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September - 2007 - issue > Cover Feature
The Audacity of Faith
Dev Ittycheria
Tuesday, September 4, 2007
On the afternoon of July 25th, two siliconindians rang the Nasdaq closing bell to mark the closing of the US stock market. That day also signified a milestone many entrepreneurs can only dream about. It was the day the company they founded six years ago – BladeLogic – had become a public entity. July 25th was also the culmination of the hard work and dedication of many different people across all parts of the business and a huge milestone in the company’s history. The company’s path to the IPO is also a story about the power of faith:

* It was faith that two siliconindians worked extremely hard to start a software business in the technology sector’s post-bubble dark days of the summer of 2001, even though neither of them had any direct experience running a software company. Most of their friends and family members thought they had gone mad to attempt this given the tech “bubble” had burst.

* It was faith that in a period when raising venture capital was extremely difficult – many VCs didn’t even bother returning their phone calls – they were fortunate enough to find two top tier venture capital firms – Battery Ventures and Bessemer Venture Partners – who believed enough to give them a home for a few months to work on their idea.

* It was faith that they met another entrepreneur based in California who had built an interesting utility designed to make systems administrators very productive. This entrepreneur’s own faith told him it made sense to let these siliconindians acquire his small business, relocate 3,000 miles to Boston and essentially put his life’s work in the hands of people he had known for less than 2 months.

* It was faith that they closed their first round of financing just 5 days before the awful events of 9/11. They, like most other people at the time, were in complete shock at what had occurred. Their commitment to the business made them continue on. They hired their first set of employees and began working on the product even though they had the nagging worry that with the world forever changed, would anyone really care about the problems they were trying to solve.

* Very quickly they found out that customers did care. A number of large Global 500 customers demonstrated enormous faith by writing checks to the company while at the same essentially helping them build their first generation product.

* It was faith that they were able to recruit board members who had built and managed some of the largest software companies in the world – Asential, Lotus, Informix, Parametric, and Veritas. The executives’ faith in the team’s vision as well as their invaluable counsel inspired the siliconindians to reach for their full potential.

* It was faith that they were able to round out their management team with individuals who brought world-class software and technology pedigree. And it was faith – mixed with a lot of hard work, dedication and passion – that enabled the whole team to get to where they are today. The last six years have been an exciting journey, and the journey has now entered a new phase. The public markets have entrusted their money in BladeLogic, and they take that trust extremely seriously.

The lesson learned is that faith – or what people may call perseverance or the power of will – is something that can allow people to reach heights only they ever thought possible. In some way this is true of all siliconindians who come to the US to reach for their dreams.

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