Neil Patel

I hope you enjoy reading this blog post.

If you want help with your fundraising or acquisition, just book a call click here.

Ashish Thusoo is the co-founder and CEO at Qubole which delivers a Self-Service Platform for Big Data Analytics built on Amazon, Microsoft, Google and Oracle Clouds. The company has raised $87 million from top investors like Charles River Ventures, Norwest Venture Partners, IVP, Singtel Inno8, and Lightspeed Venture Partners.

In this episode you will learn:

  • Learnings from hyper-growth companies
  • The importance of the market you choose
  • Cultures of high performing teams
  • Scaling quickly at a fraction of the cost


For a winning deck, take a look at the pitch deck template created by Silicon Valley legend, Peter Thiel (see it here) that I recently covered. Thiel was the first angel investor in Facebook with a $500K check that turned into more than $1 billion in cash.

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The Ultimate Guide To Pitch Decks

Moreover, I also provided a commentary on a pitch deck from an Uber competitor that has raised over $400 million (see it here).

Remember to unlock for free the pitch deck template that is being used by founders around the world to raise millions below.

About Ashish Thusoo:

Before starting Qubole in 2011, Ashish Thusoo cut his teeth at Facebook in the early 2000s, leading the team that created Facebook’s groundbreaking data infrastructure.

Ashish Thusoo started Qubole to help businesses scale while keeping cloud costs down, a problem affecting startups and giants alike.

Ashish Thusoo is a firm believer in the power of flat and fast-moving organizations which place emphasis on teamwork and the need to challenge the status quo.

Ashish Thusoo can speak to his decision to leave the cozy confines of Facebook for his own venture, and how his experience at the cream of the startup crop gave him the tools to succeed in an industry dominated by players like Microsoft, Google, and Amazon.


Connect with Ashish Thusoo:


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Alejandro: Alrighty. Hello everyone and welcome to the DealMakers show. Today, we’re going to be learning a lot about a foreign entrepreneur coming to the U.S. and definitely experiencing the hypergrowth at companies like Facebook or Oracle, and then also building databases, data systems, and companies that scale. Without further ado, I’d like to welcome our guest today. Ashish Thusoo, welcome to the show.

Ashish Thusoo: Thank you. Great to be here.

Alejandro: Originally born and raised in Delhi, India. I understand that you were part of a middle-class family with both parents that were doctors, so education being key. How was life growing up there?

Ashish Thusoo: It was fantastic. India is a mighty cultural society. There are various different layers in the society there. I was part of the middle-class. Middle-class is the engine that drives a lot of the economy in India. Both of my parents had strong educational backgrounds. At home, education was always given a lot of preference. Back in the time when I was growing up in India, there were also not too many opportunities. This was before the economy was opened up. It was still a government-controlled economy at that time. Now, India’s one of the most booming economies in the world. But back in the time, success basically meant having a very strong educational background. That was built into us while we were growing up. Both of my parents were doctors. I did not choose to continue in their profession. I was much more excited by technology and what technology could do for the future of mankind. While both of my parents were in a strong, mobile profession, which has dedication to human life, I chose to go down my path. The common theme was that education was very, very important as part of our upbringing.

Alejandro: When was that first time when you got exposed to a computer?

Ashish Thusoo: It was a little later than what kids do today. I have a son who’s been playing with computers since he was 6 or 7 years old. I got exposed in 8th grade. That was an early time. The first computer that I got exposed to was a BBC Micro. This was still a time when you had floppy disks, and I think a kilobyte of memory or a few kilobytes of memory was like a dream come true. We were programming in BASIC at that time. That was the first language that I learned. I connected completely with that machine. From day one, it was clear to me that technology was the path. It was fascinating to see what a computer could do at that time. Now, in hindsight, you think that those things are trivial, but at that time, which was back in 12th grade, as part of a school project we wrote software to do a telephone call center type of things. Very rudimentary, but it gave you a good insight on what was possible in the future. That got me excited about going into this field.

Alejandro: One of the things that I keep coming across is, incredible entrepreneurs that are engineers turned into businesspeople, into CEOs and founders of hypergrowth companies. Why is that? Why are there so many incredible engineers that are coming from India?

