Murli Thirumale is the co-founder and CEO of Portworx which is the solution for stateful containers running in production. The company has raised over $50 million from HPE, Cisco, GE, and others. Prior to this, Murli Thirumale worked at Dell (following a successful acquisition), Citrix (also post-acquisition) and HP in executive roles.
In this episode you will learn:
- How entrepreneurs fall in love with their own idea
- The two things that drive VC decision making
- Who his latest investors are, and why he chose them
- What Portworx is working on now
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.
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.
ACCESS THE PITCH DECK TEMPLATE
About Murli Thirumale:
Murli co-founded and served as CEO of three companies to date, as well as worked at Dell (following a successful acquisition), Citrix (also post-acquisition) and HP in executive roles.
Through it all, he’s developed some counterintuitive secrets to success. For example: you need to have a value prop, not just a technology. “When you leave the room after you serve your Kool-Aid, will your customer then serve that Kool-Aid to her boss?,” he asks. Most startups sell technology; successful businesses sell value-prop.
To this end, the best practice he repeats over and over again is to validate a product: before building anything, he demands research to ensure there’s a need; if there are two or three ideas, figure out which one people will pay for, and build that one.
Portworx just announced a $27M series C from HPE, Cisco, GE and others, on the heels of expanding its customer base by 100% in 2018.
Connect with Murli Thirumale:
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FULL TRANSCRIPTION OF THE INTERVIEW:
Alejandro: Alrighty. Hello everyone, and welcome to the DealMakers show. Today we have a founder that has built, financed, and also exited several companies. I think we’re going to be able to learn a lot from his experience. We’re talking about someone that has done an exit in a couple of the companies that he founded to really large corporations. That is going to be interesting to understand the process and the ins and outs of doing deals of this level of degree. Without further ado, I’d like to welcome our guest today. Murli Thirumale, welcome to the show today.
Murli Thirumale: I’m glad to be here, Alejandro, and thank you for the opportunity to talk with you.
Alejandro: So born in India, and then you lived in Indonesia and then India again. How was life growing up there?
Murli Thirumale: I recommend highly for anybody an opportunity to live outside of their long-term country where they’ve lived because it’s a wonderful experience. I had the opportunity to live in Burma and Indonesia before I went back to India. Now, I’ve been in the U.S. for 35 years. It’s great to have lived in so many different countries.
Alejandro: I believe that you got into tech and electronics. What would you say triggered the love for this?
Murli Thirumale: I think a love for science is what triggered it. One of the wonderful things about science is how there’s an explanation for everything, and it’s so logical. The world of engineering follows. Once you fall in love with science, then you go, “What can I do with science?” Pretty much, engineering is doing stuff with science. That’s what led me to engineering.
Alejandro: You eventually came to the U.S. following your education. You went to Northwestern University for your NBA. Is that right?
Murli Thirumale: That’s correct. Kellogg School of Management.
Alejandro: Going from the engineering side more to the business side, what was this transition like for you?
Murli Thirumale: The transition was something that I had decided while I was in engineering school itself. Several things that made that good transition for me was that in addition to engineering, which is about building things that have amazing results, the business was interesting for me because it allowed me to leverage the social aspect of my personality and my character, by doing stuff for yourself, but also doing then with others is something that business is about leverage. That was one thing that attracted me. The other thing that attracted me to business was the clear measure of results that happen, and the impact you can have and measuring the impact on the world rather than just measuring the results of an engineering feat if you will. Both of those were interesting to me.
Alejandro: My understanding, as well, is that right after business school, you went to Hewlett-Packard. Why did you go to HP rather than perhaps starting your own business, like maybe some of your other classmates were doing?
Murli Thirumale: Kellogg is a well-known school in marketing. When I graduated from business school, I had lots of opportunities in banks and consulting and consumer companies and really well-known companies. The reason I ended up at Hewlett-Packard in Silicon Valley was because a lot of what Silicon Valley always has been about is creating things. The world doesn’t have something, and then you invent this thing, and then the world has this new thing, and hopefully, the world is better as a result of it. I didn’t quite get that same feeling of invention. It felt like a zero-sum game, particularly in the banking and finance sector, where it felt like if somebody made money, somebody else lost money. The opportunity to be creative and have a technical impact on the world and leveraged my engineering degree was why I ended up at Silicon Valley.
Alejandro: You were at Hewlett-Packard for 15 years. What were you doing there?
