Saying good bye to Autovirt

Saying good bye to Autovirt

Summary: AutoVirt couldn't get funding and had to close its doors. Will its good ideas be picked up by another supplier or is it really the end?

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I was reading Virtualization, Data Migration Upstart AutoVirt Closes Doors by CRN's Andrew R Hickey. The article announced the sudden demise of an interesting and innovative storage virtualization company, AutoVirt. The reason given was that AutoVirt had not been able to successfully close another round of funding and had to cease operations. My condolences go out to the management and staff of the company.

I'm wondering if this is the leading edge of an industry trend.

In the past, company founders having a good idea, a working engineering prototype, a reasonable go-to-market strategy, and an executive team having the talent, the skill and the ability to turn the idea into a growing concern were able to get funding. The investors understood that they were planting seeds and watering the ground, but time and careful tending were absolutely required for growth. Careful multi-year plans were made and the team started executing knowing that if some level of success could be seen, additional rounds of funding would be available to keep the idea alive.

What's new today is the short term thinking I see in the investment community.  If an idea doesn't produce a bumper crop immediately, they cut their investment and go onto something else. Good ideas are left to rot in the field.

While it is possible that a large storage virtualization supplier, such as EMC, Hitachi Data Systems, IBM or NetApp might come along and buy up the intellectual property for a song and incorporate it into other products, it is just as possible that it is just the end of a dream.

I see similar thinking in the marketing departments of start ups as well.  They're looking for "silver bullets" rather than carefully building a brand image over time. This, of course means, that it is quite possible that they never follow a course long enough to get anywhere.

Are we in the era of short term thinking?

Topics: Virtualization, CXO, Cloud, Data Centers, Hardware, Storage

About

Daniel Kusnetzky, a reformed software engineer and product manager, founded Kusnetzky Group LLC in 2006. He's literally written the book on virtualization and often comments on cloud computing, mobility and systems software. In his spare time, he's also the managing partner of Lux Sonus LLC, an investment firm.

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8 comments
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  • Um, sorry, but your utopia vision never existed. Venture capitalists

    have always looked at ROI windows in terms of 6 months, 12 months, 18 months, 24 months, etc. The idea of continuing to sink money into a losing concern for years and years has NEVER been considered smart business.
    baggins_z
    • RE: Saying good bye to Autovirt

      @baggins_z I agree that it is a numbers game. I have seen however, that investors have strong guidelines that may or may not make sense in a specific area of hardware or software. So, a company making real progress, and not losing money, might be thrown out with the bath water if those strong guidelines are not met.

      Thanks, by the way, for taking the time to comment.

      Dan K
      dkusnetzky
  • five years versus 90 days

    If you accept that "Greed is Stupid" then understanding short term goal pusuit makes perfect sense. After all these are the people that bought into "lose a little on every sale and make it back in volume", can you say "Mortgage Derivatives!"
    plumley@...
  • RE: Saying good bye to Autovirt

    More on point...
    ...Autovirt does have a valuable, unique product, and some vendor will get a bargain when they gobble up this technology. It's too bad that great technology doesn't guarantee a great sales force and operational efficiency.
    n0mb
    • RE: Saying good bye to Autovirt

      @n0mb I find that the history of the IT industry is littered with dead companies that had developed interesting technology, but hadn't developed a good sales or marketing model. It's sad.

      Dan K
      dkusnetzky
  • RE: Saying good bye to Autovirt

    Sad to hear about Autovirt. 2X is a company that is going strong for those looking for alternatives as Citrix moves on enterprise accounts?
    Check @2X-dot-com
    virthddman
    • huh

      How is 2x an alternative? Does anyone know of a good alternative to AutoVirt - that is still going?
      argon0
  • off base...

    "company founders having a good idea, a working engineering prototype, a reasonable go-to-market strategy, and an executive team having the talent, the skill and the ability to turn the idea into a growing concern"

    There are a lot of assumptions in your statement there...most of them wrong. AutoVirt did NOT have an executive team with talent...consequently they flushed out the real engineering talent and the engineering prototype was never able to get farther along than early Beta quality. The idea is still ok, but that particular team was never going to make it happen and the investors recognized this...Someone starting clean could possibly make do better, but the relationships have already been tainted such that the major players are now a little put off to the idea...
    jointocomment