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Carl Eschenbach

I love how technology transforms people’s lives every day. I want to work on things that will last for decades and that will transform how people work, live, and play.

To be honest, I never set out to be a venture capitalist. But with nearly 30 years of operating experience, I’m eager to help founders develop operating models, grow and scale revenue, and build winning go-to-market strategies.

My background is across all types of infrastructure technologies, both on-premises and in the public cloud. Companies are just beginning to figure out how to transform their business models to take advantage of these opportunities.

If you’re not learning, you’re not growing. Right now, I’m excited to learn more about the consumer world and mobile apps.

Having grown VMware from 200 to 20,000 people, I know how important recruiting is. The earliest hires establish a culture that will have to stand the test of time as the company matures.

I never believed anyone worked for me. As a leader, it’s my responsibility to remove barriers to allow people to grow, both personally and professionally, and to provide guidance along the way.

I left a four-year college to attend DeVry University. I always loved math. After starting out as an engineer, I moved into sales, sales leadership, and then executive leadership.

One of the most interesting roles I’ve had was as a sales engineer for N.E.T. I was a one-man band. I learned to architect, design, and engineer systems… and then I had to sell them to customers.

I’ve stepped in as the CFO of a $5B company, and I’ve transitioned three CEOs. I’ve given keynote presentations, both business and technical, to crowds of twenty thousand people.

My mentor in life was my father. In Pennsylvania where I grew up, he sold ice cream in the summer and Christmas trees in the winter. He was a hard-working man who taught me integrity, humility and, most importantly, placing family first.

Wrestling in high school taught me a lot. I learned self-discipline and to push myself to achieve my personal best while also being a team player.

I’ve been part of two very successful startups, VMware and Inktomi. I’ve also had the opportunity to meet with dozens of startups over the last decade.

“I don’t know” is a great answer. Even if you’re the smartest person in the room, there’s always more you can learn from those around you.

Don’t let success change who you are. I’ve had teams try to “rebrand” my external image. I told them, “I am who I am. You guys market who Carl is, not who you want me to be.”

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