Murli Thirumale: I did a lot of different things. I would say I switched jobs on the average every one-and-a-half to two years. So, I did a lot of different things there. I started, believe it or not, in support, and worked my way up to becoming a leader and general manager of a business, which I did for a decade. I did various things in marketing, product management, market research; of course, general management ran a full product area, including some manufacturing, selling, and growing a business. HP was a fantastic place to grow up in. As a company, it had outstanding people. The values of the company were wonderful. I learned a lot from other people around me, but also about how business was run and conducted with the highest kind of integrity as well as people’s values, and also with a great focus on having an impact and contribution in the world. I think it was a wonderful place. The technology was very involved all the way from building cesium atomic standards up to network synchronization systems and wireless systems. It was a wide variety of technologies.
Alejandro: Why did you leave after so long?
Murli Thirumale: I had the opportunity to spin my business. I had started a couple of businesses. As a team, we had grown that business significantly. We had an opportunity to spin that business and sell it out of HP, which is really what happened. I led the team that spun out of the business. It was the opposite of the acquisition, so we spun our business out and became an independent business, which then grew to what is now a 300 to 400-million-dollar business in its own right as an independent company.
Alejandro: What was the name of this independent company?
Murli Thirumale: We spun out that company and merged with a company called Symmetricom, which built network synchronization systems. That company has since been acquired twice by Microsemi and now, Microchip. In fact, it’s kind of funny, Alejandro. I was just looking at our product line and saw that all the products that we created — you know, this was back in 1992, onwards. These network synchronization clocks are still ticking and delivering value. It’s a wonderful feeling to see that. It’s still creating employment and helping customers and is a multi-hundred-million-dollar business running even today almost two decades later.
Alejandro: This was actually the segue into your very first company. Why, after all these years of having your nice, stable income and salary, why all of a sudden you decided to become an entrepreneur?
Murli Thirumale: I think at HP, I discovered that while I was happy and able to run a larger business which was more stable and maybe drive towards profitability, I think the opportunities I had to grow businesses from scratch was much more exciting. So I’ve been an intrapreneur inside of HP twice and said, “This is so much fun, why not do it over again, but do it outside of HP and do it in a way that allows me to drive what business we’re in, what kind of team we do it with, what kind of customers we pursue.” So the enjoyment of growing a business is something that I learned while I was inside HP and obviously being in the Silicon Valley, which is an incredibly enabling environment allowed me to say, “Let’s go do it all over again.” It’s been wonderful doing it now for the third time over.
Alejandro: We’ll get into the second and third time, so let’s talk about the first time. How did you come up with the idea and what led you to say, “I’m going to finally say good-bye to corporate and go into startups.”?
Murli Thirumale: One of the things I think you’ll hear from me as a repeated theme is to be very, very customer-driven. A customer-first mentality is something that permeates all of the businesses that I’ve been involved in and very much a model of validating ideas with customers, co-creating ideas with customers, and so on. To go to our first company, one of the things we’ve done, and I’ve been fortunate to have worked with some of the same people as co-founders over the years. Across my three businesses, I’ve had one co-founder who is a dazzlingly brilliant, fearless, technical person. What we’ve done in each company is a bit of a unique situation. We actually come up with multiple ideas, and we compete them against each other. It’s a strange thing to say, but the reason we do this is because as an entrepreneur, it’s very easy to fall in love with your own idea. The very nature of an entrepreneur is that you tend to be very creative, and you tend to be very excited and proud of what you’ve created. Of course, while that’s good, what you really want to do is build a business that customers are excited about and not just you. What we figured was that the best way to do that was to actually compare multiple ideas and have the customer vote for which ideas they like best. It’s almost like an American Idol of entrepreneurship. What we do, actually in all the three companies we’ve created since, is, believe it or not, two and usually three ideas that we come up with. We build a prototype for each one of them, and we go get feedback typically from about 20 to 25 customers, and also concurrently think about what it would take to build out the rest of the business plan. Kind of do a sample business plan. But the most important step in all of this is the customer validation. It’s amazing, each of us as a founder, we each have our own favorites on multiple ideas that we start, but by the end of this process, which I call SDBS, sell, design, build, sell, which is to say the first step is really — a lot of entrepreneurs tend to design, build, and then try to sell their product. Really, what we should do is spend a lot of time trying to get customer validation upfront. So, the SDBS idea is that you try to create a prototype of your product and maybe try to go shop it around. In our case, like I said, we actually compete three different ideas and get feedback. We always end up with ideas that some customers like a lot more than our other ideas. Many of these cases, we’ve ended up picking the idea that customer votes for even though one of our other ideas was more of a favorite. It has worked very well for us because when customers love what you do, and they really want and can’t wait to get their hands on what you’re doing, that just creates a compelling mode of energy for the business. That becomes the reason why you are excited about the business. It’s the reason why VCs will fund your business. It’s the reason why other team members join your business. It’s the reason why when you have execution problems, you’re able to overcome problems in the business because the customer is pulling you over these speedbumps. A customer-first motivation is how we’ve always built our businesses, and that’s how we started Net6.
