Almost three years ago to the day, I wrote a blog post welcoming Joe Beda as an Entrepreneur-in-Residence to Accel. I first met Joe through a mutual acquaintance who suggested that we chat since I wanted to understand more about the burgeoning container/microservices space. According to her, Joe and his Google colleagues were “the Kubernetes guys” and the authority in what was then a relatively new category.
Since Joe is based in Seattle, he and I initially connected on the phone. Thirty minutes in, I knew instantly that he was somebody I wanted to work with—he articulated a clear vision of what the future of containers and microservices would look like, and how it would shape the next generation of application development and deployment. Not to mention, he also seemed like a pretty cool guy! All of it was enough to convince me to hop on a plane and fly to Seattle to meet Joe and his Kubernetes co-creators, Craig McLuckie and Brendan Burns. Their collective knowledge, passion and vision for this new technology blew me away, and reaffirmed my desire to bring them into the Accel family.
Fortunately for me and Accel, Joe was at a point where he was ready to get more serious about what his next chapter might look like and joined Accel as our very first Seattle Entrepreneur-in-Residence. While Joe started exploring various start-up ideas, he was also incredibly active in helping Accel to build relationships within the Seattle startup community and introduced us to lots of local entrepreneurial talent. The relationships that he helped create are ones that still hold true today and Seattle is a community that we remain deeply committed to.
A few months after, Craig felt it was time for him to reunite with Joe outside of Google and co-found Heptio. And funnily enough, it was almost a year to the day of writing that first blog post on Joe that I found myself once again writing yet another post—this time on the founding of Heptio. We couldn’t have been more fortunate to lead their Series A and embark on a journey together to build a category defining company.
Now once again, three years in and right on schedule, I find myself writing yet another post in November to congratulate Craig and Joe and the entire Heptio team on another exciting milestone: their acquisition by VMware.
What the Heptio team has built in just a few short years is really breathtaking—several innovative open source products, thought leadership in Kubernetes, a rapidly growing list of enterprise customers, and most importantly, an amazing team. It is a real testament to their original vision and unique knowledge that they accomplished so much in such a short period of time and laid the foundation for how Kubernetes can become the “control plane for IT”. While it might have happened sooner than we all imagined (and in fact, we tried this summer to lead their Series C), in VMware they have a tremendous partner to help take their technology to the next level and bring it to more companies, more quickly. This is a great opportunity for Craig, Joe and the killer Heptio team, and surely just the beginning. I will miss working with them, but I can only imagine what next year’s post will bring. Congratulations, Heptio team—here’s to many more successful years to come!