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Mahesh Iyer

Why I Joined Faros AI: Team + Traction

This is one of those posts that seem to be customary these days but I truly felt compelled to write this and share my thoughts on what joining a great team of people who have their hearts and minds in the right place means.
I have spent the last 20+ years working for some amazing companies in the silicon valley and consider myself fortunate to have rubbed shoulders with some brilliant minds and many incredible individuals that have directly or indirectly influenced who I am today. For someone coming to the USA on a H1 degree without any flashy accolades from the IIT or IIM, yet getting the opportunity to be part of legendary journeys such as Foundry Networks, Opsware/HP, Cloudera, Aster Data, a16z, and Fauna is nothing short of a miracle or “good karma” for those who believe in it!

The pandemic phenomenon

The past 2 years have been totally disruptive, to say the least, starting with the whole pandemic situation and subsequently the “great resignation” that silicon valley has witnessed in the wake of companies shifting to “work from home” as a semi-permanent modus operandi.
After having spent a major part of my career focused on “data management” and “infrastructure software”, I decided to take a break late last year to spend some undisturbed time with family as our older daughter graduated high school and relocated to southern california as a freshman at UCR and I was also able to take the time to visit and be with my dad in India who has been inspiringly battling a tough cancer with a super positive attitude and champion mindset!
I have to admit that there were some “shiny opportunities” that came my way during this time and I initially got intrigued by some of them but the infatuation did not last long as it became clear that there was a mismatch in “value systems” and that for me, is the most important aspect, among all the other bells and whistles that come with a nice package!

Awesome team + product-market fit + GTM acceleration = Goodness

It is during this time that I got connected to Vitaly Gordon, CEO and co-founder of Faros AI, who by the way, also built the Salesforce Einstein platform. I already knew of the company from my Fauna days as Faros was a customer and I had done a joint webinar with Matthew Tovbin, co-founder of Faros AI, (previously chief architect of the Salesforce Einstein platform) as part of our demand generation initiatives at that time.
Something about Vitaly was very unique in that I came across a rare combination of a brilliant mind, humble leader, good sense of humor and a character of respecting individuals! As I engaged in a consulting capacity for a few months to help out with the company launch and funding announcement, I also got the opportunity to closely work with Shubha Nabar, co-founder of Faros AI (Vitaly’s partner in crime at building the Salesforce Einstein platform) - another amazing individual who probably has more degrees than a thermometer - I must say, and an astute intellectual who is an equally great team player.
I heard this from someone wise that “It is better to be in a bad deal with great people than being in a good deal with not-so-great people” and I have to say that Faros AI scores an A+ on both parameters - an amazing team of people who genuinely care for each other and a visionary company and ground-breaking technology that has all the ingredients to completely disrupt the way engineering leaders make decisions and achieve exponentially better business outcomes.
Faros AI is solving a real problem. Engineering teams need to quickly, efficiently, and reliably create and deliver quality software. With the extreme fragmentation of the tech stack today and the on-going explosion in developer tooling, operational surface area has now increased at least 100x. And, with growing remote work culture and distributed teams, the avenues for informal data gathering are far and few between. FACT: Engineering teams simply do not have the right tools to deal with this new reality.
Faros AI has been steadily gaining traction with leading engineering organizations at notable brands including Box, Coursera, GoFundMe, and many more. In listening to the numerous customer conversations and plethora of use-cases that Faros AI solves for, it immediately comes to light that the market has been waiting for ages to get their hands on a solution like this.

Common sense is sometimes not so common

Having spent almost all of my career in marketing, with ready access to hundreds of tools that allow marketers to measure and improve KPIs and metrics, honestly, it was very hard to believe that even in today’s day and age, engineering teams struggle with visibility across all their data sources and still rely on antiquated techniques such as spreadsheets and scripts to measure team productivity, engineering velocity, process efficiency, and more.
My immediate reaction was: “Why would any engineering leader say no to such an incredible platform like Faros AI?”, and to find out that no such unified platform exists in the market was sincerely mind boggling.
Granted, there may be some point solutions out there that measure productivity, or a specific metric, but to have in your arsenal, a platform that magically connects to all your data sources and brings a single-pane view of your entire software development life cycle (think dashboards), so you can take intelligent action and optimize outcomes, is something that every engineering team needs badly and cares deeply about!
In my experience of over 25 years, the one thing that I absolutely enjoy is pipeline generation at early stages of a company! Creating something out of nothing is deeply satisfying, to say the least. I believe that the chief role of a marketing leader is to create demand - PERIOD. And, if you have a killer solution that your target audience thinks is “too good to be true”, it rarely gets any better! Fun, Fun, Fun!

Great journeys start with humble beginnings

I’m very proud of the Faros AI team and all the innovation they have accomplished up to this point. And I’m thrilled to join full-time and help build and scale the Marketing function. I consider myself truly fortunate to be among such amazing individuals and am grateful that I get to play a small role in shaping the future and trajectory of a great company that is empowering engineering leaders every day across the globe to transform the way they build software!
Learn more about Faros.ai and experience the magic for yourself!

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