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[Techie Tuesday] Meet Raahi’s Matt Robinson who went from solving server issues at CERN to working on hybrid cloud



As the CTO of Raahi, a global enterprise solutions company, Matt Robinson is in charge of the organisation’s technological strategic growth. However, Matt’s tryst with technology began in the late 70s, in Florida, where he grew up with trial model three or four of a Radio Shack computer. 

“I saw some backend work and assembly of the system, and realised there was a separate language for it. I was very curious to know what it was used for at a time when most people used it for library programmes or to play games during breaks,” recollects Matt in a conversation with YourStory

Matt was fascinated with how he could play around with the code and it would create something in the foreground, which piqued his interest. 

“When we moved from Florida to California, I attended a computer class at school. Initially, they taught typing and basic codes, and I realised that my capabilities in typing exceeded that of most other students. I was clocking close to 100 words per minute at that point,” he says. 

It was then that he was switched over to a computer class where he learnt how to do basic programming on the early Apple operating system and Franklin computer. 

Early days 

Hailing from a diverse background, Matt has lived across the US, and did his schooling from around 16 different schools.

“I had the opportunity to meet a diverse set of individuals from varying backgrounds and cultures, and have different ideas. I left San Diego to study at the University of California Riverside in the early days of the computer industry,” recollects Matt. 

After he completed his computer science degree by the end of 1992, he started looking for a job and realised that most companies he was interested in joining were in Silicon Valley. 

“So, to be able to apply for some of these companies, I got on my Honda CB 350 motorcycle and drove what was almost a 12-hour journey north to the park outside of UC Berkeley for a job fair,” Matt says. 

The first hustle 

After circulating his resume at UC Berkley, he got a few interviews with Microsoft and Silicon Graphics. He chose Silicon Graphics so that he could leverage his background in Unix as a systems administrator. 

“I was interviewed by a support organisation that was the technical assistance centre at the time to come on board as a Unix individual to answer Unix issues that occurred with a Silicon Graphics systems on their Pyrex operating system,” he says. 

With a salary of $40,000 a year, Matt moved to the Bay Area to work for Silicon Graphics. After nine months, the team realised that he could do a lot more in terms of coding. 

“I built software to improve call centre systems, built better front ends, and did database analysis in an effort to improve customer responsiveness,” adds Matt. 

He also learnt a lot in terms of how to work through a variety of different technical challenges. “Silicon Graphics then was set on edge of technology and they built high-performance systems for the government and other large organisations,” adds Matt. 

A front seat at CERN and Human Genome Project 

Another challenge he faced was debugging Kernel-related issues. They built the LKCD (Linux Kernel Crash Dumps), which he calls as a pivot in his career. Matt was working with a colleague to analyse the memory state for a computer when it has crashed, and go back and figure out its footprint and pass that information through the team. 

“Back in the early to mid-90s you didn’t really have an Internet to send these massive core dump files from let’s say a customer site where the system crashed. So at the time they just put engineers on a plane, and I was one of about five people who were deputed,” Matt says.


Working in the field, Matt had the experience to see how technology was being fixed in a variety of different environments.

“I had the opportunity to fix issues at CERN, and see how the research was conducted there. I even had the opportunity to go to the University of Kyoto, where they were working on the early Human Genome Project,” adds Matt. 

He explains they had a Fortran 77 program that they needed some help figuring out, as it was messing up with the genome sequencing. 

“I realised that when you go out and help people fix problems, it’s not just the technology but how people are using it. You really get to see how technology is applied and how transformative it can be,” he adds. 

After working at Silicon Graphics for eight years, Matt wanted to do something different, and joined a small startup called Turbo Linux for six months, during the time of the Dotcom boom and bust. 

He joined Alacritech in August 2000, where he worked for five years. 

The Alacritech journey 

At Alacritech, he developed MRDs (machine-readable dictionary) and PRDs (product requirements document) with the engineering, marketing, and manufacturing teams for several hardware, software, and service products.

