The  V  Formation

The V Formation: Ramblings on enterprise product, startups, and investing

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Welcome to The V Formation, a blog focused on enterprise product strategy and entrepreneurship.

Who am I?

I'm Vivek Saraswat, an enterprise product management leader. Over the years I've had the privilege of working with some great companies--startups and giants alike--in the enterprise infrastructure and developer tools space. I invested in and advised enterprise startups at Mayfield Fund, launched and managed Docker's enterprise platform, created VMware's Storage for Cloud-Native Apps initiative, and worked at AWS on snapshots for Elastic Block Store. In a previous life I was an early engineer at a venture-backed energy startup, before I traded in my clean room bunny-suit for the world of product specs and GitHub issues.

My other big passion is music--I sing in an a cappella group called Halfway to Midnight, and have played in various rock bands. I enjoy spending time with my family, playing video and tabletop games, and attempting to appease my cat.

Why should you care?

For the vast majority of internet-goers, you probably shouldn't. There are millions of blogs out there on such varied topics as cat clicker trainingslow-roast cooking, and gaming speedruns. If, however, you are part of the rarified few that cares about enterprise product strategy and the constantly evolving world of startups, then read on.

I've noticed that there are many technical blogs on infrastructure and developer tools, many blogs on product strategy, and many blogs on startups in general. However, there are comparatively few resources on the merging of these areas--enterprise product management/marketing for startups. Some of the topics currently rolling around my head:
  • What makes startup product strategy for enterprise dev and ops customers different?
  • What are the best practices and tools an enterprise product manager can bring to an early-stage company?
  • Why is product marketing crucial for your early-stage enterprise product, and how does it differ from similar roles at a larger company?
  • How should you consider top-down vs. bottoms-up adoption in your go-to-market strategy?
  • How do you maneuver around the titans of the cloud industry while defining the value proposition and strategy for your enterprise product?
  • How can you best utilize open-source models for a commercial product?
My goal with this blog is to take some of what I've learned over the years as an enterprise product manager and investor--success stories and battle scars alike--and talk about topics like these in a way that is (hopefully) moderately useful and entertaining to you.

What does "The V Formation" mean anyway?

The V Formation is, to quote Wikipedia, "a symmetric V-shaped flight formation of geese, ducks, and other migratory birds [...] that possibly improves fuel efficiency, particularly over long migratory routes." 

Why did I choose this name, you might ask? Here are some possible reasons:
  • It represents a group of organisms driving towards a common objective, which is (usually) the goal of a good product manager or startup founder
  • This blog is all about the formation of enterprise products, teams, and companies.
  • It sounded cool in my head and uses the first letter of my name.
Take your pick.

What's next?

If you've made it this far, great! Perhaps some of these topics will be of interest to you in the future. Stay tuned next month for my first post around enterprise product management. Feel free to subscribe (see the link above), or follow me on Twitter where I will link all of my blog posts. And of course, I welcome any feedback as well as suggestions for future topics.

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