Chris is the founder and CEO of Tercera and, like many entrepreneurs, a “work hard, play hard” kind of person. Chris brings more than 25 years of technology and professional services experience, and is a proven entrepreneur, CEO, senior executive and board member. His most notable entrepreneurial journey was founding Appirio, one of the first professional services companies hyper-focused on the first wave of enterprise cloud computing. He and the founding team grew Appirio to more than 1500 employees around the world, and eventually sold to Wipro for $500M+. Chris is also the founder of SipTequila, a board member at Bates College, and a contributor on the Forbes Technology Council.
What makes you tick?
I thrive on helping build high-performing teams and differentiated company cultures. I don’t believe a business can be successful without investing in people, culture and truly believe scaling company culture is a team sport. I’m also extremely competitive, persistent, and goal-oriented; this holds true for both my professional and personal life. I love setting big goals, holding myself accountable, and chasing them across the finish line. I’m also a life-long learner and listener, traits I picked up from my father, and live by the ‘you have two ears and one mouth for a reason rule – listen twice as much as you talk’ — a rule many consultants sadly ignore too often!
Why are you so passionate about helping people-based businesses?
I learned so many lessons from my experience at Appirio, combined with the more recent experiences as a venture partner at GGV and as chairman of Traction on Demand. At Appirio, we did plenty right and made a LOT of mistakes as well. I want to help founders learn from our mistakes and avoid the same heartburn and heartache we went through. Through my time at Appirio I also realized connecting with the right people and having the right conversations at the right time can make all the difference. Sometimes it only takes a couple of sentences, but when you’re advising people and see that lightbulb goes off, there’s no better feeling.
What is a company you really admire and why?
Netflix. Their founding story is captivating and they have been continually disruptive across multiple industries and disciplines. I love that their CEO beats to his own drum and admits to his own mistakes, but has the accountability to correct them. And while some may consider Netflix’s company culture ruthless or not for everyone, I respect how it’s an integral part of their success.