George and the Flood

Here’s a simple little test that teaches an important lesson. Take a moment to work through all 3 questions. I promise it won’t take long. :-)

 
 

Question 1. A flood is coming. George can only swim for a little while. What should George do?

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Question 2. A flood is coming. George can only swim for a little while. What should George do?

Screen Shot 2012-12-09 at 12.28.05 PM

 
 

Question 3. A flood is coming. George can only swim for a little while. What should George do?

Screen Shot 2012-12-09 at 12.28.43 PM

Ready to grade your answers?

The Yellow Belt Answer

Most people say “go right, toward higher ground” if picture 1 is the only input to their analysis. The logic is pretty indisputable. But…

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Why Cannibalism May Be Smart Business

Get out your fork. I’ve got a story for you…

Dig in. Don’t hold back. Photo credit: AleBonvini (Flickr)

At the beginning of 2005, Symantec acquired Veritas. Together, Veritas’s BackupExec and NetBackup products accounted for something like 70-80% of the world’s enterprise backup market. As I recall, BackupExec had annual sales of around $600M, and NetBackup was similar.

I worked for the only technology group within Symantec that overlapped the backup space at the time. We were making a disk-based backup product named LiveState Recovery; its revenues were in the tens of millions of dollars and we were growing at >100% CAGR.

Integration gets hairy

Our growth stemmed from the fact that we were approaching backup in a radically different way. Instead of capturing changed files and streaming them through a centralized media server to a tape library, we took disk images based on snapshotting technology. We were faster (many times faster, often); we had a distributed architecture that scaled out much more easily; we never missed a bit; we captured application state perfectly; we could mount backups or convert them to virtual machines.

As the acquisition finalized, Symantec charged us and the BE folks Continue reading