Todd Vernon is co-founder and CEO of VictorOps, a Vertical Collaboration Platform (VCP) designed to enable software operations teams - Ops, DevOps and TechOps - to solve problems regardless of physical location, connected device, or time of day. VictorOps is Todd’s third “from-the-ground-up” start-up, and this time it’s personal.
Todd’s prior two companies were both highly transactional SAS businesses generating significant “revenue-by-the-second.” There’s an old saying, “when mama’s not happy, nobody is happy.” Todd’s version of this sentiment is, “when the platform is down, we aren’t generating revenue.” Todd isn’t much of a poet.
Todd’s early opinions on operations were forged over a decade ago at Raindance Communications, a web conferencing company where Todd was Founder and CEO. At the time Raindance had one major customer, Wells Fargo, and the weekend of Super Bowl XXXIV was a weekend he’ll never forget. Late that Friday night in 2000, the small development and ops teams were working through a routine network upgrade when much-to-the-team’s-dismay, the platform wouldn’t come back up. Over the next 72 hours Todd learned an important lesson: don’t activate the entire technical team at once. Some problems take longer to fix and after 24 hours of debugging, fallen soldiers need to be replaced. The corrupt boot file was finally located but nobody was able to watch the St. Louis Rams beat the Tennessee Titans. Raindance went public later that year (RNDC), and Todd remained Founder and CTO until it sold to West Corporation in 2006 for over $170M.
After Raindance, Todd became the Founder and CEO of Lijit Networks, an online advertising company. Lijit built a real-time ad exchange to help online publishers of all sizes sell their unsold ad inventory. In 2012 Lijit performed over 1B real-time ad transactions per day, which required 23 cloud locations and nearly every cloud provider to deliver on such a massive ad serving infrastructure. Lijit was generating over $35M in annual revenue when Todd sold the company to Federated Media Publishing in October 2011. The acquisition was widely recognized as one the most significant outcomes in Colorado over the past 10 years.
Prior to becoming a serial entrepreneur, Todd built hardware and software to test experimental aircraft at NASA, and developed systems to automatically provision telephony services for some the nation’s largest RBOC’s.
Follow Todd on Twitter @ToddVernon https://twitter.com/toddvernon and read his personal blog, False Precision http://falseprecision.typepad.com/.
- 06/18/10 -techcrunch.com