Changing jobs is a big deal. Everyone asks, why? The common and obvious answer is that ZEDEDA has found product-market fit in a massive market. According to IDC, the edge computing market is expected to be $176 billion in 2022, growing to $274 billion in 2025. ZEDEDA has signed an impressive list of customers and partners (not all of whom have been announced yet). And yes, that was an important part of my decision, but it wasn’t the most important part.
The most compelling part was that this role fed my obsession with building and executing go-to-market (GTM) strategies. You are probably saying, wait, Business Development (BD) isn’t GTM. BD is the person who knows about all the tradeshow parties and gives high fives. This role is not that BD. It’s much meatier. And that is why ZEDEDA is the answer for me.
Some background. The last four jobs on my resume were Product Management, Corporate/Business Development, Product Marketing, and Product Management. I’ve built go-to-market plans for enterprise hardware, software, security, and services. As perpetual or subscription licenses running on-premises, as SaaS, or in your service provider cloud. My history is deep with infrastructure and open source products. I always thrived on building products then driving market competitiveness, pricing, channel strategy, and distribution strategy. Not exactly a classic BD resume. This point wasn’t unnoticed as part of the interview process, which solicited some, “wait, you know this is a BD job” questions (looking at you, Michael Pearl ), but as I said before, this isn’t the classic BD job. To understand why, you need to understand a little about ZEDEDA.
ZEDEDA makes orchestrating applications at the edge (computers outside your data center/VPC) effortless and intrinsically secure.
Extend cloud-native best practices (e.g. microservice architecture, platform independence, CI/CD):
To these types of environments:
It’s a platform for managing remote systems that delivers a consistent operational model across VMs, containers, and Kubernetes on any hardware. Because we can deliver a cloud experience on IIoT-like hardware, we become the foundational infrastructure for edge applications.
This brings me back to Business Development. Foundational infrastructure is only part of the customer solution. It needs hardware to run on, operating systems, K8s distributions, and a marketplace of off-the-shelf and custom-built applications to run on the edge devices. This complete package delivers customer value.
It’s not always fun being a customer working towards that value point. Or maybe more directly, buying and implementing software sucks. My last company had more software vendors than employees, and I had the privilege of buying from several vendors. I can tell you that it sucks. Three meetings until a demo that proves they can’t do what you’ve been asking for all along. Or worse, they lie about the integrations and you spend a week configuring Zapier to band-aid things together.
When did the software GTM become so broken? It’s as if vendors don’t want to admit they are only part of the solution. Do they all believe their product can do everything? Certainly their baby is not ugly and can win a gold medal in both Sumo wrestling and pole vaulting!
At the distributed edge, customer value is delivered in a complete solution. Management and orchestration, aka ZEDEDA, is extremely important. But it’s equally important that the entirety of the solution is easy to consume and implement. And, that the pieces are put together in a clean and logical way – like a product. A product that has a strong GTM.
ZEDEDA delivers foundation infrastructure that unlocks the efforts of our hardware, software, and service provider partners. Together, we deliver customer applications where they are needed, regardless of the environment. The options are endless with the number of edge use cases growing daily. And the best part is – I get to help build GTMs for all these use cases, partnering with the best companies on the planet. This will no doubt result in massive customer value that doesn’t suck to buy and implement. And that – is why I joined ZEDEDA Business Development.