He interfaced with clients like IBM and Microsoft for product analysis, and was also responsible for performance analysis of high-end network, storage, and database configurations on Windows and Red Hat Linux platforms. 

He also developed benchmark software for TCP/IP network throughput capabilities, including response time efficiencies and CPU utilisation analysis used by customers and internal test groups.

“At Alacritech, I realised that I needed to engage more from a product and management perspective. I realised it wasn’t just about the technology but how it was used and deployed. The company was run by Larry Shay, who’s a fantastic CEO, and I learnt lessons on not just how to bring in new technologies to the market but also how that can eventually grow the business,” says Matt. 

However, during the dotcom bust, many companies were trying to rationalise their portfolio and do what they could with the investments. 

‘We had built a TCP IP offload adapter, which was pretty transformative at the time. It allowed you to take the network stack workload that you would normally do and move it over to hardware. This led to a significant performance improvement and removed any inhibitors,” Matt says.

He adds they built Scuzzy Drive or the Small Computer System Interface, which is a set of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard electronic interfaces that allow personal computer (PCs) to communicate with peripheral hardware such as disk drives, tape drives, and CD-ROM. However, the timing of the product wasn’t right and they had to shelve it.

The NetApp years 

In November 2005, Matt left Alacritech and moved to New York. He chose to move into a product management and engineering role, and joined NetApp where he worked for the next 11 years. 

“I spent about a year helping the company build its professional services capabilities on the East Coast, consulting on a variety of products on SQL, and helped a financial services companies move entire data systems,” says Matt.

From 2007 to 2008, he worked at a data centre but soon moved to bigger roles across the US. 

It was his first opportunity to manage a large group and start learning about the dynamics of not just the technology, but how to best enable the customer experience and deal with customer engagement in case of issues. 

“It was a really good first opportunity to help build out an engineering and consultancy team that was really focused on delivering for our customers in and keeping our broader revenue growth potentials in focus as well,” says Matt. 

In 2010, Matt decided to move back to California and into an individual contributor role where he helped build enterprise architectures for some of the largest clients of NetApp. All his work allowed him to get more involved in executive briefing centre management sittings with customers. 

“I built an application called VIBE (Virtual Infrastructure Backup Engine) which essentially allowed me the opportunity to help back up these virtualisation environments,” says Matt. 

This helped customers move their virtual workloads, for which the team also got a few patents. 

From 2015 until 2017, he moved into a more service provider space. He says they were building their own cloud that was different from AWS. 

Building at and for Google 

By early 2017, he decided to move to a company that was partnering with Google. 

“It not just about helping grow and support the partner ecosystem with Google, but to also understand the differentiation and delineation between the types of partners who are focused on cloud-type solutions, versus those who have more of the VAR or system integrator relationship which can be more focused on the technology that a customer might buy and use within their own data centres. That bifurcation in the market was an opportunity to learn and grow and develop a set of skills in Google, given that they didn’t have anybody in that role at the time, back in April 2017,” Matt says. 

This was a chance to build from the ground-up again. He adds they were helping drive more sales for Google Cloud through the lens of what partners would ultimately have. 

Building the hybrid cloud 

After working with Google and using his learnings at NetApp, Matt realised early on that the future would function on a Hybrid cloud model.

“You really need to have the power to bring both of those capabilities to market; it allows customers to appreciate a partner,” says Matt. It was this understanding that got him to start Raahi.


Today, he helps manage the pre-sales and post-sales services, professional services, as well as engineering and partnerships teams in the organisation across the globe. He is also looking at how Raahi is delivering and sustaining the value with their most strategic customers.

“We are not just ensuring that we can use technology to meet their needs, but are also making sure that we are operationally cost-efficient as well as profitable. One of the lessons I took at Google was around the five traits of effective teams, which I actually deploy here at Raahi,” says Matt.

He focuses on psychological safety, allowing people to be able to have a voice and not worry about any kind of retribution. 

“I work towards making sure that everybody’s role had meaning and that everybody has an impact in the organisation,” explains Matt.  

What does he looks for in techies?

