1. Like many other Nextcast interviewees, Pradeep Prabhu, cofounder and CEO of CloudMunch, never expected to be the CEO of a tech company when he was growing up. “I just got into it by accident,” he says. But his knowledge and experience are obvious after 20 years spent working in the space, and now he heads up CloudMunch, a company offering continuous deployment and monitoring in the cloud. Their mission? “Let developers focus on their code.”

    As a successful founder and CEO, Prabhu is full of wisdom on building great products and great teams. The biggest mistake a startup can make, he says, is “not really understanding how the software is going to be used by our users”. He adds, “We are all-consumed by what we are creating” and forget to check in with anyone else. Getting user feedback early on in the development process is “the best thing you can do”. (3:15)

    Solving big problems for users is what CloudMunch is all about. “We had some pretty tough customer situations,” he says about building the business. But they knew they were on the right track when they talked to users about their problems. There was a sense that “there has to be a better way of doing this,” Prabhu explains. “There was the pain and the passion.” And that’s where great companies come from. (7:00)

    As a founder and CEO, to say Prabhu has big demands on his time is an understatement. How does he get it all done? Well -- by deciding not to get it all done. “There’s hundreds of things to do...sometimes it’s scary to think ‘I’m only going to do 3 things today’,” he says. But by picking key strategic projects to complete, rather than half-finishing everything on his list, he ensures the important things get done. “When you get that done, you feel good,” he says, adding, “and of course, stop checking email all the time.” (9:40)

    Though his company CloudMunch is at the forefront of technology, Prabhu is also familiar with technology from a bygone era. “I still remember when I was a kid, getting a telegram...was a huge deal,” he says of his early life in India. Just recently the final telegraph company -- which operated in India -- shut down, closing the book on that particular means of communication. Now, Prabhu is passionate about the future of communication, in the form of video conferencing and online conversation. (16:50)

    Stick around to the end of this interview to see Prabhu get into a groove talking tech. He talks about the transition of tech from huge bundled systems to unbundled individual services, and how the cloud is taking us back to the bundled model. When he first pitched CloudMunch, he says the board asked him: “Are you saying you want to do some old stuff?”. But he explains, “The business model evolved...at the end of the day, it’s the business model.” (21:00)

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