Boom and Bust: Thriving Through Major Business Cycles Stanford Business Brief with Dave Hitz

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NetApp has established a solid reputation for itself. Fortune magazine voted the startup as 2009’s #1 company to work for. The company managed to overcome each cycle in the business, from the uncertainty of being a startup through the turmoil of the rise and fall of the to eventually mature into a surefooted enterprise. Much of NetApp’s survival stems from its adherence to its core values which include teamwork, integrity, candor and simplicity. According to Dave Hitz, it was these values that allowed the company to transition successfully each time the winds of business shifted.

In order to be flexible and survive, NetApp evolved from tech startup to enterprise vendor. They diversified their products and customers. In order to strategically position the company for future growth, Hitz began visualizing the “future as history.” He would describe future events in the past tense as well as what had to happen to get the company to that point.

Hitz co-founded NetApp with James Lau in 1992. He is the executive vice president of the company and manages future strategy and direction. His previous work history included time at Auspex Corporation and MIPS Computer. Surprisingly, prior to his tech career, Hitz earned a living as a cowboy which allowed him to develop unique management skills. In Boom and Bust, viewers will:

  • Get a personal look at how a business survives change
  • Learn the importance of planning for the future
  • Discover a strategy planning approach that works
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