What A Year Already. Now It’s Pivot Time


As taken from the phenomenal book Lean Startup by Eric Ries, a pivot is an interesting thing. We see it in business, and in life. Here is the story of mine.

2014 has been an incredible year in so many ways. In late 2013 I took a co-leader role at the Toronto VMUG alongside Angelo Luciani and Mike Preston. This was a great opportunity to grow our VMUG membership and do as much as we could to bring value to the members and the wider VMUG and overall online communities that we work with.

How It Began

In early 2014 I was honored to be invited by Stephen Foskett to be a delegate at Tech Field Day: Virtualization Field Day 3 in Silicon Valley. I was able to have an opportunity to sit at a delegate table with a group of amazing individuals, and see the technology presentations by a number of phenomenal vendors. This began a snowball effect of great opportunity that has become something I strive to help others be able to reach.

At the same time I was able to meet David Davis in person, I was in the process of creating my Introduction to OpenStack course for Pluralsight thanks to being introduced earlier in the year. I also was able to chat with Scott Lowe who, partnered with David, have created Actual Tech Media which is responsible for great web content on VirtualizationSoftware.com, EnterpriseStorageGuide.com, and Hyperconverged.org among many other ebooks, print books, and webinars. Through this introduction it led me to be able to join them as a content contributor on the sites.

vBrownBag Growth

Alastair Cooke was also among the VFD3 delegates, and through conversations at the event and after, he opened up the invitation to be able to work with him and the vBrownBag team at the OpenStack Summit in Atlanta. This was a fun experience and I am extremely proud of how we worked together to bring lots of powerful content to the live audience and for continued consumption via YouTube.

During the OpenStack Summit I also worked with Kenneth Hui, Brian Gracely, and Aaron Delp where we created some great podcast content for the Cloudcast which was really fun, and created some great friendships and new introductions to great vendors.

I was also able to join a panel of great folks at the event to talk about the changing role of a Systems Architect as it relates to OpenStack and the new open cloud options becoming available.

Pluralsight and the Cloud Expo

The team at Pluralsight invited me to speak at the Cloud Expo in order to present on OpenStack and this was a great opportunity to meet again with some great individuals, and to bring focus to the work I was doing on OpenStack, and on the nearly released Introduction to OpenStack course.

Shortly after the event July 1st was marked as a special day for a few reasons, and one was the official launch of my Introduction to OpenStack course at Pluralsight. I’ve received great feedback from it and I’m in the midst of creating the next course in the series which I’m very excited about!

Virtual Design Master: Season 2

There is so much more to what I can say in a paragraph about the Virtual Design Master Season 2 that I was a part of along with Angelo Luciani, Melissa Palmer, and Jonathan Frappier. Having come out of Season 1 with hopes of making Season 2 even more exciting, it did that and so much more.

VMworld and More Tech Field Day Events

VMworld 2014 was amazing. The people, the event, the activities, and everything around it made it the most special VMworld for me personally and professionally. There is always a spectacular feeling around it, but there was so much that made this year one that can’t be topped.

During the week I was also selected to be a part of two days of Tech Field Day Extra (don’t worry…posts are coming for those…I’ve been wickedly backlogged). Stephen and the team always do so much for the delegates, vendors, and for the audience. I can’t say enough how much I love being a part of this great team when I have the chance.

Cisco Grand Slam in NYC: More Tech Field Day Goodness

Hot on the heels of VMworld I was off to NYC to be a Tech Field Day delegate for the Cisco UCS Grand Slam event held at the Intercontinental Hotel in Manhattan. This featured a day of exciting announcements and was topped off with a chance to go to the NY Yankees vs Boston Red Sox game at Yankee Stadium. How cool is that?!

The Day I Had to Opt Out of Tech Field Day

One of the criteria for being a part of Tech Field Day is that the delegates are independent. This means that since I was on the customer side, I could continue to represent the TFD crew at events if invited.

So, this is where the story gets exciting.

The Pivot: What’s Next?

Today I mark my final few days at my current company as I am joining Turbonomic September 29th as Principal Solutions Engineer and Technology Evangelist.

This is the culmination of so much. It has been made possible by the people who have supported and encouraged me, the community that brings me opportunities and great exposure through this blog, my speaking engagements, and all of the events I am lucky enough to be a part of.

In other words, thank you. I hope that you’ll enjoy the work I’m about to do as much as I do. Truthfully, I’m going to be doing precisely what I’ve done for a couple of years now. The advantage now is that I can get out much more to VMUG events, conferences, Meetups, and many more. My focus is on people. Always.

As I always say, I’ve been incredibly lucky, but I also work very hard to be this lucky. Thanks to your support, this is the beginning of a new journey for me. I can’t wait to get started!


11 thoughts on “What A Year Already. Now It’s Pivot Time”

  1. Congratulations Eric – this is awesome! So glad to have met you back in March and I’ve experienced much of the same cascading growth you describe coming out of that experience. It’s been a true pleasure getting to know you and I really enjoy everything you contribute to the community! All the best in your new role, and I’m looking forward to seeing what you do in it!

    • Thanks James!! It has been great to be able to work with you at TFD and meet up at VMworld. We will have lots of chances to meet up again in the future I hope!

    • Thanks Andrew!! I’m really glad to have seen this all come to fruition, and hope to bring others along for their own journey to new and exciting places 🙂


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