Ashish Thusoo: There are two reasons. First is an engineering background. At the end of the day, what do engineers do? The build things layer by layer. I think the key thing around engineering is taking a problem, breaking it down into small parts, and then achieving one part at a time, and putting all of that together to create an edifice. If you think about building businesses, it’s not very different. Yes, there are a lot of other core skills that you need apart from engineering to build out a business. But at the fundamental level, you’re building something, you’re faced with certain problems, you break it down into smaller parts, you find solutions to those smaller parts, and then you bring those parts together. In my view, I think building a business and the core engineering skills are being able to decompose problems, and then putting together solutions is what happens in business as well. That doesn’t mean that just engineering skills are sufficient. Of course, on the way, at least in my journey, I’ve picked up a lot of other skills, and you have to have a very open mind in the learning of those skills and in a learning disposition. But, at the end of the day, you are building something. I think that’s where an engineering background helps a lot. It also doesn’t mean just that engineers can build a business. There are a lot of other people in different blocks of life who have gone down that path, but I do think the engineering training helps because it’s fundamentally building something. The second part about India is, we grew up in a society where resources were constrained. Now, of course, India is a very different country compared to what it was. This was back in the ’80s and early ’90s. We grew up in a society where resources were constrained. There was a lot of competition. When you are growing in that society, essentially you realize that you have to be self-taught. More than self-taught, you have to be self-driven to some degree. You also figure out that you’re to start trying to excel in areas as opposed to just trying to get by. In that time when resources were constrained, and the competition was great, those were very important assets. It’s a country of a billion+ people, and with the constrained resources, competition was there. So I think that certainly teaches you certain skills. It teaches you a certain way of competing. It teaches you a certain way of thinking. Also, because of the society, it helps you build up a certain amount of empathy with all the folks whether they’re your employees, whether they are your partners, whether they are customers, it teaches you a whole bunch of things. I think that also helps, and that’s why I think you see a lot of entrepreneurs from India with technical backgrounds being successful in environments where they get opportunity. The United States has been a fantastic environment to do that. One of the key things about the United States is the ability to realize a dream. If you have grown with those skills, the culture here becomes a nurturing culture to enable you to do that. I think that’s why you see a lot of folks from India with a technical background becoming successful in entrepreneurship here.

Alejandro: Got it. Obviously, it’s very interesting that you’re mentioning this because in your case, you also came to the U.S. You did your computer science degree in India in Delhi at a really remarkable university there; really tough to get in. Then why did you come here to the U.S. to the University of Wisconsin to do your Ph.D.?

Ashish Thusoo: I did my undergrad in IT Delhi. IT is a whole system of technical institutions that were set up in the ’60s by the first prime minister in India, who had the vision to make a technical society in India. They have produced some of the best minds and some of the best contributors in various different fields of life. Not just entrepreneurship, but others as well. Apart from the education, because there was so much competition to get into, you get the best of the breed in that institution. It also required an environment where you could learn a lot from extremely smart people all around you. For example, all the students that are ambitious and all the students that are very smart. It’s a collaborative environment while still fostering competition. All of that gave a good exposure. At that time, though, India did not have as many resources in graduate studies. Undergrads, these institutions are strong, but at that time in India, you did not have as much investment going on into graduate studies. So it was natural to look at places which could offer those environments, and the U.S. was a premier place. That’s why I was interested in studying databases. I came to the premier university here in Madison, Wisconsin, which was known for its database department and known for its hardware department. For me, that was an exciting opportunity to learn from the best minds in those fields. That’s why I took that step. I came here, and I’m extremely grateful to how that experience and these institutions started me. Along the way, I made a lot of friends in both of these institutions; friends that are still in touch, and we talk regularly today as well. That’s the reason I came here because the amount of technology exposure and the amount of teaching that you could get in India was not possible at that time. This was the late ’90s. The Indian Government had just opened up the economy. Now, of course, India has a lot of great institutions as well for graduate study, but at that time, there was not as much opportunity there. That’s why I came here, and I’m thankful for being part of the Wisconsin alumni. That institution taught me a lot as well.

Alejandro: Then after that, you got the Ph.D. You moved to Silicon Valley, and your first gig was with Oracle. You were with them for about six years. I understand that you already had the relationships with databases. Oracle was where you were able to expand your knowledge to scalable systems. Can you tell us, what does a scalable system look like, especially for the people who are not as sophisticated?

