10 questions for ownCloud CFO Dan Curtis

By , IDG News Service |  

I also want to get a sense of their commitment because small company environments can be quite demanding. I've never worked at a small company where it was a 9-to-5 job, so I want someone who is willing to do pretty much anything -- a roll-up-their-sleeves attitude, a person who has the energy level to do whatever is required.

8. What is it about your current job, at this particular company, that sets it apart from other chief finance positions?

OwnCloud is obviously a very young company, so it's a bit of a green field in the sense that the infrastructure is yours to mold from day one. The business model and go-to-market strategy are being developed from scratch. Assessing the information needs and developing a reporting structure is evolving as the company grows.

And, generally speaking, entrepreneurs at technology companies are not financial people, so the value that someone like I bring to ownCloud is meaningful in a number of different ways to the company. That's especially important in the early stages of development.

At other companies, that are a bit farther along, you really don't have the opportunity to create this from scratch.

And ownCloud is very exciting because of the space it's in. The value proposition of this open-source platform for IT managers is that they can use the storage they have but incorporate secure synch and share capability, so they don't have to expand the storage. I think this model is incredibly valuable.

9. What do you do to unwind from a hectic day?

I've got three boys, one of whom is not yet off my payroll at home, so if the chance comes at the end of the day to knock a golf ball around with him, I really enjoy doing that. Anything with family -- any family activities are always good to put things into a meaningful perspective.

10. If you weren't doing this job, what would you be doing?

That's a very interesting question. If you'd asked me this 25 years ago I'd have said I'd love to go play the pro golf tour. But you ask me this today and I'd say that if I weren't doing this, I would probably devote some time to volunteer work, maybe getting involved with Habitat for Humanity. My uncle, Ed Dailey, who I mentioned early on, that's what he did. He retired to Florida and committed a fair amount of time helping to build homes in depressed areas. He found that tremendously rewarding. I'd likely stay involved in the business community, probably through board activities.

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