The Solidfire acquisition was a total failure and has been known internally for years. Then the company doubled down on failure by putting those fools in charge of developing HCI. I’m glad to see those incompetent fools let go. Too bad a lot of good employees were also cut. NetApp has completely lost their way. They used to be a good company to work for, now they are caught up with toxic liberalism and it has destroyed the real culture that NetApp used to be known for. Now that the deadweight in boulder has been cut, its time to start cutting executives. Let’s get this company back to caring about products and customers, not this fake hypocrisy social justice act.
21 replies (most recent on top)
Real talent was sacrificed to save the incompetent leadership. That is why this one is making people mad. No one is accountable in this circus! Politics, favoritism and bureaucracy. This is the culture at NetApp. When the market opens again, run!
NetApp axed 1500 people in Feb 2016 to pay for this acquisition. SolidFire had 4 years to prove their worth and they failed.
AG should be fired. Plain and simple. No vision. Not a leader.
Netapp, keep your SF directors responsible for your downfall safe. Few on our team have already decided to start looking out. Enjoy having a bunch of leaders who are undeserving and will shamelessly take part in axing out core knowledgeable folks next year also. How are they deserving to axe engineers? These directors know nothing other than play politics, hire from their previous companies, save their low performing favorites, pretend they are improving process by renaming a process that already exists, portray a small work as big to their upper management. I used to be a proud Netappian once but now I feel sad. Equality is non-existent and missing. Target was core engineers and not leaders who were the people responsible for the downfall of the process and the org
See "Here's what it looked like from inside SolidFire" for insightful comments, IMO.
I'm one of those who were in the SF acquisition, but I quit not very long after the acquisition.
Even with decades of working in engineering companies, I'd never experienced the levels of ineptitude I saw from NetApp - not in companies of 25 employees or 25,000 employees. It truly seemed that every department (payroll, corp management, especially their IT dept) were either clueless or just didn't care to do the right thing. They seemed more focused on trying to _keep_ their jobs than on _doing_ their jobs.
Before I left they were rushing a product to market w/fundamental flaws that were designed in for speed to market and cost cutting. Are the ones who made/forced those awful choices still "working" there?
When employees are embarrassed to be associated with such incompetence, it's no wonder they bleed talent as badly as they did. Sad, just sad.
Transformation BS. If SF Directors who are THE leaders are not affected, how is this transformation?Why was there no impact at that level if this lay-off was a step into transformation? Leaders who drowned SF are still in Netapp but the employees were axed. We can only see directors everywhere in the company and less of ICs. Good job Netapp. Claps.
Here's what it looked like from inside SolidFire:
"Yes we've been acquired but nothing will fundamentally change. You're not going in the dome. You can continue to keep your processes. There's just more money now!"
"We're switching to SAFe so that we can deliver predictably. But also we need you to deliver fast fast fast. But most importantly, predictably. But fast."
"We're hiring outside the company to staff this new product, HCI, rather than use SMEs. We won't bother with any kind of onboarding and they will function mostly in a silo, but as long as we throw a truckload of money at it, these entirely new people should be able to deliver an amazing product very soon."
"We hear you saying that there's technical debt. Please ignore that and focus on these features."
"We don't want to have to prioritize anything. Everything's the highest business value. We're only asking you to support two releases a year (but also untold number of patch releases that go through the same onerous regression cycle)."
"We're outsourcing a lot of things because we realized people are cheaper in India. Because they are cheaper our hiring standards are very low now. Please onboard these people. Don't worry they're not your replacements."
"But we're not going to hire here anymore."
"We're afraid of you. You need to develop everything on a VM now. It's not the dome. Don't worry you won't go in the dome"
""We hear you saying that there's technical debt. Please ignore that and focus on these features."
"SAFe failed. We're switching to Kanban, we recognize that it's impossible for you to commit and that's fine. Please get all This Stuff done by This Date."
"We're putting you all in the dome, but we won't properly support the initiative. If it breaks all your processes find a way to fix it. We still need these things by this date."
"This has all been a failure. It's probably because you don't use OnTap tools and processes. Switch to these 20-years-young tools and processes."
This description however utterly fails to capture the chaos and flailing that occurred.
Culture at NetApp is toxic, nepotistic happy clappy back slapping BS. Everyone hoping nobody notices how mediocre the team is by telling themselves how great they are; without the courage to recognise the harsh reality of the companies decline. Anyone who dares to think differently or challenge the status quo rejected and expelled. Ability to acquire new customers only eclipsed by inability to sell anything other than OnTap.
Plenty of companies proving that innovative technology with a well motivated sales team and a good culture can succeed. Just look at Pure Storage (I don’t work for Pure).
OnTap on the decline, has been for years. Any attempt to augment the decline and add additional growth technologies have been sabotaged and rejected by the ‘keepers of the culture’.
Keep going NetApp, looking forward to continue taking yet more of your install base out.
“Toxic liberalism” “fake social justice act” “fools” —-let’s leave the insults and name calling at the door. People don’t show up every day to sabotage companies or tear cultures down. They show up and do their best. These are colleagues whose jobs and families are being impacted. Show some respect and leave the name calling to pundits!
The product management for HCI and Solidfire - why are they still here?
Have any of the cloud acquisitions been successful? What's the growth of ARR? Are products integrated? Speed boat or money pit? Time will tell. Juveniles are running the show and running it to the ground.
One of those fools in charge of the (not) HCI product is a friend of mine, and he is no fool. He did the best he could do given a very short time frame and unrealistic requirements. He did a good job, considering.
NetApp's HCI was never HCI, and NetApp knew it, as well as the rest of the world. To the extent that it sold, it was to customers who didn't mind that it wasn't HCI.
The Solidfire product was good at what it was intended for, but it was weak in certain fundamental ways when you began trying to put it into the larger enterprise world in which NetApp played. It still has potential - I think - but the real problem is that NetApp cannot figure out how to sell the technology that they have (apart from OnTap).
“ Hate to burst your bubble, but many employees remain in Boulder and there are plans for continuing to make use of Solidfire and HCI technology going into the future.”
As long as the employees that are left behind are competent, understand that NA is. $6+ billion company and not a start up, and willing to work well with others to develop a solution, things should work out well.
Hate to burst your bubble, but many employees remain in Boulder and there are plans for continuing to make use of Solidfire and HCI technology going into the future.
But, why male models?
I understand trashing SF, but why specifically Wichita SF?
HW consolidation. It's been going on for years.
I understand trashing SF, but why specifically Wichita SF?
No, the Spinnaker acquisition was successful. Or was that Spinnaker acquiring Netapp? ;-)
To be clear. The companies acquired are always screwed. I can’t point at a successful acquisition that grew a new sector of business for NetApp in over 15 years.
(a) When has a Netapp acquisition NOT failed.
(b) Netapp has been lost for some time, but like a tanker ship it continues going on momentum and inertia alone.
(c) The WAFL-mafia that k–ls everything threatening it.