Editor’s note: Navin Chaddha is managing director of Mayfield, an early-stage venture capital firm. He holds 35 patents, is a serial entrepreneur, has been involved with two dozen IPOs and acquisitions, and is a lifelong cricket fan.
The software-defined data center should be a call to all entrepreneurs focused on enterprise infrastructure that the past does not predict the future, but it can be undone by it.
And the past was great. It was great for entrepreneurs and VCs. Categories for hardware-based servers, storage, networking and security were created in the past 30 years that still generate $200 billion-plus in annual sales. The margins were fat, product lock-in was substantial and barriers to entry were high. The game plan worked for everyone and everyone had the same game plan: Focus on hardware.
But that game plan no longer works. Established infrastructure categories are getting disrupted with newer technologies that…
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