A pair of round number milestones has made me deeply reflective about my life and that of Rubrik.
In October, I turned 50.
And ten years ago today, my Co-Founders and I started Rubrik.
I want to talk more about the second landmark first because it’s not just a personal watershed but a notable one as well for our customers, partners, colleagues, and investors.
Let me take you back to Monday, January 27, 2014, which seems like yesterday and long ago at the same time. The Golden State Warriors were in the middle of their first championship season of the 21st century. Jay Leno was in his final week as host of “The Tonight Show.” The Dow Jones industrial average stood at 15,879.
We signed our seed financing papers and for the first time sat together in a small room with a whiteboard in the Lightspeed Ventures incubation space. It was a humble beginning with ambitions that were anything but modest - to build an enduring institution that provides equal opportunity to help all Rubrikans realize their full potential.
That day marked a huge career switch for me. After several years at two Bay Area venture capital firms, I decided to go to the other side. Rubrik would represent not only my first time serving as Co-Founder and CEO of a startup but also working at one.
Was it scary? I had too much belief in our vision and ability to succeed to be worried. But only a fool can ignore that the overwhelming majority of startups fail – by some measures, you have less than a one percent chance of success. However, I have always believed that averages don’t apply to individual efforts.
On top of the daunting odds confronting every startup, Rubrik was embarking on what seemed an unorthodox strategy. Rather than create an infrastructure storage platform or any other flavors in vogue at the time, we set out to transform the traditional backup and recovery into a new category focused on securing data, the most critical asset of every organization.
But were we scared? No. Were we motivated and excited? Yes.
We knew our approach had legs when one of our first customers got hit with one of the first known ransomware attacks. We were able to successfully help the organization recover and bring services back online quickly.
Look where the journey has taken us these last ten years. Rubrik has gone from a disruptor to a leader in cybersecurity - pioneering cyber recovery and resilience in the market. Last year, we passed $500 million in subscription annual recurring revenue and currently count more than 5,500 customers. We’re proud to work not only with businesses but with hospitals, schools, and government agencies.
To the 3,000-plus Rubrikans who work so hard to carry out our mission, I say: Take a bow. It’s because of your relentlessness and commitment to the mission and focus on our customers that we have been able to redefine a legacy industry and create the future of cybersecurity.
What’s next for Rubrik? As we have from the beginning, we’ll place no limits on what we can become. We will strive for an infinite outcome as we help organizations dealing with unprecedented volume, variability, and velocity of data build a resilient future in the face of inevitable cyberattacks. We’ll continue to define new frontiers at the intersection of artificial intelligence, business data, and cybersecurity to ensure data is secure and available to the right users on any platform at the right time for the right duration.
For ten years now, we’ve worked to build an iconic company, and we’ll never veer from that path. There is no finish line for Rubrik.
As the Co-Founder and CEO, I’ll continue to obsess over the things I think about every day: hiring the best team, creating products that address customers’ needs, and fostering the lasting, innovative culture that will make us and our customers unstoppable.
Rubrik enters its second decade as I start my next half-century. Turning 50 inevitably makes a person reflect on their life. As a contemplative person to begin with, I’ve been doing even more of that lately.
(My birthday cake is a tribute to my mother who used to make Besan Halwa, a common Indian dessert, in the shape of a cake since we couldn't afford a cake)
I think back to my childhood in India; and realize I am now living an impossible dream. My father encouraged me to dream big, and my mother taught me the importance of dignity, not to fixate on where we were but where we wanted to go. I miss them both very much but am eternally grateful for these important gifts they gave me.
I’m also thankful for America and its culture of entrepreneurship and opportunity. When I suggested earlier that I never want to impose an artificial limit on how far Rubrik can go, I’m just channeling my parents’ values and the values of this great country, where it’s possible to take risks and achieve.
And, of course, I am so grateful for my wife and two kids, who support me day in and day out, whether I am on a plane to Tokyo or down the street from home at our Rubrik Palo Alto Office.
I’ve had quite a life so far, and Rubrik has enjoyed a remarkable run–funny thing, though: We’re both just getting started.