As I was walking the hallways of Egnyte’s Mountain View headquarters in early 2017, I found myself thinking back to early 2007.
Egnyte began in a tiny room on the ground floor of a multi-tenant office building. I spent my days as CEO hassling VCs and my nights as a customer support rep. We had just enough furniture, but if all of us were in the office it was impossible to close the door. To spare ourselves from the chill breezes of a Bay Area winter, we developed a schedule where one person would work from home so the remaining three could work comfortably in the office.
That kind of decision-making and stretching ourselves as thin as we could was the hallmark of early Egnyte. We all bled startup hustle. In fact, since it was just the four co-founders at the outset, we each had to wear a lot of hats. Kris Lahiri, Rajesh Ram and Amrit Jassal had a rotation for answering support calls from customers.
I remember moving from our one room to a fairly luxurious (or so it felt) suite, which allowed us to have general office seating for multiple employees as well as a couple of conference rooms and offices. That’s where we hired some of our first non-founders like Shishir Sharma and Charles Lawson, who are still with the company today. Communication was rapid; to say something to the whole company all you had to do was stand up and start yelling.
From then to now, a lot has changed. Probably the biggest change is the 24/7 expectation that has come with adding teams in London, Poland, India and dramatically growing our team in Mountain View. Now Egnyte is global, and we are always on.
But a few things have been consistent throughout the 10 years, from seating four in a closet for three to over 300 employees worldwide. That startup hustle, so integral to our DNA early on, has grown and matured. We have the resources to grow but we continue to look for a little bit of ourselves in new team members.
Do they care enough to not check the clock? Do they collaborate and help teammates wherever they can, regardless of their function? Do they take pride in the work they do, regardless of where or how it’s done? That’s the Spark we put into this company at the start, and that Spark is now at the core of everything we do – representing passion, integrity, and teamwork.
After 10 years of working with some amazing people I want to share that Spark with all of you. I’ll take a little time each week to sit with an Egnyter for a spotlight conversation, showing them my appreciation for all that they do by sharing their story with you – here, in the form of a blog post.
I encourage our entire community to check back for these posts and engage with the people who are giving life to the Spark, putting us in a position to blow the doors off our space this year. That’s why we are coining this year the #YearOfTheSpark.