He adds the team will continue to work towards building a hybrid cloud strategy at Raahi. 

Speaking of what he looks for in techies, Matt says, 

“I want to see how they think and not just what they know. It is important to understand how people think through problems and how they work with others. Do they like to work by themselves or do they like to work for a team? Do they like to take on a couple of very large problems or do they prefer to work on more transactional type work where they’re solving a lot of problems throughout the day? Where does one find their greatest happiness?” 

Even today, Matt does a lot of coding and has been working on some cloud assessment work.

“So I encourage people to continually show an interest in learning and making sure that kind of curiosity can lead to greater career success for them,” he adds. 

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LastPass hacked, OpenAI opens access to ChatGPT, and Kanye gets suspended from Twitter (again) • TechCrunch



Aaaaand we’re back! With our Thanksgiving mini-hiatus behind us, it’s time for another edition of Week in Review — the newsletter where we quickly wrap up the most read TechCrunch stories from the past seven(ish) days. No matter how busy you are, it should give you a pretty good idea of what people were talking about in tech this week.

Want it in your inbox every Saturday morning? Sign up here.

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Instafest goes instaviral: You’ve probably been to a great music festival before. But have you been to one made just for you? Probably not. Instafest, a web app that went super viral this week, helps you daydream about what that festival might look like. Sign in with your Spotify credentials and it’ll generate a promo poster for a pretend festival based on your listening habits.

LastPass breached (again): “Password manager LastPass said it’s investigating a security incident after its systems were compromised for the second time this year,” writes Zack Whittaker. Investigations are still underway, which unfortunately means it’s not super clear what (and whose) data might’ve been accessed.

ChatGPT opens up: This week, OpenAI widely opened up access to ChatGPT, which lets you interact with their new language-generation AI through a simple chat-style interface. In other words, it lets you generate (sometimes scarily well-written) passages of text by chatting with a robot. Darrell used it to instantly write the Pokémon cheat sheet he’s always wanted.

AWS re:Invents: This week, Amazon Web Services hosted its annual re:Invent conference, where the company shows off what’s next for the cloud computing platform that powers a massive chunk of the internet. This year’s highlights? A low-code tool for serverless apps, a pledge to give AWS customers control over where in the world their data is stored (to help navigate increasingly complicated government policies), and a tool to run “city-sized simulations” in the cloud.

Twitter suspends Kanye (again): “Elon Musk has suspended Kanye West’s (aka Ye) Twitter account after the latter posted antisemitic tweets and violated the platform’s rules,” writes Ivan Mehta.

Spotify Wraps it up: Each year in December, Spotify ships “Wrapped” — an interactive feature that takes your Spotify listening data for the year and presents it in a super visual way. This year it’s got the straightforward stuff like how many minutes you streamed, but it’s also branching out with ideas like “listening personalities” — a Myers-Briggs-inspired system that puts each user into one of 16 camps, like “the Adventurer” or “the Replayer.”

DoorDash layoffs: I was hoping to go a week without a layoffs story cracking the list. Alas, DoorDash confirmed this week that it’s laying off 1,250 people, with CEO Tony Xu explaining that they hired too quickly during the pandemic.

Salesforce co-CEO steps down: “In one week last December, [Bret Taylor] was named board chair at Twitter and co-CEO at Salesforce,” writes Ron Miller. “One year later, he doesn’t have either job.” Taylor says he has “decided to return to [his] entrepreneurial roots.”

audio roundup

I expected things to be a little quiet in TC Podcast land last week because of the holiday, but we somehow still had great shows! Ron Miller and Rita Liao joined Darrell Etherington on The TechCrunch Podcast to talk about the departure of Salesforce’s co-CEO and China’s “great wall of porn”; Team Chain Reaction shared an interview with Nikil Viswanathan, CEO of web3 development platform Alchemy; and the ever-lovely Equity crew talked about everything from Sam Bankman-Fried’s wild interview at DealBook to why all three of the co-founders at financing startup Pipe stepped down simultaneously.


