Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn’t do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover.”
H. Jackson Brown Jr., P.S. I Love You
I recently saw this quote and it got me thinking about the milestone event of Dyn being acquired by Oracle after a 15 year run as a private company. I began to reflect on vision, commitment, playing the long-game and raising the stakes.
When I think back on the vision and mission of Dyn as an independent company, and my eight years in leadership, it’s DNS is Sexy, engineering excellence, running the internet, and being the company that connects people, content and commerce through a single global internet that scream loudly. These were the internal and external mantras we lived by.
When I look forward to our evolved and shared vision within Oracle Bare Metal Cloud, I see a foundational platform for Dyn to truly reach our grand ambition and make a bigger global impact on the Internet. I hear the voice of my college roommate and now Oracle colleague who says, “Red Stack.. No company can offer our customers chip to apps to cloud solutions… period.” It’s hard to question its merit and distinct competitive position. It’s hard to imagine an enterprise company who doesn’t rely on some Oracle technology. That’s a massive credit to the founding vision of Larry Ellison.
Business deals happen because of momentum, timing and mutual benefit. The timing for both Dyn and Oracle was perfect. The momentum for the deal and for both companies is palpable. The mutual benefit: Oracle is rapidly and aggressively investing in offering a premium, enterprise-class cloud infrastructure platform, and Dyn, marching independently with world-leading internet performance point solutions for DNS, email and internet data, both were in need of each other to solidify and take the next step in the journey. They call these things “exits,” but I can assure you we are not going anywhere. We are approaching this integration as a great milestone for Dyn and believe our future is brighter than ever.
When you look at the market for cloud services, you’re seeing a heightened demand for security, compliance, specialty expertise and high service levels nearly impossible for private infrastructure companies to truly meet. You’re seeing companies with few platforms, or one stop shops, be the choice for the enterprise. Bundled solutions and the economics associated with these on-demand technology components are why I am predicting continued consolidation in 2017.
The only differentiator(s) a small company can tout are innovation, relationships, and/or price… and being on the other side of this Oracle deal, you realize what you’re actually up against. The big guys have that too. Because of this reality, you’re seeing continual consolidation by the major technology players as they look to round out their competitive portfolio of products and services. I struggle seeing any new infrastructure company founded today ever getting as large as the stalwarts. It doesn’t mean they can’t or won’t achieve great exits or milestones like Dyn, it’s just a new ballgame and landscape. It’s the major leagues.
But, these leaders like Oracle that want to survive and thrive, can’t do it alone and they know it. They know they don’t have the time to wait in a rapid paced, competitive world. The buy, build, partner discussion for the biggest technology companies on the planet is quickly becoming buy vs. build – and even when partner is the choice it becomes strategic and maintains a future view of the relationship and where its potential could be headed.
This factor is why I always say that entrepreneurs, founders, startup CEOs and executives need to be ‘blissfully ignorant’ in their belief that they can scale in the face of all these headwinds and against deep-pocketed and highly resourced juggernauts. Dyn is proof that you can build something of tremendous value, your way, but it’s paramount to always maintain optionality when it comes to corporate structure and governance and platform for success. It’s why I’ve always endured Dyn’s strategy followed the rising tides and market friendly approach.
I’ve always been biased in the startup career as the way of building something of true value that can be in your control, but my eyes are opening up, especially in core and mission critical internet infrastructure. The enterprise demands and internet volatility of today bring about tremendous opportunity for innovation. In the end, your blood, sweat, tears, investment, execution and vision sometimes simply needs to find a new home where the roads open up and the traffic clears and it’s pedal to the floor. That’s Dyn at Oracle.
We’ve always had a big vision at Dyn. We still do. Now it has just shifted from ‘blissful ignorance’ to right in front of us to capitalize on. It’s in our grasp and it’s there for the taking.
We thank you for your continued belief in our people, our capabilities, our technology, our network and our commitment to our customers and our market. We’re confident 20 years from now our ambition will be sailing along strongly with the Internet better off than we found it.
“I’ve missed more than 9000 shots in my career. I’ve lost almost 300 games. Twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over and over and over again in my life. And that is why I succeed.” -Michael Jordan