Video: First-Principles Thinking - Growth Stories with VAST Data
“If you’re right and everyone agrees with you, it’s not as interesting as if you’re right and everyone else disagrees with you. That's where you can drive value and benefit to others. It's hard to find those places, but first principle thinking allows you to find those much more easily."
VAST Data continues to establish itself as the fastest-selling storage company in history, with a mission to democratize flash storage for all enterprises. Boasting a 100% customer satisfaction rate, 3.8x year-over-year growth, and a near doubling of their headcount, VAST Data closed 2021 with a slew of monumental achievements.
In this installment of our video series, partner Avery Schwartz sits down with VAST Data CEO & co-founder Renen Hallak to discuss the founding ideologies and principles that drives Renen everyday as steward of VAST Data.
It seems that every time I see you, you're finishing the biggest project while also working on the next most ambitious endeavor that the company has ever worked on. I'm starting to suspect that's by design.
It is. We want to leverage one success to slingshot us to the next one, and I think it becomes a virtuous cycle that you can iterate on over and over again.
I think one of the things that's evident when speaking with you is that you're a very first-principles thinker. Can that be attributed to your drive for independence, both in thought and in how you approach things?
I think if you're right and everybody else agrees with you, it's not as interesting as if you're right and everybody else disagrees with you. That's where you find the things that are unique and can drive value and benefit to others.
It's hard to find those places because usually everyone else believes they are right in what they think. But I think first-principle thinking allows you to find those places much more easily because you don't need to care or look at what people around you are doing, or thinking you just need to find your own path.
Also from an entrepreneurial perspective, I think the way that we're running the company is very much in line with that need for independence, so that we're not reliant on external forces for the future success of the company.
So as an entrepreneur, how do you distinguish between the places where it's important to stick to your guns and be first-principles driven versus leveraging the wisdom of other peoples’ experiences?
I think it's a two-step process. The first step is you need to put blinders on and try to understand what's the optimal amount that you can get to. And then the second step is to compare that with everything else that's out there. If you find in a very critical manner that that is significantly better than what is available at the time, you're onto something. If you find that it's not necessarily a lot better, then you need to start over.
About VAST Data
VAST Data is on a mission to bring an end to decades of complexity and application bottlenecks. The VAST team combines a series of innovations to radically change the flash cost vs. capacity equation, democratizing the utility of flash for all data and all applications.
Combatting failure-prone hard drives and complex storage tiers, VAST Data provides a dramatically simplified and universal storage experience where applications benefit from being able to store and access all of their data in real time.