Ashish Thusoo: Scalable systems essentially is a term used for certain architectures that are able to take a unit, which performs a certain function and replicates that unit over a large set so that function can be performed at a much larger scale. For example, if you have set up a website, and you are getting 10 users a day, or 100 users a day, or 100,000 users a day, you can set that up in a single server over a certain software stack and be able to make sure that your website is able to [0:14:49] application, web application and is able to service your users. It doesn’t have any downtime. If 1,000 people are hitting that server, then they’re able to access the application and do what the application is providing them to do. However, this problem changes permanently if from 1,000 you’re going to 10 million, 20 million, 100 million users, or even a billion users. In the case of Facebook, there are billions of users. Then what would work in a single server application, which is serving 10,000 users breaks down rapidly as more and more users are trying to access that system. That is where designing systems that can scale come into play. Ideally, you want to make a system where you can add a server, and then another server, and you can continue to do that as you get more and more users coming in. That makes both being able to address the demand that is coming in much easier, and it gives a very elegant engineering solution for the whole problem. And it gives you the confidence that it does not put any limits on your growth. That is what is meant by scalable systems. This same concept of having a replicable unit to which you can keep adding the server demands that is coming in is applicable not just in websites, but in other forms of engineering and data systems. It’s one kind of system you deal with if you’re processing a gigabyte of data. But when you’re talking about ends of data bytes of data or exabyte of data. Qubole, for example, does hundreds of data bytes with an exabyte of data every month of processing. To be able to scale there, you have to ensure that you can easily add more units and be able to provide that processing power. This is also applicable in other walks of life. Not just engineering. Governing systems are fantastic around this. Even if you’re providing any kind of service, any commercial service, it’s one thing to provide service to 1,000 people, but another thing to provide that service to a million+ people. So you can have engineers systems that can have this property of replicable units that you can add to serve that demand.

Alejandro: Very cool. After you did the six years at Oracle, you were always itching to do something on your own. However, there was this interesting opportunity with Identity Engines. It was a company that was starting. You were going to be one of the early employees, and you joined them. However, the company didn’t perform as you expected. First, I’d like to know what was exactly the company doing, and then what went wrong?

Ashish Thusoo: The company was a security company or an authentication company. We at Identity Engines built out certain appliances which had – there’s a protocol called RADIUS, which we brought into appliances. These appliances would be deployed to provide authentication services. In campuses, it would be deployed for authentication services. It would be done in commercial campuses, and education campuses, and a whole bunch of places. Basically, the whole thesis behind the company was that at that time, there were devices that were coming online. This was early 2000. This was a time where we had moved from desktops to laptops. Mobile phones were becoming more and more common. The smartphone was not on the horizon at that time [0:19:22]. Identity Engines wanted to make systems that could help in authentication and authorization of those devices onto the network through an appliance [0:19:35]. It was a great idea at that time; however, one of the key things that went wrong was we picked up a tough market to go after. That taught me that not only is technology important, but the market that you choose is equally important. The first market as a startup that you want to choose to dominant becomes important. At Identity Engines, we made a choice to go after education. What we did not figure out was that: 1) Education was a slow-moving market. As a startup, you want to make sure that you’re driving momentum and driving past momentum. Going into a slow market, which moved slowly, was not the right choice. 2) The second thing that we also got wrong was that product development went into making these devices to be able to support hundreds and thousands of users logging in at the same time. We figured out later that in the market that we were in, that was not a requirement. The whole part of our differentiation did not shine through in that particular market. There were other parts of the differentiation that would work well in that market, but Qubole did not. So as a result of all of this, we did not get to the product/market fit. Most startups actually fail in that stage. Once you get a product/market fit, then there are challenges in scaling it. But getting to a product/market fit is very important. To me, I think Identity Engines did not get a proper product/market fit. That taught me a lot. That taught me that when you are engineering a company, when you are building something from scratch, especially if you’re building a business, not only is technology important, technology is an important part of the puzzle, but also, what markets you choose, what are the key characteristics of those markets that you want to focus on in terms of differentiation for your product become equally important. That was a great learning for me from my Identity Engines days.

Alejandro: Got it. After this period of time, you got a sense of the early stage as well. Then you made the decision to join Facebook. Facebook, at the time, had about 300 or less of employees. They were probably having all types of scaling issues. But you were there for about four years. How was the experience for you there?

