To celebrate the first anniversary of the DryvIQ brand, we sat down with our dynamic duo of past and present CEOs, Mark Brazeau and Sean Nathaniel, to reflect on this milestone, the past year, and beyond.
Mark, SkySync rebranded to DryvIQ around its 10th anniversary. Though we are here to celebrate one year of DryvIQ, did you picture you’d be here when you founded the company a decade ago?
Mark: Business, like life, always turns out differently than your best-laid plans. Our core software development principles have always been large-scale, high-performance technology. From the get-go, we set out to build software that tackles large-scale file management challenges. Our goal (and is to this day) was to be the best at what we do – not necessarily the biggest. So the notion that we’d have 1,000 plus clients – with many of them being the largest organizations in the world never occurred to me; it’s really quite humbling.
What has surprised you the most during this journey over the last ten years?
Mark: What surprised me most is how much unstructured data growth we’re seeing. It’s akin to the rice on the chessboard. According to Gartner, that exponential growth means that every 19 months, you’re doubling your file data… which also doubles your storage costs, increases user file organizational and access challenges, and broadens your cybersecurity attack surface to bad actors. If you don’t start managing your existing and continuing growth now, organizations expose themselves to unnecessary costs, underutilized assets, and hidden risk while hindering user productivity.
What are you the most proud of during your time across SkySync and DryvIQ?
Mark: That’s easy. Hands down, it’s our team. I am soooo blessed that people have placed their trust in this company and me. That includes our customers, our employees, and our investors. I’m deeply impressed with what our compact, yet highly-driven development team has delivered. Those are easy words; however, the proof as they say, is in the pudding. In our world – it’s our customers’ success. It’s also equally humbling how our customers have been so open to working with us as partners, the patient commitment from our investors to develop our long-term vision, and that people like Sean have come on board who fiercely believe in our mission.
That’s an excellent segue to Sean Nathaniel, our current CEO, who joined DryvIQ in early 2022. Sean, you joined the company during this period of evolution. What did it mean for you to join the team during such a pivotal time?
Sean: Once I saw Mark’s vision and the potential at this company, the journey ahead was very exciting. I knew I wanted to be involved and that my experience could help DryvIQ build and scale out its vision.
And I knew Mark would screw it all up, and he needed all the help he could get. [Laughing]
Mark: Ahhh, true dat! [Smiling/Laughing]
Sean: Seriously though, it was an exciting time because SkySync was already an established company that was beginning a second chapter. It was a perfect time to join and be a part of that. I’m humbled to be on this journey and for the trust that Mark and the Board of Directors have placed in me.
It sounds like you saw a bright future for DryvIQ.
Sean: Yes. In our case, what impressed me was the ability to solve these large-scale, complex problems for some of the largest companies in the world. That’s really hard to do.
The second thing was that we had a field-tested platform. It had already been validated and could scale to levels others couldn’t match.
The third thing I saw was a massive unstructured data challenge that’s continuing to grow, as Mark mentioned. Put those three things together: a team that knows how to deliver large-scale solutions, a platform that’s been validated, and an unaddressed need in the market, and that’s a recipe for success.
And you just knew you had to be a part of that.
Sean: Of course. When you’re offered a seat on a rocket ship, you don’t ask what seat – you just hop on.
What surprised you during your first year with DryvIQ?
Sean: I’ll be honest; I didn’t believe it when I heard about the customers we helped and how successful we’d been. I know how complex these types of solutions are, and my first thought was, “There’s no way.” So, the first thing I did was send out a Net Promoter Score (NPS) survey. The response rate, over 40%, and feedback, an NPS score of 63, blew me away, and proving to me that there was something special here.
The second thing that surprised me was how broad the platform is. It can do many things, and it’s so feature-rich that it’s almost overwhelming.
And looking back, what are you the most proud of?
Sean: As a team, there is much to be proud of. One major thing that stands out is how we care for our customers. I have been on multiple customer calls in the last week, and in every single one, DryvIQ employees were mentioned by name, along with how great they were. It happens all the time.
On top of that, in the past year, we’ve rebranded, launched multiple new products, secured our first patent… the list goes on and on. We accomplished so much in such a short period.
Personally, the thing I am the proudest of is aligning the DryvIQ team on our North Star: to build a company where each of us can do the best work of our lives and align on a mission that we think matters. Everyone has taken that to heart, and you can see how much effort is being put in to help each other do great work. That’s exciting to see.
Where do you both see DryvIQ another year from now? Ten years from now?
Sean: I predict that one year from now, DryvIQ will be a part of every conversation when organizations seek to transform and modernize how they handle their unstructured data. There is so much failure out there, and I see us winning.
And in 10 years, I think we’ll have established and be the leader of a new category of technology that helps organizations intelligently manage their enterprise data. The data will continue to grow, and we will deliver the intelligence to help organizations stay on top of it all.
Mark: I can’t articulate that any better than Sean. At my age, what I’d really be thrilled about ten years from now, is that I’m simply not dead. [Laughing]
What does DryvIQ mean to you?
Mark: We’re a very driven company. Driven in all aspects; driven to be the best company, to be at the leading edge of technology, and to deliver the best customer experience.
IQ means that we do it intelligently. We’re thoughtful in how we deliver our solutions and in our approach to technology. It’s what DryvIQ means to me.
Finally, what makes the culture at DryvIQ special?
Sean: It starts with a team of genuine, good people. That’s really at the heart of our culture here. A team with high integrity that trusts each other. A team that wants to innovate, do great work, and make an impact. A team that believes anything is possible. A team that takes pride in driving results, with a sense of urgency to follow through on our commitments. That’s what makes our culture special.
Mark: It boils down to integrity. Doing the right thing every time, all the time – no matter the circumstances. And of course, there’s going to be adversity as most meaningful accomplishments don’t come easy. As Mike Tyson said: Everything was going to plan – until you get punched in the face. It’s about getting back up and standing up to our mission – and not just me, the entire team.