He who never fails, never learns. In hindsight, if you pause for a minute and look back at your life, your failed experiences would weigh heavier on your learning than the successful ones. That’s why the world’s famous personalities, be it industry leaders, TV stars, activists, philosophers, politicians, or sportspersons, all could be heard to echo the same fact – failure is your greatest teacher.
Jeff Eiben, an icon in cloud computing and a successful entrepreneur, learned the biggest lesson of his career through failure.
This dates back to 2011 when Jeff was considered one of the best salespeople in the country. Having graduated in 1993 from an engineering school in West Virginia University, he had previously served at famous corporations like Westinghouse, Mallet Technologies, Ansoft Corporations, and Logic Library before landing at VMware as Enterprise Account Manager.
The company excelled at virtualization at that time and was considered a pioneer in the industry. Jeff was overlooking simulation software developed by the company. But after working for nearly five years at VMware, cloud computing technology grabbed his attention, and he couldn’t help breaking the loop and opening a company that would capitalize on the opportunities presented by the cloud.
River Point Technology appeared on the business landscape as a facilitator to help companies integrate the new technology. However, that is exactly where things got a little tough on Jeff. He had no prior experience in managing or running a business as he had spent most of his career in sales roles. Though he wasn’t wrong in his assessment that cloud computing technology was the need of the hour, there was one problem.
“After we started River Point Technology and reached out to businesses, we realized one of the most challenging aspects of starting a business was to understand the market timing. When we went to companies for proposals to integrate new emerging technology, we thought they would be excited about the opportunity,” says Jeff. “On the contrary, it turned out, we were too early in introducing technology to the market,” he further added.
Jeff felt they were three years early in the race. Furthermore, It was not difficult to arrange meetings with the heads of the companies and have long discussions over the new emerging tech, but convincing them to integrate new tech was the real obstacle.
“In retrospect, I saw two reasons for this problem. While the solution we offered worked well with many, the business value and market timing were off. From a business value perspective, the data we proposed addressing was cold data, meaning no one really cared about it. That data wasn’t a high priority for organizations,” says Jeff while recalling the reasons for initial hiccups of the company.
The second reason, he believes, was that most companies weren’t in the public cloud yet and had no ability to operate there. Apparently, we had chosen the wrong market timing, Jeff concludes.
A series of minor wins and then losses ensued for years to come. But Jeff and his team at River Point Technology stood firm. They continued to face failures with dignity and grabbed lessons from each loss to further improve their methodology, which they term ‘Value Creation Technology.
Jeff believes that in business, while you are constantly encountering failures and refining your strategy in the wake of them, it’s important to get comfortable with failure–because failure is an inevitable component of trying new things. “Rather than deny this reality, we have built it into our methodology, and that’s why it’s one of the most successful models in the history of cloud computing,” Jeff Eiben contended.
We might have doubted the claims made by Jeff, but having seen the awards grabbed by the company, we are compelled to believe every word of him. He’s truly a trailblazer, innovator, and one-of-its-kind leader!