Ashish Thusoo: It was a fantastic experience. I joined Facebook for a couple of reasons. I had started my career in Oracle and learned a lot about software development. Identity Engines taught me a lot about how to start things from scratch, and taught me important things not only from a technology perspective but also from a market perspective. Then Facebook gave me the opportunity to put those learnings together and make an impact in a company that was fast growing. Of course, when we joined Facebook, we did not know that it would grow so fast on such a global name. At the time when I joined Facebook, there were about 20 million users on the network. However, what excited me about that company was: 1) The culture was fabulous. It was a very open culture. You were encouraged. Mark would constantly encourage people in innovation and not be afraid of taking risks. So it was a culture that was built toward innovation. 2) I also saw that Facebook as a company, though, had built a lot of good scalability in terms of the application itself. But their approach to data was rudimentary. It was still steeped in the old school way of doing things like data warehousing, etc. Both of those things essentially gave me confidence that I could bring my unique background to build to that problem, help the company in building out a template of what a modern data platform should look like. And I was very confident that the company provided a culture which would encourage that type of innovation. That’s how I joined Facebook. My co-founder in Qubole, Joydeep, also joined around the same time. The next four years, we and a group of very smart engineers that we put together worked on this problem of exploding data sets and how to clear modern data platform of next-generation data platforms to be able to deal with processing that data, whether that processing was for simple data preparation, or that processing was for building machine learning models, or that processing was for more advanced applications. The problem that was given to us was that there’s a lot of data that is coming in. How do you make that data accessible for all of these applications so that you can uncork the potential that was there in that data? For the next four years, we worked on that problem. Along the way we created architectures, and we created systems that are now mainstream and now are used everywhere, not only in Facebook but also everywhere in the industry. And it started the Big Data Revolution along with the folks in Yahoo. That was a great learning experience, and it was a very satisfying experience that we could build something that was impactful at an industry level and not just as a company level. It also gave us a view into where the world was headed. It gave us a view into what the next generation of data systems need and what they look like. We actually invented many of those. That sold as great learnings for us, which helped in our later undertakings. Those four years were very fulfilling, fantastic company, great culture provided as a great environment where we could build out a lot of these inventions and innovations. Those innovations then not just stayed within the boundaries of Facebook, but to Open Source, it actually spread out and created an industry in itself. 

Alejandro: What was your key takeaway from your experience at Facebook?

Ashish Thusoo: The key takeaway, and that is one of the reasons why we started Qubol. There were two key takeaways. One was on the technology side, and the other one was in terms of a company culture side. On the technology side, the key takeaway was that with all the explosion that is happening in data – we are living in an age which is extremely digital. There are sensors everywhere. There are a lot of smart devices. Data is being produced at a very fast flip. In fact, there’s a Moore’s law of data that data doubles every two years. So in the next two years, you’ll produce as much data as you have produced do far in the entire human history. The key takeaway was that when you’re faced with this type of data deluge, and at the same time, the applications of data are becoming extremely complex. A new paradigm is needed in terms of data processing. We also noticed that building on that paradigm and those architectures are extremely complicated. Operating those architectures are very complex. This is at the cutting edge of technology. Inside, there was that while Facebook could do it, Facebook had the resources and the ability to hire talent to do it. And inside there was that if this technology and this paradigm have to go midstream, then there has to be another way to democratize these data platforms for the industry at large, for other companies which are not Facebooks of the world. That was one key takeaway, and that led to the station of the world. The second key takeaway was, from Facebook, I was very impressed by the company culture. I worked in many companies. Some companies have a top-down culture. Facebook had a democracy-type of culture, but at the same time, a very empathetic culture and collaborative culture among the employees. There was a sense of energy there. I was there from 2007 to 2011. For me, it was great to see how that culture and creating that type of environment was so conducive to innovation. Those were the two key takeaways for me from that experience.

Alejandro: Then, here, you met your co-founder, Joydeep.

Ashish Thusoo: That’s right, Joydeep Sen Sarma.

Read More:

Alejandro: You guys were, at that point, starting to think about brainstorming and seeing the future together. Eventually, you guys said, “Let’s do it.” Walk us through that moment.

