The New Industrialists – Datacenters and Rebuilding the Economy

Driving that final spike in the Transcontinental Railroad.

Driving that final spike in the Transcontinental Railroad.

I had a great conversation last week with one of my direct reports and our CEO.  As those of you who know me well, you understand that I am a traditional capitalist.  I understand the depths of industrial risk and expansion that helped build the US economy into a powerhouse.  And I understand the opposite.  What Ayn Rand accurately named “moochers” in Atlas Shrugged.  Those so called industrialists that failed to take on the challenge of building their dreams, on their own dime, assenting to their own risk and rather relying on a system of ties to the public sphere to shield themselves from risk and pass it along to an unknowing public.

In our conversations we discussed some of the great industrialists in history and some of the incredibly gutsy moves they made to build industries.  Whether in literature developing a new steel alloy despite the risks or in reality challenging different modes of electricity distribution or pushing forward into the cloud before anyone said it was wise.

I have in my bones the DNA of a builder.  And I am thrilled to have the ability to tap into those roots once again in my new role at Digital Realty.  But as I explained during the discussions it is much more than that to me.  It is an opportunity to rebuild our economy.  Not just in the US, but the global economy.  In ways reminiscent of the railroad builders of old.  Or those who built the US Interstate system.  Or the Panama canal.  Or buried cable across the oceans.

You see, data is the currency of this century.  But it lays upon a foundation that is not sustainable.  Enterprises that continue to build their own datacenters are burning the capital that their sales teams generate.   While the value of data is now top of mind to every CEO, COO and CFO, that value is being eaten by inefficient deployment of capital to build, operate and maintain the datacenters that support the workload.

There has arisen a new industry that eliminates that waste.  Datacenter providers can manage capital more efficiently, rabidly consolidate their supply chain, invest in new and cutting edge technologies, focus on opex maximizing PUE efficiency and deploy new technologies with speed that mirrors the new time to market requirements globally.

But its more than the elimination of waste.  The creation of multitenant datacenters by companies like ours opens up new construction projects in areas of cities that often lay dormant.  Creating family sustaining, pension building, building trade jobs.  From Sheet Metal to Carpentry, from Bricklayers to Operating Engineers, all will benefit from continued reliance on these companies to build in areas in need of development bringing construction, and then clean datacenter, jobs to the area.

And so there we are.  A grouping of companies sitting at this generations version of the birth of the Overland Route.  Creating a new pathway for the commerce of the day.  An efficient route for data to flow, in high performance datacenters, without waste and overhead holding back hiring in enterprises.  The risk is ours to take in building out this future.

Lets drive that final railroad spike!

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Matt Miszewski has been a leader of incredible teams, that accomplished unbelievable goals - together. From rebuilding an enterprise technology strategy from the ground up as Chief Information Officer of the State of Wisconsin to driving a struggling global sales and marketing team to live beyond their potential and helping take their stock from $45/sh to over $110/sh, I have been honored to take on huge challenges and beat them by building collaborative and high performing teams. I was proud to be a regular speaker on Digital Realty's earnings call each quarter and being able to brief and advise the Board of Directors each quarter. Focusing on our shareholders needs while coupling that focus with the needs of our top customers was the combination the street was searching for and our increase in equity value proves the effort worthwhile. Our focus on total leasing costs, net present value of long term leases, closing the gap on cash performance and elimination of stagnant inventory helped to drive a stalled stock. Most proud of standing up a revenue engine that will be used for decades including a renewed global salesforce, inside sales expertise, demand generation focus, new global Partners and Alliances program, sales operations team and a heightened focus on connecting lead development to sales outcomes (including a new social marketing program, AR/PR, digital presence, brand identity refresh, SEO/SEM and a regular campaigning process). Combining decades of technology leadership with this commercial success creates an incredible package to unleash revenue and hack growth for companies from any industry out there.

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