With Jyoti Bansal, Founder & CEO at AppDynamics
By Ashu Garg
Jyoti Bansal’s AppDynamics recently sold to Cisco for $3.8 billion. As a first-time sole founder and CEO from a tech background, Jyoti tells me what he learned about the business side of things.
Jyoti Bansal came to America shortly after graduating from IIT Delhi in 1999, eager to put his knowledge to use in the startup world. He was an engineer at three different Silicon Valley startups before deciding he was ready to form his own. In 2008, Jyoti founded AppDynamics, an application performance management tool for the rapidly growing cloud-based distribution market. In his initial funding round, he attracted interest from seven VCs in one week. The company also attracted interest from customers including NBC Universal, Nike, FedEx, and Qualcomm. Less than nine years later, Jyoti sold AppDynamics to Cisco for $3.7 billion. Here are a few things he learned along the way.
Jyoti says your pitch to VCs needs these three parts to tell your “complete story”:
Lessons learned: Jyoti was working at another job when he began raising money for his new company. One VC asked if he really believed in AppDynamics, why he was he still working somewhere else? He quit his job the next day.
As a young immigrant from a technical background, Jyoti had to prove that he could handle the business side of his company as well as he could the technical side.
Lessons learned: The three things you have to master as a CEO.
You can’t focus on scale if you’re micromanaging. Now is the time to trust your team. Hire salespeople to do the selling for you. Don’t be directly involved in every single sale.
Lessons learned: Jyoti realized that he didn’t know enough about sales to know who to hire as salespeople, and didn’t have the time to learn. He hired a VP of sales and VP of marketing to fill in his knowledge gaps.
Published on 02.17.2022
Written by Ashu Garg