Ashish Thusoo: By the way, Joydeep and I went to undergrad in India together, and then we went our different paths. Then we converged back in Facebook, and in Facebook, we worked for four years together on these systems. This was in August of 2011 when we decided that it was important to take this new paradigm and bring it to the market. We created the Salsa data platform in Facebook. We invented Apache Hive and a whole bunch of other technologies. We created that modern data platform there using data centers, using Facebook’s – the old way of doing things. What excited us in 2011 was the paradigm shift that was happening in the industry, and we saw that earlier than most people, partly because we were in the Valley and you tend to see a lot of technology trends happen in the Valley first. That technology trend was evidence of the Cloud. AWS was still [0:31:23] at that time. Most people in the industry believed that Cloud was a fraud, that enterprises would never move to the Cloud. However, we are both students of locating differences and disruptive – [0:31:38] which talks about the separate technologies. We saw in the Cloud a technology that was disruptive. Why was it deceptive? Because we saw the Cloud [0:31:49] what used to be physical things like hardware into APIs in the software, which meant that cloud-enabled infrastructure to become agile. One of the key things that we were dealing with Facebook was – we were always depending on infrastructure teams and racking up servers, creating clusters, and all of that stuff, which was very slow. In the Cloud, we saw that it was innovating in a dimension of agility, but IT agility so to speak. But most of the other Windows – it doesn’t do Windows at all focus on performance and costs. This was a key wakeup moment for us that, “Look. There is this piece of technology that is innovating on a different dimension, and once that dimension becomes mainstream, it will disrupt the core of data center Word. So we latched onto that. That essentially allowed us to envision a Word where we could do things even better than what we did at Facebook in a more agile way. We took the Cloud, and we said, “You know what? We are going to repeat this architecture and create a modern data platform for the Cloud, which is what Qubole is. We’ll run and operate in the Cloud so that most of the companies don’t have to deal with operational complexities that we dealt within Facebook. We are going to simplify, creating data lakes or operating data lakes on the Cloud for all enterprises.” That was the key trigger for us. That allowed us to say, “Even though Facebook was a fantastic company and had huge potential, we decided that this was what we wanted to do to bring about much more of an industry, a wide change, much more of a visionary change, and use this disruptive technology to change status quo.” That’s how we essentially ended up starting Qubole. This was back in August 2011. It’s been eight years since we started. What has been most satisfying to see is that a lot of those things that we did out in our vision have, over a period of time, become more and more mainstream, become more and more accepted. That has also lifted Qubole as far as its business trust.

Alejandro: Interesting. When you guys made the leap of faith, how did you guys monetize? What’s the business model today of Qubole?

Ashish Thusoo: Qubole is a data platform built out of the Cloud. It makes it very easy for endless data scientist and data engineers to work on a single data platform and cleared applications and use data for either analysis or creating advanced applications. It is a cloud-based platform. The business model is also cloud-based. We enable our clients to process a lot of data. We monetize on the basis of the amount of computing that they use on the Cloud for processing that data. In many ways, that has served us really well. The key, the differentiator that Qubole offers, is apart from simplicity. It takes away friction from both operations of these data platforms, and it also takes away friction in terms of people being able to access and use these data platforms for processing. But a key thing that happens when you take away friction is that you scale very fast. So we have clients who have thousands of users using Qubole, and many are looking at that scale – largest scalability but costs also become important. A lot of our value comes to our clients because we’re able to scale them very quickly at a fraction of the cost through a lot of IP that we’ve built in terms of managing resources in an optimum way on the Cloud. And when you bring those things together, we free up our clients to have their teams focus on high value-added themes which is building applications, using data for insights, etc., as opposed to just running infrastructure. That’s how we work. We have lots of data lines and many different verticals. We have been successful in gaming, entertainment, and media. We’ve been successful in transport verticals. We have started to make [0:36:57] into health care.

Alejandro: And in fundraising too. You’ve been very successful in fundraising too. How much capital have you guys raised to date?

Ashish Thusoo: So far, we have raised 87 million in three rounds of funding. We are backed by some of the top tier VC firms in the Valley: Charles River Ventures, Norwest, IVP, Lightspeed. They’re all folks that have invested in Qubole, and they’ve been part of this journey. They’ve believed in this transformation. What is exciting is to see that this transformation is becoming more and more mainstream. Yeah, it’s been a fantastic journey, but there’s a lot up ahead. I’m super excited about the prospects ahead and where this whole thing is headed.

Alejandro: Very cool. So far, in this journey. You’ve been at it for quite a while since 2011, and we both know that the journey of being a founder is not as easy as you would read on the press. So as you’re looking back now, Ashish, in your journey with Qubole, what would you say has been the toughest moment, the darkest days that you faced with the company?

