CloudMunch co-founder and CEO Pradeep Prabhu never expected to be the CEO of a tech company.
“I just got into it by accident,” says Prabhu, who initially was studying to be a doctor in India. But now Prabhu, who went on to lead the Infosys Seattle office, heads CloudMunch, a company offering continuous deployment and monitoring in the cloud.
Their mission? “Let developers focus on their code.” Here’s more from Prabhu in the latest episode of Nextcast:
—As a successful entrepreneur, Prabhu is full of wisdom on building great products and great teams. The biggest mistake a startup can make, he says, is “not really understanding how the software is going to be used by our users.” He adds: “We are all-consumed by what we are creating” and forget to check in with anyone else. Getting user feedback early on in the development process is “the best thing you can do”. Asked what he’d tell his younger self, Prabhu notes: “When you are young, I think your ability to maybe dream crazy is much higher.” (3:15)
—Solving big problems for users is what CloudMunch is all about. “We had some pretty tough customer situations,” he says about building the business. But they knew they were on the right track when they talked to users about their problems. There was a sense that “there has to be a better way of doing this,” Prabhu explains. “There was the pain and the passion.” And that’s where great companies come from. (7:00)
—Prabhu has big demands on his time, and here’s how he keeps up. “There’s hundreds of things to do…sometimes it’s scary to think: ‘I’m only going to do three things today’,” he says. But by picking key strategic projects to complete, rather than half-finishing everything on his list, he ensures the important things get done. “When you get that done, you feel good,” he says, adding, “and of course, stop checking email all the time.” (9:40)
—Though his company CloudMunch is at the forefront of cloud computing, Prabhu is also familiar with technology from a bygone era. “I still remember when I was a kid, getting a telegram…was a huge deal,” he says of his early life in India. Just recently the final telegraph company — which operated in India — shut down, closing the book on that particular means of communication. Now, Prabhu is passionate about the future of communication, in the form of video conferencing and online conversation. (16:50)
—Prabhu talks about the transition of tech from huge bundled systems to unbundled individual services, and how the cloud is taking us back to the bundled model. When he first pitched CloudMunch, he says the board asked him: “Are you saying you want to do some old stuff?” But he explains: “The business model evolved…at the end of the day, it’s the business model.” (21:00)
Nextcast founder Jeff Dickey is passionate about technology, business and philosophy. He works as the SVP of Cloud and Big Data Solutions at Redapt, a Redmond-based cloud and big data infrastructure company. Editor’s note: GeekWire is proud to partner with Jeff who produces the Nextcast entrepreneur interview series. WhitePages is a GeekWire annual sponsor. Past interviews here.