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Interview with Tibco CTO Matt Quinn: That two second advantage

Zafar Anjum | Oct. 29, 2013
In a quick interview in Las Vegas, Zafar Anjum asks Matt Quinn, Tibco’s CTO, about the company’s approach to big data, mobility, cloud, and R&D.

"We have done a number of things with cloud," Quinn says. "We have looked at the cloud now over the last four years as a very interesting new way that customers are going to consume technology. It is a fundamental shift in the consumption model. We have done a couple of things. One is we believe for most of our customers (Fortune 500, Global 2000) CIOs basically have the view that cloud inevitable. We have the view that that is probably true but for many of these companies, cloud is a journey. So we are doing multiple different things. We have software products that enable customers to cloudify their existing on-premise packaged applications to move it into the cloud. We are providing many on-premise software as cloud based services so if they start to move more to the cloud, they have got options they can use. And we are building up our client technical services to help customers in this transition."

"In some ways, mobility and cloud are linked because of one very key aspect which is the idea of we want to create beautiful and engaging experiences and that means you have to think mobile first. So today, people are thinking of cloud as an architecture point of view, but from interaction model you got to think mobile first. And so we just recently acquired a company about 12 weeks ago called Extended Results. We just integrated it with Spotfire."

Be the first one to the damn rock

I am always intrigued about a company's R&D process. Being the CTO of Tibco, I could not resist asking him how he drove R&D process in his company.

"I always do it in two ways: carrot and stick," he says. Laughter follows and he quickly becomes serious again. "You got to work out what excites the team. You got to set realistic goals, but often times you have got to be excited. We used the joke of carrot and stick but I much prefer the carrot."

"If they understand the vision and if they are excited, you get much more productivity out of them," he continues. "I have always been a great believer in pointing to a direction and running off to that direction and never actually looking back to make sure that other guys are behind you. Because the moment you show any doubt whatsoever, you are gone." He cites some examples-how he talks to his team and motivates them. "We are going mobile first, we are going to pivot to the cloud, and not spending six months discussing how we are going to do it, you just got to start doing it, because the rest of the stuff just happens. It is amazing how quickly people fall in line."


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