Alejandro: Now, finally, you got the validation. You got the 20 to 25 customers to say, “We like this idea.” Then what happened?
Murli Thirumale: Then what we do is build a prototype and start to get, I would say, no more than two to three customers who are willing to try your early prototype and give you feedback. How do you get to this phase? Typically, you can get to this phase on a shoestring budget, which is usually all you need. You’re not trying to build a whole product or a business. What you’re trying to do is build something that showcases the key value or the key technology that you’re providing. Many times, we’ve done this without a lot of money. We’ve not necessarily had to go raise a lot of money. In some cases, maybe we put in our own money, or we worked for no salary, which is a very common thing, especially in the Bay Area and founders. Most founders are familiar with that model. At that point, once you get two or three customers to say, “You’re now showcasing and building for me what I would actually buy and put in production and buy more of.” That’s typically the point at which we go raise funds and raise a Series A round, as is fairly typical. So, ideation, multiple ideas, validation, build a prototype, get a couple of pilots going, then go raise money.
Alejandro: For Net6, what was the business model that you guys had before you went to get money?
Murli Thirumale: I had put some money in. One of my very good friends who later went on to become a VC and was one of our first funders also put in some seed money. We then raised a Series A round and grew the company quite a bit. We had an OEM deal with Cisco that helped us get launched. Then that company grew. Though I must say, Alejandro, I think we started the company — there was credit for timing there. We started the company just after the dotcom bust and before 9/11, so in the late 2000 timeframe. As is now well known, that period of 2001, particularly 2003, was the nuclear winter for startups. Like every other startup at that time, we went through a lot of ups and downs and survived that. Then post-2003, the business grew very well. In late 2004, we were able to grow it enough, at which point we had a choice to expand by getting more money. So we had raised another round in 2003. At that point, we chose to sell the company to Citrix.
Alejandro: How much money did you guys raise in total for the business.
Murli Thirumale: I’m trying to remember. I think we had raised about 28 million for that company.
Alejandro: After experiencing that growth, why did you guys decide to sell to Citrix? What was the process?
Murli Thirumale: It’s always a very interesting and important milestone when you’re growing a company. We were growing very fast at that point. As to decide how you achieve more growth, and what’s available to achieve your vision or your mission? In our view, at that time, the business that we were in — I mentioned the twists and turns. We were actually not the first to market because we had pivoted our first company in a new direction because the original premise for the business had changed in the 2001 crash that had happened. So we had gone to a security from a wireless business to a security-type of business. In that change, we ended up not being the first to market because there are other people who had been in that business before us. Our belief was, we had something unique and had a fantastic user experience, but the ability to grow that business required a lot more funding than we were going to be able to do organically through a venture model. So we felt that the best way for us was to be acquired by a company, which was looking for a growth business. In fact, Citrix and the CEO there, at that time — we gelled on both the culture alignment as well as the vision for the business. Mark Templeton, who was the CEO at Citrix at that time was just an awesome person in addition to being a wonderful CEO. We saw that Citrix was expanding from its application virtualization business into a much larger app delivery model. We were the first hardware company and appliance that Citrix acquired. Subsequently, we went on, and there were a lot more acquisitions that we made as a company and grew a significant appliance business and app-delivery business, which is a multi-billion-dollar business for Citrix right now.
Alejandro: Very cool. I believe the reported amount by the press was over 50 million. So, a really nice outcome for the first business. After this, you spent a couple of years at Citrix, and then you went on to start your second business. Tell us about the second business, Ocarina Networks.
