Rubrik:How To Inject Speed and Transparency Into Your Startup
@Rubrik CEO and Co-Founder @BipulSinha on starting and scaling an enduring company.
For startups, it’s all about being the first to get to scale in a competitive market. Startups that build solid company practices around speed, transparency and market discovery can rapidly go to market and quickly defeat larger incumbents. This episode of Greymatter features Rubrik CEO Bipul Sinha and Greylock partner Asheem Chandna. The two enterprise tech leaders share actionable advice to inject speed into your startup, tips to implement radical transparency throughout your company, and strategies for due diligence of your product/market fit.
Both Bipul and Asheem have a deep understanding of what it takes to start and scale the next generation of enterprise technology companies. Today, Rubrik is considered one of the fastest growing enterprise companies ever; in just a few years, the company has a $300M global run rate and more than 1,000 employees and is currently adding over 50 employees a month. Bipul is an accomplished CEO and entrepreneur, and was previously a leading venture capital investor. Asheem has helped create and grow multiple technology businesses to market-leading positions. He has served on 20 technology company boards including three public companies (Palo Alto Networks, Imperva, Sourcefire), and multiple companies that have been acquired in strong M&A outcomes including AppDynamics and Skyhigh Networks.
A few key takeaways are below.
The Biggest Weapon Is Speed
Speed is the best weapon a startup has against incumbents. To inject speed into your company, set simple, company wide goals to make the process more efficient. One example is to embrace fast decision making by setting a cadence of no more than two meetings for any decision. This solution is simple and the need for meetings to be action oriented is easy for employees to implement and adhere to.
Transparency of information enables employees to make and execute decisions that are in the best interest of the company, and is vital to building strong, healthy company culture. Companies that want to implement transparent practices can start by introducing anonymous questions during weekly all-hands meetings. This opens the meeting for more exclusivity of those employees not comfortable with public speaking and provides a deeper level of accountability and clarity from leadership.
In a radical push to take the power of information out of the equation, Rubrik has made their board meetings public to the entire organization. That way, employees across all levels understand the opportunities and challenges within the company and feel empowered to solve those challenges that are outside of their function.
The goal of market discovery is to identify and eliminate segments where your product has marginal or no value. The early days of the company require engaging with potential customers to learn their pain points, refining the product based on this feedback and understanding the most fertile geographic areas for the product. It’s fundamental to have at least five distinct sources of feedback from each segment to know if your product solves a need. In the beginning, sell to believers and eliminate segments where customers only have a marginal need.
Test Sales Limitations
After you’ve identified geographic market segments, double down in those areas. To implement scalability to this system, hire first-level managers with less than three years management experience as individual contributors into the field. First-level managers can multiply much faster than on-boarding a seasoned sales team. In addition, companies can test sales limitations by experimenting with a modest sales quota early on. A modest quota will empower sales members to test their own limits to double their personal earnings by exceeding the sales quota and provide valuable data back to the company about the possibilities of the product.