What lies behind the TC+ members-only paywall? Here’s what TC+ members were reading most this week:

Lessons for raising $10M without giving up a board seat: has raised $10 million over the last two years, all “without giving up a single board seat.” How? co-founder Henry Shapiro shares his insights.

Consultants are the new nontraditional VC: “Why are so many consultant-led venture capital funds launching now?” asks Rebecca Szkutak.

Fundraising in times of greater VC scrutiny: “Founders may be discouraged in this environment, but they need to remember that they have ‘currency,’ too,” writes DocSend co-founder and former CEO Russ Heddleston.

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Building global, scalable metaverse applications



Previously we talked about the trillion-dollar infrastructure opportunity that comes with building the metaverse — and it is indeed very large. But what about the applications that will run on top of this new infrastructure?

Metaverse applications will be very different from the traditional web or mobile apps that we are used to today. For one, they will be much more immersive and interactive, blurring the lines between the virtual and physical worlds. And because of the distributed nature of the metaverse, they will also need to be able to scale globally — something that has never been done before at this level.

In this article, we will take a developer’s perspective and explore what it will take to build global, scalable metaverse applications.

As you are aware, the metaverse will work very differently from the web or mobile apps we have today. For one, it is distributed, meaning there is no central server that controls everything. This has a number of implications for developers:


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  • They will need to be able to deal with data that is spread out across many different servers (or “nodes”) in a decentralized manner.
  • They will need to be able to deal with users that are also spread out across many different servers.
  • They will need to be able to deal with the fact that each user may have a different experience of the metaverse, based on their location and the devices they are using due to the fact not everyone has the same tech setup, and this plays a pivotal role in how the metaverse is experienced by each user.

These challenges are not insurmountable, but they do require a different way of thinking about application development. Let’s take a closer look at each one.

Data control and manipulation

In a traditional web or mobile app, all the data is stored on a central server. This makes it easy for developers to query and manipulate that data because everything is in one place.

In a distributed metaverse, however, data is spread out across many different servers. This means that developers will need to find new ways to query and manipulate data that is not centrally located.

One way to do this is through the blockchain itself. This distributed ledger, as you know, is spread out across many different servers and allows developers to query and manipulate data in a decentralized manner.

Another way to deal with the challenge of data is through what is known as “content delivery networks” (CDNs). These are networks of servers that are designed to deliver content to users in a fast and efficient manner.

CDNs are often used to deliver web content, but they can also be used to deliver metaverse content. This is because CDNs are designed to deal with large amounts of data that need to be delivered quickly and efficiently — something that is essential for metaverse applications.

Users and devices

Another challenge that developers will need to face is the fact that users and devices are also spread out across many different servers. This means that developers will need to find ways to deliver content to users in a way that is efficient and effective.

One way to do this is through the use of “mirrors.” Mirrors are copies of the content that are stored on different servers. When a user requests content, they are redirected to the nearest mirror, which helps to improve performance and reduce latency.

When a user’s device is not able to connect to the server that is hosting the content, another way to deliver content is through “proxies.” Proxies are servers that act on behalf of the user’s device and fetch the content from the server that is hosting it.

This can be done in a number of ways, but one common way is through the use of a “reverse proxy.” In this case, the proxy server is located between the user’s device and the server that is hosting the content. The proxy fetches the content from the server and then delivers it to the user’s device.

Location and devices

As we mentioned before, each user’s experience of the metaverse will be different based on their location and the devices they are using. This is because not everyone has the same tech setup, and this plays a pivotal role in how the metaverse is experienced by each user.

For example, someone who is using a virtual reality headset will have a completely different experience than someone who is just using a desktop computer. And someone who is located in Europe will have a different experience than someone who is located in Asia.

Though it may not be obvious why geographical location would play a part in something that is meant to be boundless, think of it this way. The internet is a physical infrastructure that is spread out across the world. And although the metaverse is not bound by the same physical limitations, it still relies on this infrastructure to function.

This means that developers will need to take into account the different geographical locations of their users and devices and design their applications accordingly. They will need to be able to deliver content quickly and efficiently to users all over the world, regardless of their location.