Murli Thirumale: Ocarina Networks, again, we did the same SDBS model and had three different ideas. Some of them, which I still think of today as being awesome ideas. We went through that same validation process. The idea we had was something that customers really resonated with. Frankly, what it was, was just a very simple concept. I’m a big believer in the value proposition of what you do should pass sort of a grandmother’s test. You should be able to tell your grandmother what you do in fairly simple terms. If your grandma can get it, then customers will get it too. Our value prop for Ocarina was fairly straightforward. Basically, we said we were a storage optimization business, and the idea was, let’s say you had 100 terabytes of data that you had stored, we would essentially apply some compression algorithms and allow you to store three to five times more. So, you could store in that same disc drive or disc space 300 to 500TB. It was a cost-reduction play. That was the time in the 2007 area where data was — and still, today, continues to grow, but we had digital devices coming onboard, cameras with huge sensors and lots of memory. Video was coming onboard. Unstructured data was growing like a weed. Our value prop was, “Mr. Customer if you have a lot of data that you’re generating, we’ll let you store three to five to sometimes ten times more data in that same space without having to add more equipment. It was a very simple store 10x, what you have in the space that you have. Again, it was something that resonated, particularly with people who had lots and lots of large images. So you can imagine animation studios, genomics companies, companies like Shutterfly, Kodak, DreamWorks, Disney, all these companies that had tons of data. In fact, people have forgotten Myspace. Myspace was another example of a customer. These were all customers who bought a lot of our products. Recently, as we went to start Portworx, we visited some of those same customers for an entirely different value proposition. One of the most wonderful things for me is when we visit customers, and they say, “I’ve still got one of your old products. Look here. It’s ticking.” The guy took us over and said, “Look. Here’s your green Ocarina boxes, and I’m still getting value from them.” This was like ten years later.
Murli Thirumale: I think one of the things that is the greatest joy of being an entrepreneur is seeing how customers still use your products and get that value for a long, long time. It’s a feeling of great satisfaction.
Alejandro: One of the things that I see here is that the investors were really unbelievable. You got Kleiner Perkins, Highland Capital. Did you follow a similar process on how you were able to validate ideas to how you were able to know if an investor was the right one?
Murli Thirumale: Yeah. Investor choice for founders is a very tricky situation. Many times, founders feel like they’re not in charge when it comes to fundraising in the sense that raising money is a hard thing to do. Many investors are very particular. It seems like it takes much longer, and you visit a lot more VCs than you would like to. But in many ways, I guess I have a couple of thoughts about fundraising that just speak in a scheme of consciousness here. First and foremost, fundraising is a means to an end. The VCs are in the business of investing their money. That’s their business. It’s burning a hole in their pocket. Their LPs are going to ask them why they haven’t invested their business. While they’re very particular about who to invest in and what ideas to invest in, they’re in the business of putting that money to work. Customers, on the other hand, are in the business of hanging onto their money. First and foremost, the focus of a business, especially when you’re founding the company, should be on customers and what customers. Can you find an idea for which a customer will part with their money? That is one of the hardest things and one of the highest valued things you can do. Technology is easy. Technology is cheap. I don’t mean to demean the wonderful inventions that engineers make, but there are inventors all over the place. But finding a customer problem is the single biggest issue that a startup needs to solve. Once you solve that problem, if you can find an idea where customers are willing to part with their money, then you’ll easily find a VC who will give you money because the VC also is convinced by the same thing that the customers are, which is, the VC says, “If the customers are willing to part with their money to this set of people, then this must be a fantastic idea that is worth investing in and growing.” Right?
Murli Thirumale: So while funding is hard, the focus should be on solving a customer problem, and then the VC money comes naturally. As far as raising money, in a way, I don’t want to oversimplify it, but VCs operate on two things; they operate on fear and greed. The entrepreneur’s job is to take the VC’s hand away from the fear lever and go to the greed lever. I’m not saying that VCs are bad or anything. They’re very smart people, but their job is to take calculated risks. They want to make money, and that’s the greed. But they’re fearful about issues and risks in the business, inherent in the business or inherent in the team. Their model is, “How do I pick the right mix between a return versus the risk.” They are experts of that, and people in the Series A level have certain types of expertise. When you get to B, C, and D, and later at every stage, there are different types of VCs, different categories of risks that they take. Understanding that is a part of what every CEO has to do. In my view, if you understand the motivations of the VCs, you should then be able to find the right VC. I also have some strong viewpoints about don’t just let the VC pick you. You should also pick the VC. It’s very important to find some VCs who have the same governance model for how they want to work with you in building that business. They come in all shapes and stripes, just like entrepreneurs come in all shapes and stripes. Finding one that aligns with your model of how you want to grow the business is very important because otherwise, you will get out of alignment with your board and with your VCs, and that can spell disaster as you try to grow and try to capitalize and fund the business.
