Jesse Rothstein wants to help the folks who “keep the lights on” in your IT department spend a little less time keeping things running and a little more time innovating big ideas. How’s he going to do it? He and his team at ExtraHop are delivering a platform for enterprise IT organizations to manage all the applications of a complex technology system. What does that mean for you? Well, it may mean your next flight gets off the tarmac just a little bit faster...
One of ExtraHop’s customers, Alaska Airlines, uses complex IT software to do pre-flight calculations that help determine if a plane can take off -- and when there’s a delay in that work, there’s a delay in your departure. Though much of this kind of work takes place in the background of most big companies, it’s these small details that are so critical for success. Rothstein wants to make sure the people who “keep things up and running” are always able to do so.
“A lot of the legacy approaches we used to take in IT are no longer tenable,” Rothstein explains. “We build better tools to help us manage daily complexity,” he says, explaining that as he sees it, technology is going to keep getting more complex, but we are also going to keep getting better at managing it
Though he never saw himself as an entrepreneur, Rothstein made a choice to create his own job at ExtraHop: “I couldn’t find the job that I wanted, so I had to build it,” he explains. That’s when he realized he may have been more of an entrepreneur than he realized. “Entrepreneurs always have something to prove,” he says, “I wanted to take a product from conception all the way to market, and prove that I could do it.”
These days, Rothstein sees himself “primarily as a team-builder”. He spends his days “finding the talent and growing the team” that will help ExtraHop as they continue to expand. “You judge a leader by the team that they’ve built,” Rothstein says, adding that the best leaders are the ones who surround themselves with the smartest people they can.
Besides growing his team at ExtraHop, Rothstein is hoping Seattle’s entrepreneurial and startup scene and can continue to grow and thrive as well. Seattle has “access to talent, access to customers, and access to capital,” he says. “I would love to see Seattle be even more of an entrepreneurial hotbed.”