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Mark Musselman

A Sort of Homecoming: Back From Akamai Edge

10.15.2013 | Posted by Mark Musselman

This is my first blog post for Sumo Logic.  It took 18 months but I was always a late bloomer and we have some Hemingway-class bloggers on staff anyway.  No doubt I was shy as my music production partner in MOMU, JD Moyer, is now a prolific blogger with an immense following. 

Nonetheless, when I was asked to write about the experience at last week’s Akamai Edge – the worldwide customer and partner conclave – due to my unique position of having worked at Akamai from 2002 to 2005, I jumped at the opportunity. The day I started at Akamai the stock was either at 52 cents or 56 cents – I don’t recall exactly.  The day I left it was at $56 bucks – I do remember that.  In those three years, I was able to bring onboard and expanded Akamai’s presence at companies like eBay, The Gap, RingCentral, Netflix, Walmart.com and E*Trade, all of whom bought into the business value that Akamai delivered.  This culminated in being Named the top Major Account Executive for the Americas in 2004 – definitely a personally “pinnacle” achievement….

Akamai is an amazing company for way too many reasons to list, but the people and the culture top the list.  In fact, when I think about the best places I have worked, from Ritz-Carlton to BladeLogic, the common thread among these favorite employers of mine was and is the people.  Smart, aggressive, coachable, creative, daring, fearless and fun people, with amazing founders.   

I want to key in on the similarity that I see between Akamai and Sumo Logic. Akamai is the first Cloud Company.  REALLY Cloud.  My goal when I arrived at Sumo Logic last year was to help build a culture that weaved in the best of two great worlds – BladeLogic and Akamai, with a maniacal focus on the Customer Experience.  At all of these places a common theme was the “DNA” of the staff.  There is magnificent art in taking a cutting edge, disruptive product and meshing it with the intense sense of urgency and thoughtful execution.  Having the opportunity to help build this from scratch at Sumo Logic was too good to pass up.  I fell in love with Christian and Kumar’s vision and the innovation around the technology.

There are many more similarities than just the clarity of vision and the incredible focus on execution.  The inimitable George Conrades once told a prospect of ours in a meeting how many lines of code that Akamai had written – in 2003 – and it was a massive number.  We are both software companies at the core.  We both rely heavily on algorithms to create customer value and massive differentiation.  We both go to market with a recurring revenue model.  We both allow for instant elasticity and on-demand usage.  We both are totally focused on a great product that helps our customers fight the demands of the digital world with the best tools available.  Last but not least we are both entranced by The Algorithm…

Back to Akamai Edge.   It is incredible to see how much of the online world continues to run and thrive through Akamai.  2.2 billion log lines every 60 seconds.  Yes, you read that right.  Staggering scale.  The session on the Dominant Design principle blew me away.  With the new announcement of Akamai opening up its platform to developers and partners, Akamai is even more Open.  Sumo Logic is thrilled to become a charter Member of the Open Platform Initiative – we already have many joint customers salivating to send the Akamai logs directly to Sumo Logic, where they can “join” them with the rest of their infrastructure logs – all for real-time insights across their entire infrastructure.  The beta customers are all happy that we have come so far so quickly together.  This is an alliance with legs AND brains.

George, Paul, Tom, Bob, Brad, Doug, John, Tim, Mark, Gary, Jennie, Rick, Kevin, Kris, Alyson, Brian, Mike, Andy, Dave, Ed (and so many more)….it was great to see you and it is GREAT to be working with you again.  The new hires I met seem to have the DNA you need to get to the next Scaling Point.

Akamai and Sumo Logic: Faster Forward Together, Moving at the speed of Cloud.

Now stop reading my rant and go sell something, will ya, and check out our new Sumo Logic Application for Akamai.  

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