and I'm going to pay $30 for my daughter. And it's that hybrid model. And you're going to have to be a little bit flexible and adjust to the environment and how the world's currently operating.

Poojan Kumar (32:59):

Yeah. Absolutely.

Joe Toste (33:01):

So an important note that I picked up on our pre-podcast conversation was building for the long-term. And that's some advice that I've heard from some bosses and mentors. And I really liked that. And so I was curious, what advice do you have for entrepreneurs, startup founders, business folks in general about building and thinking with a long-term mindset?

Poojan Kumar (33:25):

Yeah. I think my advice would primarily obviously apply to people building enterprise companies. Consumer world works a little different, I would say, right? But what I'll say is I think the key thing is that remember whatever you're thinking about today, and if you're lucky that you end up building or the next two, three, four years, I think it has to be relevant, right?

Poojan Kumar (33:48):

You have to be looking around the corners a little bit and basically say, "Where is the world going to be in the next five years?" Because what you're thinking about today, by the time it becomes ready where is the world going to be because that's when you're able to scale and scale your business and really sell your product and the adoption of the product and then all of that.

Poojan Kumar (34:07):

So you almost have to be ahead of the game. You can't be looking at what's happening right now, or what has happened yesterday and think about building at least a long-standing venture. The goal is to build a company and sell it and move on. That's a whole different thing. But if you really want to build something longstanding, you have to almost take the chance and predict and think of the unthinkable today, at least, and really build for that.

Poojan Kumar (34:33):

And then if you're right, obviously, most likely you will be wrong and that's why more startups fail than succeed. [inaudible 00:34:39] nobody hears about the failures, but obviously everybody talks about the successes, but the reality is that all of the entrepreneurs start a company with that mindset. And a lot of them fail, but the ones who succeed, succeed in a big way.

Poojan Kumar (34:50):

And that's because they've essentially started off with a long-term vision and almost imagining the unthinkable and trying to solve problems that don't look possible because if it was easy, everybody will do it. So it almost has to look like something that can be done. And then you have to figure out a way to get it done.

Joe Toste (35:08):

I really like that. And so this is... I should want to follow up with that. That has to do with success probability. And I was curious, how as an entrepreneur should you think about the difference between luck and skill? I'd love to hear your thoughts on this.

Poojan Kumar (35:23):

See, as an entrepreneur, there's multiple reasons why people do companies, right? Some people do it to become famous, right? Some people do it to change the world. Some people do it to make a lot of money, right? It turns out, to achieve any one of them you would achieve the other two generally speaking, right? And you have to figure out what you are in for, right?

Poojan Kumar (35:46):

And ultimately figure out a way to achieve all three because to achieve any one you have to achieve the other two. And at the end of the day, it is risky, right? It's a roller coaster ride. There's going to be ups and downs, sometimes multiple downs in the same day. But those are the things you have to internalize, right? You have to internalize it's going to be... It's a high-risk game and hence it's high reward. And it's going to be a roller coaster ride.

Poojan Kumar (36:11):

It's not smooth sailing type thing, which is why I don't think you can join a big company today and have a very smooth life, right? It's like a cardiogram with a... There's a reason it's a heartbeat. If it's flat, the person is dead, right? So that's what you have to thrive on. And if you are that kind of a person, then you do something like this, otherwise you should really refrain from going on that entrepreneur journey.

Joe Toste (36:37):

That's great. Now I really like... Thank you for sharing that. Okay. So we're going to wrap up final question I have for you. What is the nicest thing someone has done for you?

Poojan Kumar (36:46):

What is the nicest thing somebody has done for me? That's an interesting question. I would say it's... I think one of my mentors has been this individual gentleman named Mark Leslie. He's on the board of Clumio. Also right now he's an investor in the company and he's a very well respected entrepreneur CEO in Silicon Valley of a company called Veritas back in the day.

Poojan Kumar (37:10):

And I think one of the great things that had happened for me and the reason I have grown in my life in the last seven, eight years as a CEO is somebody like him has really taken me under their wing, and really without judging me at any point of time, because obviously being an investor and on the board, you can very naturally be judgmental about the individual and the CEO.

Poojan Kumar (37:34):

Without judging me, he has really been that partner so that I can essentially talk my mind out and really learn and grow as an individual, right? Which is very rare in life that you find such a person who takes his vested interest even outside of your family, or some really close person. Very rarely you'll have that. But it's being that fatherly figure to me and really trying to make sure that I learn. And I think he does that to other individual also.

Poojan Kumar (37:59):

So I'm not special from that perspective. I think taking a vested interest in somebody and somebody's success without really having a vested interest in it, because now he's super wealthy independently, so it's not for the money at some level. So I think that is one of the nicest thing that has happened to me, I would say. It's not one thing, it's a series of things over many years, but that's one of the nicest things that has happened to me in my professional career for sure.

Joe Toste (38:25):

I love it. I have definitely had some similar stories, not that so high level someone on the board, but of people investing. I can even say my own boss investing in me. I love what you said about kind of taking you under their wing and not judging you and really being a partner, kind of speaking your mind. I love that empathy and authenticity. That's great.

Joe Toste (38:47):

So we're going to wrap up. I definitely need everyone who's listening today to keep their eyes on Clumio. This company I'm sure is growing like a rocket ship and where can people find you? Are you on LinkedIn, Poojan? Twitter? What place do you like to hang out?

Poojan Kumar (39:01):

Yeah. Every place. I'm on Twitter as Poojan and LinkedIn and yeah. Pretty much in every other social place out there, including Facebook.

Joe Toste (39:12):

Awesome. Well, thanks for coming on TechTable. I Appreciate your time.

Poojan Kumar (39:16):

Thank you, Joe. It was a pleasure talking. Thank you.

James (39:18):

If you are interested in seeing what Nagarro, a digital product engineering company that excels at solving complex business challenges through agility and innovation can do for your company, you can email Joe at joe.toste@nagarro.com or message Joe on LinkedIn. For all information on Nagarro, checkout nagarro.com.

James (39:45):

You've been listening to the TechTables podcast. To make sure you never miss an episode, subscribe to the show in your favorite podcast player. If you have an iPhone we'd love for you to open the Apple Podcast app and leave a quick rating for the show. Just tap the number of stars you think the podcast deserves.

James (40:01):

To catch more TechTables episodes. You can go to techTablespodcast.com. And to learn more about our sponsor, please visit nagarro.com. And of course you can find Joe Toste, your podcast host on LinkedIn, Twitter and Instagram. Joe's last name is T-O-S-T-E. Thanks for listening.

Joe Toste
Joe Toste
Host of TechTables Podcast

I'm passionate about investing in communities locally and internationally across several organizations (Young Life, Compassion, and DP Basketball 🏀 (high school basketball coach). This passion intersects across technology and the public sector too.