Nathan Owen is the chief executive officer and cofounder of Blue Medora and before this worked in IBM’s Software Group as a software architect, business development executive, as well as an alliance manager. In 2012, Nathan was named by IBM as one of its inaugural class of ‘IBM Champions’. Prior to IBM, Nathan cofounded and was vice president of sales for OctetString, an identity management software company that was acquired by Oracle in 2005. Nathan received a BS degree in Political Science from Central Michigan University in 1994.
Does your college/university education have any specific relevance to the career you have now?
I was a political science major and a history minor, so no. Although the education side of my time at college was not relevant, I did work for the IT department whilst studying there. That is where I got connected to the IT industry. I thought I was going to be a lawyer when I started college and then realised I didn’t want to be!
Looking back on your career so far, is there anything you might have done differently?
The simple answer is no, there is nothing I would have done differently.
What are the biggest changes you have seen in the data centre industry?
The data centre industry is always changing and facing new challenges. We are always working towards the next big thing. I entered the industry in 1994 when the Internet was the next big thing and then it was utility computing, push content, the cloud and now IoT. There is always a change coming. Looking back, there has been tremendous change during the 22 years that I have been in the business.
What’s your biggest pet peeve?
I hate it when companies throw buzzwords around, for example – ‘cloud’. Even companies that have nothing to do with the cloud or are really far away from it, find a way of weaving in the latest buzzwords. I like to think most smart people can see through this though and understand what the product actually is.
What qualities do you value in the people you work with?
Intelligence and the willingness to voice a dissenting opinion, including disagreeing with me! The quality I value above all else is delivery. If people say they are going to do something then they need to be able to do it.
What are your hobbies/interests outside work?
I am an amateur historian and an amateur electronics buff. I have a particular interest in the Raspberry Pi and making home kits with my kids. We enjoy doing anything from building a video doorbell to a remote control. I find that a lot of fun.
Where is your favourite holiday destination and why?
Any big city – whether it’s New York, Boston or a European city. I like taking in the sights with my family over the holidays.
Other than family, what is your most treasured possession?
I have a set of bamboo fly fishing rods – they were handed down in my family to me. I haven’t had the chance to use them yet but I hope to. I live in Michigan and it’s known for its blue ribbon trout streams, so it is a fisherman’s dream!
If you could travel back to any time period in history which would it be and why?
I would love to have observed the American Revolutionary War and have been around when they wrote the founding documents. It would have been great to listen to the arguments debated and the ideas that everybody had.
What are Blue Medora’s targets for 2017?
Two things – the first is to continue to proliferate our platform extension technology to companies such as VMware and New Relic. The second is drive the adoption of our SelectStar SaaS based database management platform.