Last Thursday, I had the pleasure of attending the Crunchies with Alan Saldich (our VP of Marketing) and Sarah Mustarde (our Senior Director of Corporate Marketing). The Crunchies is an awards event a la “the Oscars” but for startups.
Cloudera was nominated for the “Sexiest Enterprise Startup” award. This was the 6th Annual Crunchies but the first time that TechCrunch had a slot for enterprise software, as Aneel Bhusri emphasized during the intro for the enterprise award. Historically, the Crunchies focused on social and mobile startups, aka the non-sexy startups :)
Our co-nominees for the award were a stellar bunch: Asana, Box, Plexxi, and Zendesk. The Crunchie went to Box (congrats), and Cloudera was named runner-up. As many of you might know, Aneel represents one of our major investors, Greylock Partners, and sits on Cloudera’s Board of Directors. He was tasked with announcing the runner-up and winner, and his reaction when he opened the envelope was simply priceless. You can watch Aneel’s reaction here:
The highlight of the event for me was the host: John Oliver from The Daily Show. John totally knew how to appease a nerdy crowd; he was dead-on. In particular, he paid homage to ancient Egyptian civilization, which I (being an Egyptian-American) found quite entertaining. My eyes gushed with tears of laughter upon seeing his reaction when one of the audience participants replied to his question about “What is the first thing that comes to your mind when thinking of Egyptian civilization?” by saying “mummies” (he expected “pyramids”). You can watch that funny clip here:
Obviously, inside my head, as the nominees for the previous categories were giving their acceptance speeches, I was thinking what I would say. I will say those words here anyway :)
“Hurr-rrah, it is great to be recognized for creating not just a successful startup, but a whole new industry. To Jeff, Mike, and all the Clouderans, it is official ….. you are now sexy :). To all the new Big Data startups getting insane valuations because of the wave we created, I would like to say ….. You’re welcome! Finally, not to be outdone by Airbnb’s acceptance speech, I would like to thank not one but two men upstairs [looks up to the ceiling a la Brian Chesky’s speech]. These two men were very instrumental in bringing the Cloudera founding team together, and frankly we wouldn’t be here without them….. Andrew Braccia and Ping Li, you’re too officially sexy :)”