Alex Hern is probably best described as a serial entrepreneur. As one of the very first architects of the information highway, Hern was around working on search engines before Google, before Yahoo, before AOL even. To really understand the breadth of Hern’s experiences in the tech industry, one must visit the early beginnings of the internet itself, DARPA net. DARPA stands for the Defense of Advanced Research Projects Agency and universities often apply for grants when they’re trying to build future technology. At the time, Hern used DARPA funded research with his recently acquired content licenses to develop Inktomi which became the first big search engine company before Google.
Hern found continued success with his re-applying model. “I spent the majority of my career taking that type of an approach in finding technology in universities, spinning it out or at research institutions and commercializing it.” Says Hern.
So often in the West Coast tech game these days, you see guys flounder with success. The true titans of tech mastered the art of rebuilding, rebranding and pivoting. Hern is no exception. After his new-found success with Inktomi, Hern turned around and started Arcsight, which according to him came about in organic way. “I actually wrote on a white board ‘air traffic control for security.’ And that’s what my team and I often do. We start from the very beginning, you know, looking for big problems that need to be solved.” This idea of Hern’s ultimately became what is now category Enterprise Security Management or ESM. Hern then sold Arcsight to Hewlett-Packard for what became a 1.5-billion-dollar acquisition. Hern says he is probably most proud of this venture as the demand for his services propelled the company through the great recession.
During a recent interview, Hern shared advice to those starting up as entrepreneurs, “You know, it’s ok to fail over and over and over but you’re really should understand what the market’s all about and it’s a good thing to spend a little bit of time, you know, figuring out if the thing you’re building has competition, if the thing you’re building is relevant, if the thing you’re building is too early, because that also kills entrepreneurs.”
Hern’s most recent start-up is Tsunami XR or as described by Hern, “the next generation of collaboration.” The software that Tsunami has developed works across all major devices and, “In our world I can do anything that I can do in the real world, but do it digitally and that’s going to be transformative because it allows people to for the first time really feel like they’re together even when they aren’t.” The company decided to incorporate multiple devices allowing their clients to utilize their existing tech, “Your software is only as good as there are number of devices to download and install that software on,” said Hern.
“You know when you solve that problem you first have to think about what the customers’ needs are going to be.” Tsunami XR is challenging the traditional modes of communications and filling these customer needs daily. For more on Tsunami and Alex Hern visit, https://tsunamixr.com/.
Connect with Alex Hern and Tsunami XR on Crunchbase.com