Nutanix CEO on Jim Cramer

https://www.cnbc.com/video/2019/09/23/nutanix-ceo-unlocking-…

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So, here you have a company that apparently has sales/marketing issues. I actually have a contact (pure anecdote I know, forgive me) who knows company and told me product great, sales dept a disaster… so if you watch this video, note that at 3:30 the CEO, Pandey, says “Reliability, reliability, reliability” is what they sell. It’s their purpose. Okay, great. Their product is critical to companies and if it just plain works consistently it is a big win. You can trust Nutanix because they’re reliable.

Now, you go to their website and what you expect to see is a simple, clearly told story that their sales force can use to explain their purpose: RELIABLE PRODUCTS/SERVICES.

Here’s their website…

https://www.nutanix.com/en

You get an image of a guy wearing a Nutanix-branded racing helmet! So clearly, the website is saying, "We are all about speed. We sell hyperconverged infrastructure. (I know nothing about tech, but…) so this “hyper” converged sounds like it’s about speed, excitement and looking slick and cool. Is idea that guy who buys Nutanix will feel cool? Look cool to his boss? This does not radiate an aura of reliability at all. When I think of racing I think speed, danger, risk, excitement, beating the competition by being faster.

Then the next header reads,

“Free yourself from the complexity and cost of legacy IT, and embrace the power of cloud. Your enterprise cloud journey starts here.”

So, now they’re selling SIMPLICITY and LOWER COST than legacy IT and POWER and the EXCITEMENT of beginning a “CLOUD JOURNEY.”

This is an absolute storytelling disaster. It is a symptom of a company led by a man who doesn’t know the most fundamental, basic thing about human communication. You need to have a clear vision, share it with your staff, communicate it to customers and get investors excited. Is it any wonder that they have needed to change business models? Only one of two things can be true: 1) They know what they’re doing but haven’t figured out how to communicate it effectively yet. 2) They don’t know what they’re doing. This is not to say they’re untalented or stupid. They obviously have a good product.

But until this is fixed, I’m out. You have to tell a coherent, intelligent story. If you look at Crowdstrike, their CEO seems a 1,000x sharper than Pandey. Everything about the Crowdstrike story lines up. They need to be fast to stay ahead of hackers, malicious players, etc. They have a slick brand, the CEO literally races cars. They use Mario Andretti in ads because speed is critical to their business. Stopping malicious players fast is essential to business. Again, this is ultra basic and a starting point, nothing more.

If the leader, company, products/services and messaging are all clear, simple-to-understand, make sense and feel authentic and aligned it doesn’t guarantee anything. But if the story is not in perfect shape it is impossible to succeed. It is like firing an arrow with bad form - the more time goes on the further off course the arrow flies.

For this guy to bark “reliability” three times on Cramer and then not even include the word reliable on his website is comically awful. Prediction: company will eventually be sold for much less than it could have been if leaders could simply tell a lean, mean story. They’re like a hunk showing up to a date in culottes, the packaging is off. This feels to me like nerds desperate to be cool. Obviously this is pure gut feeling (hey, Saul uses it too!) but I like CEOs who radiate quiet strength and confidence, who have nothing to prove, and tell consistent stories backed by pure logic from day one.

Fool On

BroadwayDan

35 Likes

It is a symptom of a company led by a man who doesn’t know the most fundamental, basic thing about human communication.

Dheeraj, is the founder and before becoming public Nutanix did 5 rounds of financing with venture capitalists for over $350 m.

Is it any wonder that they have needed to change business models?

I know the board doesn’t like some comments but how else to put this? This comment is so ignorant.

Let me provide some context.

When you start a company, pretty much you start with one idea, a real innovation. Often companies take that and add “bells and whistles” or features, and further refine the idea as they go along. The most successful companies keep bringing new innovations into the mix to sustain the company. Why many companies fail to continue “innovation”? Is it because they could not think of other ideas? or something else? Like the CEO’s ability to convince the company they need to continue to innovate, embrace innovation and not get comfortable. Look at MSFT, why it didn’t grow in Steve Ballmer era? He is a great sales guy, able to communicate a ton, but it is Satya, who made the company to “innovate” again, took softy into cloud and the stock price tripled.

Now, Nutanix started with an idea and as they were growing they realized, their model is inhibiting and the company has to change direction. It is a testament to the CEO’s ability to listen to the market, understand the company’s challenge and willing to take the risk to change the direction.

It is not easy to pull what Nutanix has done. For a CEO to make that happen, the amount of communication he has to do with his board, his executive team, his employees, partners, customers, public shareholders, is an enormous challenge.

Now, the “reliability” comment is in a very specific context of vmware vs Nutanix and answering a tough question.

I am pretty sure if the stock price is at all time high’s these kind of comments/ posts would not have been made.

Whatever the challenges of Nutanix, there are tons, it is not their ability to present a cohesive message or the CEO is a stuttering moron.

Full disclosure: I have been skeptical of NTNX in the past.
Added Fact: Adobe, which transformed itself, has a board member called Dheeraj Pandey.

17 Likes

This comment is so ignorant.

Let me provide some context.

I am pretty sure if the stock price is at all time high’s these kind of comments/ posts would not have been made.

Kingran,

This know-it-all nonsense isn’t welcome on our board. Please mind your manners or find another board to post on.

Bear
Assistant Board Manager

40 Likes

So it is okay to call an accomplished CEO as clueless but pointing that is unacceptable? Why is that?

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Interesting that word “ignorant comment” is unacceptable, but “nonsense” is acceptable?

What kind of logic is that?

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Bear,

I don’t find anything offensive in Kingran’s post.

We may chose to disagree with his opinion, but what he has posted is cogent and not know-it-all nonsense.

Thanks,

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Kingran, sorry I missed your post.

I never said, “The CEO is a stuttering moron.” I said he was on national TV with a huge audience of investors and seemed to be planting a flag on “reliability.” That’s not what the website says. This is simply, objectively NOT a cohesive message. If anything I think his repetition of the word “reliability” was a positive.

When I see Jay Chaudry, Jeff Green, Jeff Lawson and George Kurtz I see guys telling much sharper stories about what they do, why they do it and where they’re going.

I am not a tech expert - just a humble story guy. Pandey may be a brilliant man, and obviously he is a tremendous success compared to the average bear. More power to him. But he’s not telling a coherent story.

A coherent story is Crowdstrike’s George Kurtz saying that he sold a company for 2B to McAfee, realized he has found a better way to protect companies, has a huge market and will dominate it. The man, his story, the branding, all line up perfectly.

The simpler the story, the more likely the company is to be successful.

You wrote, Whatever the challenges of Nutanix, there are tons, it is not their ability to present a cohesive message or the CEO is a stuttering moron.

I would say that what I’m focused on is probably symptomatic of those “tons” of problems.

And thank you, Bear! Appreciate your post and all your great contributions to this board.

BD

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