Kyle Redinger, Co-founder and Chief Marketing Officer, VividCortex
What are you innovating on right now?
We help people manage the most important part of their IT systems, the database server. Companies today face massive growth in data, and the systems people use to manage this data are only getting more complex. A few years ago, we saw administrators managing a handful of servers; today, those same administrators are managing hundreds, sometimes thousands of servers. Our products help people manage those systems in ways that make it easy for them to visualize, diagnose, understand, optimize and fix issues.
What inspired you to follow an entrepreneurial path?
I hadn’t been exposed to or considered entrepreneurism until I felt under-challenged at my job at Microsoft. After Microsoft, I started my first business, when I was 22. I didn’t really know what I was doing when I started, but I was instantly drawn to the freedom and the concept that you can create the world you want to live in as an entrepreneur. Or, more simply, if you don’t wake up every morning with excitement about what you are doing, you are probably doing the wrong thing.
Tell us what you learned from your biggest failure.
There are so many choices! In 2008, the financial crisis dried up most of the available consulting opportunities. As my first business, it hit me the hardest personally. This created self-doubt and with self-doubt comes doubtful that diverge from your mission. The lesson: even in bad times, positive self-thought and sticking to a vision will create rewards in the long term.
How does Charlottesville as a place support or fuel your innovations?
I tell people Charlottesville is the “velvet pit.” You end up getting stuck here, but it’s a really nice place to be stuck. Charlottesville has more talent, capital, culture and experience than any other city, per capita, that I’ve ever visited. It’s not too expensive to live here and the community is eager to see startups and local companies thrive; that creates a fantastic base for entrepreneurship.
What would you change or keep the same in Charlottesville?
We need more visibility in the world of innovation. People don’t think of Charlottesville as innovative, but Boulder and Bend have developed that brand. Why is that? We have a better University, more money, more connection with big business, and, an equally nice quality of life. We need more people communicating the vision to investors, partners, and the like. We can’t lag cities like Bend and Boulder forever; we need to attract the same types of talent and investment.
What is your biggest need right now to advance your innovation?
More talent. Charlottesville needs a critical mass of technology startups so that talented people aren’t afraid of moving or staying here.
What is the view from your office like on a typical day?
Our offices face the Lewis & Clark statue, so lots of traffic! The magic happens inside the office and over the internet.