Different geographical locations also have different laws and regulations. This is something that developers will need to be aware of when designing applications for the metaverse. They will need to make sure that their applications are compliant with all applicable laws and regulations.

Application development

Now that we’ve looked at some of the challenges that developers will need to face, let’s take a look at how they can develop metaverse applications. Since the metaverse is virtual, the type of development that is required is different from traditional application development.

The first thing that developers will need to do is to create a “space”. A space is a virtual environment that is used to host applications.

Spaces are created using a variety of different tools, but the most popular tool currently is Unity, a game engine used to create 3D environments.

Once a space has been created, developers will need to populate it with content. This content can be anything from 3D models to audio files.

The next step is to publish the space. This means that the space will be made available to other users, who will be able to access the space through a variety of different devices, including desktop computers, laptops, tablets, and smartphones.

Finally, developers will need to promote their space. This means that they will need to market their space to users.

Getting applications to scale

Since web 3.0 is decentralized, scalability is usually the biggest challenge because traditional servers are almost impossible to use. IPFS is one solution that can help with this problem.

IPFS is a distributed file system used to store and share files. IPFS is similar to BitTorrent, but it is designed to be used for file storage rather than file sharing.

IPFS is a peer-to-peer system, which means that there is no central server. This makes IPFS very scalable because there is no single point of failure.

To use IPFS, developers will need to install it on their computer and add their space to the network. Then, other users will be able to access it.

The bottom line on building global, scalable metaverse applications

To finish off, the technology to build scalable metaverse applications already exists; but a lot of creativity is still required to make it all work together in a user-friendly way. The key is to keep the following concepts in mind:

  • The metaverse is global and decentralized
  • Users will access the metaverse through a variety of devices
  • Location and device management are important
  • Application development is different from traditional development
  • Scalability is a challenge, but IPFS can help

Clearly, we can’t have an article series about building the metaverse without discussing NFTs. In fact, these might be the key to making a global, decentralized, metaverse work. In our next article, we will explore how NFTs can be used in the metaverse.

By keeping these concepts in mind, developers will be able to create metaverse applications that are both user-friendly and scalable.

Daniel Saito is CEO and cofounder of StrongNode

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7 Secrets of Truly Successful Personal Brands



Opinions expressed by Entrepreneur contributors are their own.

The choice to launch your brand is noticeable. But creating a solid brand is essential. Authenticity, consistency, initiative, confidence, courage, and time are required to complete everything.

Personal branding is not a thing to do because social media says so. Today it’s an essential element in your communication strategy, used by not only famous and influential people and big businesses but also every individual that wants to be seen, heard and ultimately valued.

Globally, everyday people are already creating their own brands. The corporate branding machine enslavement is too much, so many professionals are leaving employment. It is crucial to build your brand authority because other than leading to commercial and reputational opportunities, it’s also positive for your self-expression.

Better clientele, industry recognition and financial gains result from it. Due to declining trust in our institutions, customers trust individuals more than businesses; therefore, you should concentrate on establishing your personal (and business) brand as part of your elevation strategy.

Check out these seven personal branding success secrets:

1. Find and curate your “A-Team”

A new brand’s path can be pretty tricky and resemble an endless race of overcoming technical, emotional and personal obstacles. A key component of overcoming these obstacles is finding and building a solid team that shares your vision and mission.

Co-founders, workers, advisers, consultants, mentors, coaches and even dependable family members may be a part of your team — link your team selection to your values and ideals and favor compatibility above competence.

Related: I’ve Interviewed and Hired Thousands of People. Here’s What to Keep in Mind Before Offering the Job.

2. Tap into future trends and needs

Adapting based on future trends and customer needs is pivotal because the world is evolving daily. For example, if Jeff Bezos tried setting up an online bookstore today, he would most possibly fail miserably. However, his foresight to know what customers need drove Amazon to a global ecommerce store today. Timing is everything!

