Last night, AppDynamics was acknowledged as a recipient of the San Francisco Business Times Tech and Innovation Awards. I also received the honor of being named “Best CEO”. During the last six years, I have poured myself into AppDynamics with one goal in mind: to build the world’s next great software company. I’ve learned a lot throughout the process, often learning more from things that went wrong than from the things that went right. I’m deeply humbled by this accolade from the San Francisco Business Times. It’s just one more validation point of what we’ve been fanatic about about building over the last six years.
I’m not a person of great pomp and circumstance, nor am I someone that pontificates on his own achievements. So I thought I would take this opportunity to articulate a handful of the principles I’ve tried to abide by that I believe helped lead us to where the company is today. I credit these principles to much of AppDynamics success, and to also catching the attention of San Francisco Business Times.
1. Customer is king. Customers should be every team member’s top priority. If the customer isn’t happy for any reason – nothing else matters. Ultimately, customers keep the lights on at the office.
2. Happy employees lead to happy customers. It’s often said a human being’s happiness starts from the inside out, meaning that a person that is happy with himself will spread that happiness to others. The same principle applies to business. An employee’s happiness is infectious to customers. As such, creating an environment that employees want to wake up and go to every day is crucial.
3. Focus on the data. The old adage says, “statistics lie and liars use statistics.” And while this is true in many cases, I find in business the numbers don’t lie. If the numbers show that something isn’t working, you must take it apart and start again.
4. Check your ego at the door. Rather than gloat about your past achievements, look towards what’s ahead. Keeping your feet planted firmly on the ground will go a long way in difficult business situations.
5. Be open to change. If we’re not continuously disrupting ourselves somebody else will. The best time to fix something is before it becomes broken. Find the holes and patch them quickly, or someone else will.
We have come a long way in a short amount of time, and I couldn’t be more proud of the business we have built together. The honor of Best CEO is an incredible testament to the hard work and dedication of our more than 400 employees that contribute to the success of the company every day. It’s times like these that not only make me look back and take stock of the last few years, but also get me really excited about what is to come for AppDynamics.