Cloud Computing Doghouse Updates (Outgoing): Nirvanix

A lot has happened since I tried my hand at investigative journalism with my detailed piece on Nirvanix’s lineage and its connections with Streamload/Mediamax/The Linkup (which you can read about in their Wikipedia article). Shortly afterwards CMO Jonathan Buckley was gone and a month ago today CEO Patrick Harr left “to pursue a new business endeavour”, replaced by “IT Veteran” and ex-McKinsey & Co, Jim Zierick (many of my friends are current & former McKinsey consultants and without exception they all know their stuff).

I’ve since had a bunch of public and private feedback and also heard from the original founder, Steve Iverson, who was surprisingly objective about it all:

It’s been several months now, so I have had enough time to put it behind me and move on to new things. We had a good run with Streamload and some good times and some very bad times and many lessons learned for me. The Nirvanix/MediaMax outcome was very disappointing and could have worked out so much better for everyone (MediaMax, Nirvanix, and our customers) but I suppose it wasn’t meant to be.

I can relate to Steve’s situation in that he would certainly not be the first technical person to have been disenfranchised by unscrupulous business types (Cisco founders Sandy Lerner and Len Bosack come to mind), but I also feel for the many victims who lost irreplacible data in The Linkup’s demise. I guess we’ll never know the true extent of Nirvanix’s culpability.

If this anonymous former employee is to be believed then maybe it’s too late for Nirvanix already, but if the guys responsible for this debacle are indeed long gone and they’ve tightened the belt and replaced key members of the management team then maybe it’s not – time will tell. They have some attractive products and (almost) first-mover advantage so provided they can deliver on the service then they could well still turn it into a success story.

In any case there seems little point in leaving them in the doghouse – no doubt if the data could have been restored it would have already and perhaps the old adage that “lightning never strikes the same place twice” is apt. I wish Jim and his team well and look forward to seeing what the next Nirvanix chapter holds.

Update: They flamed out; here’s a post mortem.

By Sam Johnston

Sam Johnston CMgr FCMI/FIML GAICD MACS Snr CP is an Australian technology executive and serial entrepreneur with over 20 years experience founding and advising startups, and in leadership roles at top global technology companies including Google, Equinix, Citrix, and DXC Technology.

Sam is currently chief entrepreneur officer (CEO) at Acumino, a Singapore venture studio focusing on emerging technologies and disruptive innovation. He is working with other founders to create the businesses of tomorrow by applying his research into emerging technologies including drones, robotics & humanoids, 3D printing, computer vision & voice, augmented & virtual reality, artificial intelligence & machine learning, blockchain, chatbots, and quantum computing.

Sam has a bachelor of computer science degree from the University of New South Wales, and is based in Singapore, having worked in Australia, Asia, Europe, and the USA.