Likewise, knowing the market’s future can help your brand make the right moves and become successful. But it doesn’t imply it’s impossible to foresee how the corporate world will develop. What matters most is how analytically sound you are and how well-equipped you are to anticipate future events.

Even though it won’t always be exact to a tee, this will give you a solid idea of where things are going. Making assumptions about future trends carries some calculated risk, but staying safe will never help you or your brand grow.

Related: Looking for a New Business Idea? Here’s How to Identify What People Really Need

3. Unlearn outdated trends to make way for the new

For a brand to flourish, it is vital to unlearn in business. We can only build something fresh and distinctive if we let go of our outdated attitudes and practices—discovering a new project or closing a transaction with unexpected customers results from curiosity.

Unlearning is a systematic strategy to advance and overcome barriers one at a time.

Entrepreneurship success is composed of 20% learning and 80% unlearning. Remove the restrictive presumptions to make room for helpful information.

4. Think fast for solutions and act fast

One of the secrets to a great brand is having the capacity to think and respond quickly. Since environmental issues are worsening, the brand must move soon, seek eco-alternatives and sustainable solutions that reduce their adverse effects, and convey the concept of conscious living to the next generation as quickly as possible.

Simply acting quickly and moving quickly to find answers can give you a competitive edge. If you are not in a technology-dominant business-like distribution, manufacturing, or something not typically controlled by technology firms, your rivals are probably advancing slowly. We must make many daily decisions, but some are more crucial than others.

For example, eating is essential, but whether you choose a salad, chicken or a Big Mac is less important at the moment. You can think more rapidly if you can swiftly pick what to eat. Even if your choice weren’t the best, the effects would be minimal in the short term.

5. Be adaptable and flexible

Being an entrepreneur entails weighing possibilities and dangers equally. This will help you create a distinct brand and ensure its long-term survival and competitiveness. Many new brands tend to concentrate on a single item or service.

Meanwhile, they frequently need to see the value of brand creation right away. Startup brands often think that the benefits of their products are evident and that the brand can speak for itself. You can only place that much faith in some potential consumers.

You must include the development of your brand skills in your content strategy and make sure that the visuals reflect this.

You must evaluate new items in light of your company values as you grow. Check to see if your objectives are compatible, and if not, make any necessary modifications.

6. Become an autodidact

After college, education for most people typically comes to an end. However, your reputation will continue to rise if you develop a passion for studying and being an autodidact.

However, in this day and age of information overload and many online distractions, being an effective autodidact can be taxing. Therefore, staying focused on your mission is more crucial than ever.

Some people contend that the age of the autodidact, or self-directed learning, is currently upon us. After all, the internet is brimming with tools for self-learning that you can utilize to build your brand. However, beware that some may lack substance and are merely shiny bells and whistles.

Related: 6 Little-Known Characteristics of Successful Entrepreneurs

7. Be street smart

Being “street smart,” or able to foresee and handle unexpected everyday business issues, is generally seen as a crucial ability for brand owners and entrepreneurs.

Most investors claim to be able to spot this capacity when they see it, but the experience is necessary to describe it. To be a street-smart person, you need to comprehend your brand’s surroundings or condition well.

You are consciously aware of your surroundings. Moreover, you can see what’s happening around you even when you can’t see it. You can form opinions about the situation based on lived experience, the environment and the people in it, giving you the confidence to put your faith in these opinions.

Related: Are You ‘Intelligent’ Enough to Be an Entrepreneur?


To succeed at personal branding, you must be a brand new, evolving you. In a world full of imitators, be genuine and authentic to yourself.

Authentic personal branding is more than simply self-promotion and marketing commonly seen online. It focuses more on making a courageous difference in people’s lives and inspiring them to live better lives. It can also be about inspiring humanity to do good. After 33 years in this game, I believe and practice that “doing good” is all possible.

You must invest time and effort to be the “go-to” authority in your chosen area. All things worth doing must be done well; therefore, it’s better to make the most of that time and effort!

Applying the seven tips above will help you create an authentic personal brand that is true to you and enjoy the success that will inevitably follow.

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