Name: Stanimir Markov
Stanimir Markov is Chief Executive Officer and Co-founder at Runecast, a company that provides real-time VMware SDDC issue analysis & security compliance.
Prior to this, Stanimir worked for IBM where he held a number of roles. He started in Windows Technical Support, expanding into VMware and Citrix, and then becoming the first member of a new team of Virtualization Architects. And prior to IBM, Stanimir was in Technical Support at Aplus.net.
Stanimir is a VCDX, the highest level of certification from VMware. He also has additional certifications from VMware and Citrix. He received his degree in Computer Science from the Sofia University St. Kliment Ohridiski.
I got to know Stanimir while I was at VMware. I was working on VMware Skyline, a support product that has some overlapping capabilities with Runecast. We met so that I could share what we were doing in the hope that Stanimir could evolve Runecast in a way that complemented rather than competed with Skyline.
These conversations were excellent. I had the opportunity to watch Stanimir continue to drive his company forward, even while VMware was delivering new products at an accelerated rate. All of this demonstrated the skills and leadership that Stanimir has and led me to interview him for the podcast.
I hope you enjoy my interviews with Stanimir!
I asked Stanimir three questions that were specific to him.
- You spent a number of years on the technical side of the house, growing your technical skills and working with customers. You then decided to start your own company, Runecast. What drove this decision?
- As a follow on. As you look back at the early days of Runecast, what were you ready for and what surprised you?
- You sell Runecast to VMware customers. A couple of questions related to this.
- You are a small company. How do you keep up with the speed at which VMware is delivering new products and solutions?
- You sell to VMware customers. How do they find out about you?
- What are the biggest advantages and disadvantages of competing with a large company?
- As a startup, you have raised money. I noticed on your website that you have raised money from the “European Union’s Horizon 2020 Research and Innovation” program. Can you talk about how you go about raising money? And while doing that, please provide advice for others who need to do the same.
I then asked Stanimir the same six questions that I ask all interviewees – in a lightning-round format.
- What’s the most important factor you consider when hiring someone?
- Who was your most effective boss, and what made him or her stand out?
- What was the most difficult transition that you made in your career?
- How do you approach helping someone with their career development or path?
- What tools and tricks do you use to find work-life balance?
- How do you go about building relationships with your peers and other leaders in the company?
I really enjoyed the interview with Stanimir. Here are a few quotes that jumped out for me.
Stanimir talked about starting a company.
“I knew that eventually I would want to start something on my own.
I think you are never really ready to start a company, you just have to jump into it.
Two factors that came together to make the decision – the idea and the team.”
“One of the interesting things about a startup… I was actually plesantly surprised about how willing people are to help.”
And the advantages that he sees in being small.
“You would be surprised at how things happen at a small company.
A lot of the overhead that you have in corporate are missing.
I am the CEO and one of the co-founders. So if there is the need for approval for any type of budget, or if we need to hire someone, or use an external consultant for anything. Those kind of decisions can be taken in minutes.”
I hope this gives you a sense of what you will hear in the interview.
I have posted the career path interview with Stanimir. It was so much fun hearing how his interest was started with an early IBM personal computer. He followed this passion into college and with the jobs that he had before going off to start and run a company.
I hope you enjoy!