Dave Hitz likes to solve fun problems. He didn’t set out to be a Silicon Valley icon, a business visionary, or even a billionaire. But he became all three. It turns out that business is a mosaic of interesting puzzles like managing risk, developing and reversing strategies, and looking into the future by deconstructing the past.
As a founder of NetApp, a data storage firm that began as an idea scribbled on a placemat and now takes in $4 billion a year, Hitz has seen his company go through every major cycle in business—from the Jack-of-All-Trades mentality of a start-up, through the tumultuous period of the IPO and the dot-com bust, and finally to a mature enterprise company. NetApp is one of the fastest-growing computer companies ever, and for six years in a row it has been on Fortune magazine’s list of Best Companies to Work For. Not bad for a high school dropout who began his business career selling his blood for money and typing the names of diseases onto index cards.
With colorful examples and anecdotes, How to Castrate a Bull is a story for everyone interested in understanding business, the reasons why companies succeed and fail, and how powerful lessons often come from strange and unexpected places.
Dave Hitz co-founded NetApp in 1992 with James Lau and Michael Malcolm. He served as a programmer, marketing evangelist, technical architect, and vice president of engineering. Presently, he is responsible for future strategy and direction for the company. Before his career in Silicon Valley, Dave worked as a cowboy, where he got valuable management experience by herding, branding, and castrating cattle.
Table of Contents
- More Praise for How to Castrate a Bull
- 1. Chapter ZERO
- 1. BEFORE NETAPP: On Computers, Colleges, Castration, and Risk
- INTERLUDE: What NetApp Does
- 2. STARTING NETAPP: On Toasters, Angels, Resellers, and Ferraris
- INTERLUDE: Redundant Array of Pyramid Hieroglyphics (RAPH)
- 3. CEO LESSONS: On Pixie Dust, Decision Making, Candor, and Going Public
- INTERLUDE: Tom Mendoza's Lessons on Public Speaking
II. TURBULENT ADOLESCENCE
- 4. HYPERGROWTH: On Goals, Doubling, Ancestors, and Pain
- INTERLUDE: How to Fail in Executive Staff Presentations
- 5. VALUES AND CULTURE: On Dilbert, Drooling, Lies, and Game Theory
- INTERLUDE: Lawyers Aren't Evil—Fairness and Morality Are Not Their Job
- 6. MANAGING ENGINEERS: On Development, Consensus, Doctor Death, and Magic
- INTERLUDE: Scientific-Truth and Useful-Truth
- III. GROWN-UP COMPANY
- A. Early NetApp Business Plan
- B. NetApp Company Values
- The Author
- Title: How to Castrate a Bull: Unexpected Lessons on Risk, Growth, and Success in Business
- Release date: January 2009
- Publisher(s): Jossey-Bass
- ISBN: 9780470345238