Thursday, May 17, 2012

Frank Huerta > www.TransLattice.com

Frank Huerta, CEO and Co-Founder, TransLattice

What do you need to be an entrepreneur?
You need to want to make things work better. Usually this desire comes from some personal experience where you say, "I know that can be done better". You need a vision that what you do will help people or society in some way. You also need to be very resilient. You will get told, "no" a lot, and you need the capacity to keep moving forward. And after writing a great plan, getting funding, and coming up with what you think is a good product; you have to get lucky as well.

What did inspire you to start your business?
My first business, Recourse Technologies, was started because the company I worked at was hacked, and my partner and I wanted to build new tools and products to help defend against hackers. TransLattice started from my partner's vision that the current centralized application infrastructure was too complex and weighted down to support reliably future enterprise applications.

How did you finance it?
We have had a good relationship with DCM, a top Silicon Valley venture capital firm, and they have helped me finance multiple companies including TransLattice.

Being Hispanic… Does it have any influence on your business?
The main IT market is in the U.S. We aim to satisfy our customers no matter where they are and what culture they are from. That being said, the Latin American market is large and growing and will need TransLattice to help with that growth.

In the face of adversity, how do you decide to keep going?
You have to believe in yourself, your vision, and your team. You have people that count on you (employees and investors) to persevere through the tough times. If what you were doing was easy, everybody would be doing it. You know deep in your heart that your products and vision will unlock value for customers that they might not have realized was there before.

What is the biggest challenge your business has faced?
Recruiting. Getting and maintaining the right people to move your business forward is always the greatest challenge.

If you could change one thing about your business, what would it be?
In a startup, things change all the time. That is part of the fun and the stress.

What was your childhood ambition?
I wanted to be a doctor. But I started a medical device company where I worked with doctors and researchers to develop a treatment for knee cartilage injuries. So I kind of got to fulfill my childhood dream.

Tell us about three entrepreneurs that you admire?
Bill Hewlett and David Packard for the ethics in their startup--the HP Way. Steve Jobs for his ability to build products to fit customers before they were sure they needed them. And I also go back to early great American entrepreneurs like Ben Franklin and Thomas Edison. So much of what we have in the country and the world today is derived from their achievements and inventions.

For business meetings: breakfast, lunch, or dinner?
Dinner! I am not a morning person.

What sacrifices on your personal life did you have to make in order to become a business success?
A lot, which is why you need an understanding family. My wife was 6 months pregnant when I left a very good job to start my first company. Then in 3 1/2 years I think I took 3 Sundays off.

What is your favorite quote?
"All glory is fleeting." From the movie Patton.

Is it difficult to be unconventional?
Emerson said, "to be great is to be misunderstood." I always found this instructive. But I don't think I am way out on the fringe either.

Biggest mistake made?
Not trusting my instincts on a product and corporate direction.

Do you consider yourself an innovator? Why?
I am no Einstein, but I do consider myself to be part of the innovation process. Startups are all about innovation, and there is no other place that I would rather work.

About the company
TransLattice is the geographically distributed database and application platform company that provides data where and when it is needed, for enterprise, cloud and hybrid environments. This new approach to enterprise and cloud infrastructure results in significantly reduced costs and deployment complexity, while dramatically improving system reliability, scalability and response time.

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