Alejandro: In this case, it was really unbelievable because you guys founded the company in early 2007, and already in March 2007, you had completed your Series A with Highland, Kleiner Perkins, and more. How did this happen?
Murli Thirumale: We were lucky to have met some people, particularly Parker, for Highland, was somebody that we had worked with. He was actually from the storage business. In this case, my co-founders and I had started a business in which we had very little background. The business was built on the two technology pillars of storage and compression, both of which we didn’t know. So we had reached out to some leaders in the business to get some knowledge and some validation. Peter Bell, who was one of the folks who ended up funding us, out of Highland, was himself a storage entrepreneur with huge success in the past. We worked with him to help get us some validation of the business. Naturally, when we got to funding the business, Peter was somebody who already knew about us, and we knew him, and we liked the working relationship and said, “We’ll take money from Highland,” which at that time was an East Coast-based VC. Then, as we met other people, the team from Kleiner Perkins was not just had a wonderful pedigree and a fantastic reputation, but it was also very clear to us that they were going to be able to help us as we wanted to reach out to customers and build a PR and build a team. Many seasoned entrepreneurs in the valley look for who has funded your company as a proxy for their own diligence, whether they should join the company. The combination of Highland and Kleiner helped us with that. Both the partners were people that I did a lot of references on. So one of the things I would recommend is, VCs do a lot of referencing on founders. I highly recommend that you also, as an entrepreneur, do a lot of referencing on your VCs, particularly on the general partner who’s going to be on your team. In both these cases, for example, I asked for references for companies that they had worked with. To be honest, I asked for references and talked to people where maybe the business had not done well along the way.
Murli Thirumale: When your business is doing well, everything is fantastic. You, the VCs, the board where everybody is high-fiving each other and things are hunky-dory.
Murli Thirumale: It’s when you hit the inevitable speedbump or execution problem. There is no business that does not have issues and have ups and downs. If anybody tells you that their business was just a smooth, beautiful ramp going up and to the north all the time, they’re just lying because there’s no such startup.
Alejandro: There’s no straight line.
Murli Thirumale: That’s the stuff that people say in panels and things like that. It is history rewritten and revisited. Every startup goes through issues. How you and your board work through those issues becomes critical. One of the things that I reference companies and the partner and VCs on is how do they behave when things are not going well? What kind of support or advice do they provide you? Do they give you a helping hand? Are they there to continue to support you? Or are they there to continue to beat you up? Now, you have the world beating you up, and your VC beating you up, or your board beating you up. It’s not the best situation. That is something that I would highly recommend. Find VCs that can add value, but also support you when things are going south.
Alejandro: Got it. How much capital did you guys raise for Ocarina?
Murli Thirumale: I think we raised a similar amount, about 28 to 30 million for Ocarina across two rounds.
Alejandro: Very cool. Then, the company ended up being acquired by Dell. I believe that was the most meaningful exit today, so substantially higher than the first one. Then you go on. You thought that you would be retiring, but then Portworx comes knocking, which is your most recent venture. What are you guys doing at Portworx?
Murli Thirumale: At Portworx, we’re doing something amazing. There’s this awesome technology called containers. In a very simple way, what we are enabling to do with this technology of containers is, we’re enabling customers and enterprises, large enterprises, to rapidly deliver and deploy applications in production, and speed how they compete. So today, the fast eat the slow. If you’re a slow enterprise company, you’re going to lose. Things are moving fast. Customers demand fast results. Enterprises that move fast are the ones that are going to win. Technology is, of course, one of the enablers of large enterprises today across any business. Look at the world of Uber and Netflix. It’s not just consumer-oriented companies. Large companies, whether it’s carriers or banks, they all now use technology as a key ingredient of how they went. Our technology enables customers to really rapidly innovate and deploy applications at scale in production very quickly. The way we do that at Portworx is use container technology and another technology called Kubernetes. Combine all of that with the customer’s data and orchestrate their data. So, we are a data and storage management company that allows customers to rapidly use their data to be able to win in their business.
Alejandro: Very cool, and here, you guys raised a bit more, over 50 million. Again, wonderful investors such as Sapphire, Mayfield Fund, GE Ventures, Cisco, and even Michael Dell, himself. Is that right?
