Snowflake boss writes hands -on CEO toolkit – Blocks and Files

Frank Slootman wrote another book about how to run a business based on his time at Data Domain, ServiceNow, and Snowflake.

Our first thought was: never again – he co -wrote Rise of The Data Cloud last year.

But this is quickly put aside because Frank appears to be walking on the walk. He had stints at Data Domain, which EMC bought for $ 2.4 billion in 2009; ServiceNow, which ran a $ 210m IPO in 2012; and its current Snowflake gig following its IPO last year, which raised $ 3.36bn to $ 33.6bn. If you’re a VC, CxO, EVP, SVP or VP-level exec at a startup that has failed to reach its full potential, Slootman may be someone you’re looking for.

He writes in a way that gets your attention, with chapter titles like “My Journey from Teenage Toilet Cleaner to Serial CEO” and clearly written anecdotes to illustrate his points.

The book is organized into five sections: Raise your standards; Align your people and culture; Sharpen your focus; Keep up with the speed; and Change your approach.

With each Frank makes everything simple. Diagnose and define the problem, then fix it with celery. He was like a corporate plumber. Blocked pipes? HR recruiting flatlining sales people instead of gunslingers? Are the faucets leaking? Finance hungry investment sales? Not enough header tanks? Too many passengers and too few drivers in the organization? Diagnose and fix.

Hit targets

Throughout the book, Frank hits grenades at his business black beetle, such as consultants who borrow your watch, charge you money for telling the time, and then keep your watch. Ah, the old ones are the best.

It’s also fun to read newer things of his rage, like the customer success departments he saw on ServiceNow and Snowflake: “They’re excited to follow the trend set by other companies like us. But I’m not. I removed the plug on these customer success departments at the same company, reassigning staff to the departments where their expertise was most appropriate. ”

Strategy VPs are another target: “In many large companies, it is common to see dedicated strategy roles, usually at the VP Level. These people are typically in-house consultants because they have no operational responsibilities. ”For Frank,“ the operators who manage each business unit must also be strategists for their business, and the chief executive officer must also act as chief strategy officer. “

Well -known quotes

“But the simple truth is not all businesses are destined to succeed … Slow -growing companies are becoming dead.”

“Silicon Valley is full of companies that have lingered in the well -known chasm for years and years.” (Shades of extreme inbetweeners here?)

“When it costs more than a dollar to produce a dollar, you really have no business.”

Data Domain: “Selling to EMC is a good outcome by any economic standards, but a CEO can’t help thinking that he or she dropped out of the mission when a company was sold.”

ServiceNow: “It’s a platform, not a tool. A tool is a one-trick pony, but a platform is broadly capable of many different uses.”

Snowflake: “Snowflake is hugely over-resourced.… Introducing me to a more serious and disciplined approach is like pushing staff into a cold shower to wake them up.”

Slootman is a hands-on person and this book is a readable and fun tour through his hands-on CEO toolkit. Sadly Wiley didn’t increase the quality of its production, however, with a humdrum cover that makes a second-rate impression.

The book was written with the help of Will Weisser and is sold in major retail and online bookstores.

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