I want to start with a hearty welcome to the 40+ new esteemed collaborators joining our firm today. Simultaneously, I want to welcome Blackbird.io’s valued clients to the Pythian family.
I am looking forward to cultivating a long-lasting collaboration and friendship with each one of you, many of whom I have already counted as friends for years.
To that point, I want to highlight my longstanding friendship and collaboration with Laine Campbell, the CEO of Blackbird.io. I first met Laine in 2007 and was impressed by her intelligence, her energy, her charisma and, most of all, her remarkable passion for doing the right thing by her team, her clients, and her community.
In February 2008, I sent Laine an email with the subject “Join us?”, the most important line of which was “I’m looking for a founder for a new office in the Bay Area.”
Laine was gracious in her reply: “At this point, I’m absolutely packed with long-term clients. I’m quite comfortable with revenue and challenge and location. I really am flattered you’d consider me for the position, but I’m going to have to pass.” That was only about a year after she had founded PalominoDB.
Laine and I have been friends ever since and have made a discipline of trading notes and advice about our respective businesses.
As we fast-forward six years to the present, Laine and her team have achieved what many might have thought impossible. Out of thin air, with no venture capital and in only eight short years, Blackbird.io is a business eerily reminiscent of Pythian in 2008… a feat that took us 11 years.
Earlier this year, PalominoDB joined forces with DriveDev, itself a highly successful DevOps business transformation company founded in 2007 to create Blackbird.io. Blackbird.io delivers a coherent and differentiated vision that helps transform businesses through breakthrough velocity, availability, security, performance, and cost.
In what has to be one of the longest corporate romances our niche has known, Laine reached out to me in May indicating that she’d like to accept my original offer and join forces with us. It was my turn to be flattered and go through a week’s soul searching. I was not alone in the exercise. A lot of soul searching, strategic thinking, and sheer hard work has gone into this announcement today. By the end of our efforts, it became clear that joining forces would dramatically accelerate our ability to reshape the enterprise IT services landscape.
I would like to specifically thank Laine Campbell, Aaron Lee, and Vicki Vance as owners of Blackbird.io for their courage, vision, and determination through these demanding weeks. On the Pythian side, I would like to especially thank Andrew Waitman, without whom this deal would be impossible to contemplate, Alain Tardif and Siobhan Devlin, and the rest of the executive team at Pythian who’ve moved mountains on our behalf to make it real. I don’t want to forget to highlight as well the external support of Bob Ford at Kelly Santini and our financing partners.
We have months of hard work ahead of us integrating our businesses. It’s our goal and imperative to listen and learn from each other, and pick and choose the best parts of each respective business as we weave a coherent and integrated whole. This will be the first meaningful merger Pythian undertakes.
Together we are almost 350 strong and are home to the industry’s largest open-source database managed services capability. Together we will accelerate the adoption of Enterprise DevOps and help countless SaaS, retail, media, and online businesses leave their competitors in the dust. And that is a vision worth getting excited about.
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