Murli Thirumale: Yeah. Michael has put some of his own money in the early part of the rounds. He doesn’t do it for money. I think Michael is somebody who is constantly — I’m amazed at how well he’s tapped into different ways of knowing what’s happening in the world of technology. I think this is his way of continuing to engage with some of the newer technologies. We’ve been very fortunate. We have some awesome investors. You mentioned Mayfield. Navin Chaddha is a very astute investor. But more importantly, he is somebody who — I talked about customer-first. They have a people-first mentality. He invests in people and ideas very early in their inception and has had huge success with that model and reinventing Mayfield, itself, as a startup. Sapphire is a company with a huge string of successes, and Jai Das is somebody who has had a strong if ideas recently, and we are fortunate to have them. Both continue to invest. In the last round, here, we’ve taken a bit of a different model. This is our Series C. We had a growth focus, and we’ve been growing very fast as a company and acquiring a lot of Global 2000-type customers. We were looking for people who could help us grow, and we went with investors like Mubadala, which is a sovereign fund and gives us access to a whole new set of markets, especially internationally. But also, strategic investors like Cisco, HP, and NetApp, who are all in the same ecosystem, IT ecosystem that we’re in. Of course, we have other partners who are very important to us, like IBM and Google. But the fact that they have not chosen to invest doesn’t matter to us. We’re at the point where leveraging a large ecosystem of partners is an additional way to grow. So, we have been very fortunate that people have recognized that we are a leader in this space, and therefore choosing to work with us.
Alejandro: Very cool. One question that I always ask the guests that come on the show is if you had the opportunity to go back in time and give yourself one piece of advice before launching a business — let’s say you were having a discussion with your younger self and now that you’ve built all these companies and have this knowledge, what would be that one piece of business advice that you would give to your younger self and why?
Murli Thirumale: Wow! Alejandro, that’s an awesome question. Lots of things come to mind. Obviously, one should not live a life of regrets and wonder what would have happened if. So, I’m certainly not of that ilk. I would definitely say do it sooner. If you believe that something is worth doing, do it sooner. I probably would have done a lot of the same things I did, but I would have done them sooner. Just dive in. The way you learn, the way you improve, the way you accomplish is by doing, not by thinking about it. One, I would say, do it sooner. The second thing is pretty obvious stuff. It’s to be the driver in your own life. What’s that old John Lennon song? “Life is what happens to you when you’re making other plans.” I think relying on yourself and building that sense of self-awareness and confidence in yourself is the way to go. Believe me, when you believe in yourself, other people start to believe in you, and you build a team, and other people start to invest in you and rely on you. Those are two things. As far as an entrepreneur, I would highly say the customer first. Validate everything with customers. Co-create your products with customers. Let your customers help you decide what you should do before other people tell you. Your customers, as being the guiding light for your business is critical. Another one that’s obvious, in retrospect, but it’s always true is to win as a team. Just my personal belief is that all of us are better than one of me, so we is greater than me. It’s an obvious thing to say, but it’s important and can’t be understated. Investing in the right people — I mentioned my co-founders, my current team, across all of my companies. It doesn’t have anything to do with entrepreneurship. It’s true even at HP. The teams that we built in each of these companies, the team is what wins.
Murli Thirumale: Because the team will self-correct. The team will improve. The team will fix things. The team will hold itself and each other accountable. Winning as a team is at the heart of everything. I would say this is not necessarily a lesson that I did not learn. I think it’s something that I would reinforce to my younger self. The last thing I would say it something that I’ve believed in throughout my life is just to be joyful: joyful at work, joyful in your life, and enjoy all of the things around you. There’s joy to be had in every moment of the day. People sometimes think that they should be happy outside of work and unhappy at work. If you’re doing something like that, don’t. There are reasons to be joyful in everything you do. If you’re not in a job or a business or with people or with an opportunity that doesn’t give you some amount of joy, move on is what I would definitely say.
Alejandro: Got it. Very, very profound, Murli. Thank you for that. For the folks that are listening, what is the best way for them to reach out and say hi?
Murli Thirumale: You can always reach out to me on LinkedIn: Murli is my first name. There aren’t too many people with that name on LinkedIn. You can also send me mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. I’m happy to help in any way I can, and I would love to hear from you and hear about your adventures and your journeys.
Alejandro: Amazing. Well, Murli, thank you so much for being on the DealMakers show today.
Murli Thirumale: Absolutely a delight to talk to you, Alejandro. Thank you so much.
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