Ashish Thusoo: That’s a great question. The early days of Qubole were challenging. As I mentioned, we had a certain vision in terms of where we thought the world would head. The world was not there. Most of the folks that I would talk to at that time – from day one, we said, “We’re going to build a cloud data platform. We’re going to do this only for cloud architectures. We are going to use the Cloud to simplify the data problem.” At that time, the world was very different. Most companies, especially the larger enterprises, were already data-center-based. If you listened to the industry pundits at that time, they all said, “Cloud is a fraud. It will be something that the startups use, but if you’re going to run enterprise-scale applications or do anything at enterprise scale, you’ll have to bring all those [0:39:13] inhouse into a data center. Cloud is never going to be able to provide you that level of security. Cloud is always going to be expensive.” So the early days of Qubole were what I call the contrarian years. These lasted from 2011 to 2014. In those contrarian years, we had taken a contrarian stance, and when you take a contrarian stance, you get questioned a lot from everyone. In a company-building process, there are multiple stakeholders involved. You have to raise money. You have to recruit people. You have to excite your employees about your vision. You have to find customers who believe in that vision. And since Qubole was early in its evolution, those were hard days. I won’t say they were dark days. They were very exciting days, but they were always hard days. It took a lot of belief and faith that what we thought as technologists would happen, would really happen. It took a lot in terms of convincing others to join us in that journey. A lot of people who joined us at that time are still with us. Those are the contrarian years of Qubole, which were tough in a different way. Of course, in every phase of the company, you face different challenges. Once Qubole had a proper product/market fit, then we had a lot of learnings in terms of scaling the company, how you go about from an environment where you are building things quickly, to try out things, to the environment where now, we have so many enterprise workloads on Qubole and on such a large scale. For our clients, we are on all the primary clouds. I think we are the only company which has its platforms running on all the clouds, whether it is AWS, TCP, Azure. We also have a deployment on Oracle Cloud. How you scale that becomes a different problem. We have had learnings through that as well. So both of the stages of the company have been great. I won’t call them dark days, but the early days were definitely challenging in terms of our having taken a contrarian stance and then having to bring people along with us to believe in that vision and that stance.

Alejandro: How many employees do you guys have now?

Ashish Thusoo: We have about 300 employees.

Alejandro: Wow. Really nice. How big is the business today? How many customers or anything that will give a sense to how big Qubole is today?

Ashish Thusoo: We have close to 150 to 200 customers today. Many of our customers are using data at a very large scale. So these are some of the highest data users/clients in the industry. They are amongst the leading companies that are applying data for various different needs.

Alejandro: As you’re looking back now, knowing everything that you know – you’ve been at it since 2011. You’ve been involved with this one as the founder and CEO. Now looking back, you had the experience of Facebook, Oracle, and then also Identity Engine, which didn’t go as expected. If I asked the question where if you had the chance of speaking to your younger self and give yourself one piece of advice before launching a business, what would that be and why?

Ashish Thusoo: My piece of advice would be, do a lot of – as a technologist, we were very comfortable when we launched Qubole in terms of technology. We knew that the technology vision. But my piece of advice for any technologist starting a business would be to pay a lot of attention to go to market as well. We discovered a market, but if I were to do this again, I would be much more focused on exactly which markets we are going after in the early stages of the company. Pay a lot of attention to that as well. That would be my piece of advice for any technologist to start. We, as technologist, do have a tendency to think of technology – you build a great technology, and then it will be easy for people to consume that, but very important to think about go to market, which go to market are you operating in? Are there other ancillary pieces that you need to build along with the technology to make sure that you’re successful in those markets? We took about a year to learn that at Qubole, but after that, we latched onto it in the early days of Qubole. The good thing was that we were early, so we had a lot of time on our hands to refine that. But if I were to do this again, I would pay a lot of focus to that as well.

Alejandro: Do you have any advice for those who are listening that perhaps are on the engineering side, just as you were? Any advice on how to be able to do that transition from the engineering side to perhaps a CEO role?

Ashish Thusoo: I think the most important advice is to have an open mind. Engineering gives you a lot of building blocks that can help you become a successful CEO. But at the end of the day, you also have to have a very open mind in accepting constructive criticism, taking that criticism to heart, and then changing where you need to change and grow in areas you need to grow. There’s a lot of growth that happens when you’re an engineer to when you are running a company. You can only be able to do that if you come with an open mind of learning, an open mind of accepting your shortcomings and be able to have the attitude of working towards getting into that growth.

Alejandro: Very cool. For the folks that are listening, what is the best way for them to reach out and say hi?

Ashish Thusoo: They can reach out to me through email: [email protected] and at LinkedIn. Those are the two best ways. Email is the best way. I’m happy to answer any questions or meet any people who are looking for advice.

Alejandro: Amazing. Ashish, thank you so much for being on the DealMakers show today.

Ashish Thusoo: Thank you. This was a great pleasure talking to you.


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