When Ricardo and I started ThousandEyes with the vision that the Internet should not be a mystery to anyone, we did not think too far ahead about milestones, such as being on track to clear 500 employees, personally flying a million miles to meet customers globally and clearing $100M in total contract bookings in the year gone by. Looking back, we always knew that the Internet would become central to business. And, indeed, we’ve seen the cloud become the new data center, the Internet become the new network and SaaS become the new application stack.
Throughout all this, I feel an immense sense of gratitude to our customers and our employees for getting us to this point. I want to express a huge, huge “thank you” to everyone who played a role. I am more pumped than ever to continue to steam ahead.
Of course, we could not have gotten here without our core values, which have been a guiding light for how we operate. In all that we do, we strive to:
- Empower Customers (i.e. enable them to do things they could not have thought of)
- Innovate Without Boundaries (i.e. unconstrained thinking, challenge status quo, cleanslate design) and
- Operate with Integrity and Humor (i.e. do the right thing no matter how hard it is and have fun no matter how difficult things are)
I had virtually no miles on United Airlines when we started ThousandEyes, and every mile of the million miles has been worth it. Whether a trip ended with a customer order or not, the learnings and the relationships we built along the way have been invaluable. One of my favorite stories happened during a trip to Atlanta to meet with senior executives at a Fortune 500 company during a POC. As luck would have it, they had a critical issue to deal with and could not meet with me. Realizing that they needed every minute of that day, I offered to meet before work hours the next day. They agreed, and we met the next morning at 6:30. They later signed up, and to commemorate the circumstances of that first meeting, we agreed to make it a tradition to meet at 6:30 am every single time going forward. So every time we set up a meeting with them, I fly to Atlanta the night before and walk into their office at 6:30 am (I also love to see the surprised look on the security guard’s face every time). Each visit I make, I feel honored to be there. I love these types of bonds with our customers and I love our unique traditions. I hope that these traditions continue for many years to come.
There are so many great stories and great experiences that I could fill an entire book. Nothing gives me greater pleasure than receiving a note from a customer telling me about how much our product changed their life or how great an experience they had working with our team. We get a great sense of satisfaction when we are engaged with them as part of their team to solve outages with their services—where our data and our people can help them recover fast. I provide my cell number to my customers, and it makes me so proud that they very rarely have to call me. When I ask “What can I do to help,” their response is almost always along the lines of “Your team is going above and beyond.” Words cannot describe how it feels to hear that from our customers and how proud I feel about my team at ThousandEyes.
So, yes, we hit some important milestones this year, but there were also so many important things that are simply not measurable and never will be. We have built amazing relationships both internally and with our customers, and we have enjoyed every moment of making our customers happy and successful. We have seen employees grow and take on more and more responsibility, and along the way, we have become better, both as individuals and as a company. These things are hard to put numbers on, but we know in our hearts that the numbers follow these things and not the other way around. So here is my personal commitment as co-founder and CEO: to continuing to focus on these immeasurables throughout the next decade at ThousandEyes.