The Evolution of a Company
My name is Jeremy Yeung, and I’m proud to say that I have been with LiveAction for the past five years. Throughout my journey, I’ve been fortunate enough to witness the company’s growth from a team of five employees to an expanding enterprise, now with over a hundred employees!
In the summer of 2009, I began my internship at ActionPacked! Networks—a startup company that was just breaking into the Network Performance Management software market. ActionPacked! was a commercial spin-off of Referential Systems, a government contractor specializing in cybersecurity. The networking space was completely new to me, but I gradually picked up on how our product was able to provide network visibility and control like no other software could.
As a Junior in college, trying to pursue a bachelor’s degree in Industrial Engineering, I was unsure of how my skills would be utilized at a software startup, let alone for its Marketing department. Nonetheless, I continued my internship for a second term to earn additional work experience. I felt more comfortable with the tasks and was more familiar with the business, but one question remained—who were the individuals responsible for building ActionPacked!’s LiveAction software?
Shortly after graduation, I received a call from ActionPacked!’s President, who asked if I would like to continue working with the company for a third term. She also went on to ask if I would like to fly to Vegas to help the team showcase the product at Cisco Live. I was very intrigued and accepted both offers. I didn’t know it at the time, but my first Cisco Live marked the beginning of something special. I was able to see for myself the excitement that customers had for our software. Crowds flocked to our 10’x20’ booth to see our innovative Network Performance Management software.
In the spring of 2011, I moved back to Hawaii for my third internship term at ActionPacked! and later transitioned to a full–time role with the Marketing team. I began to witness more structure within the organization and it became clear that the company had the vision to expand the business. Naturally, we experienced some turnover, but overall our staff grew and our sales increased. Despite all these improvements, I knew the company was capable of even more.
In 2013, the company’s leadership team decided to bring in Darren Kimura as the Chief Strategist of ActionPacked! to provide a fresh perspective and to help drive the company’s growth. Initially, the details of Darren’s role were a mystery to me—was he some sort of consultant for us? He wasn’t in the office often and my interaction with him was very limited. In early 2014, Darren assumed the role as Chairman and CEO and led the rebranding strategy. Moving forward, the company would be known as LiveAction.
The rebranding of LiveAction was a symbolic point in the company’s history. It marked a fresh start, which allowed us to establish an identity and culture, as well as a persona that would resonate with customers. I was personally excited because the direction of the company had never been clearer and that was validated during our first-ever Mission, Vision, Values retreat on the North Shore of Oahu. We embraced values that inspired us to be driven and innovative so that we could offer world–class solutions and services to our customers. This evolution of our culture played a large role in our overall success, which was evident through our Series A financing of $5.35M.
The LiveAction booth draws a huge crowd at Cisco Live 2014
2014 was a momentous year, but it was only the start of what we would achieve in the upcoming years. In November of that year, LiveAction took a bold leap to relocate its business team to the Silicon Valley. I was excited to be included as one of the pioneers, as we set up shop in a tiny office building in Palo Alto. Our ranks continued to grow, and our portfolio of customers became more impressive, but we needed to scale even further to compete with the goliaths in the industry.
In 2015, we moved into the Santa Clara Freedom Towers to accommodate to our growing staff. We began laying the foundation for the different departments that were critical to our future success—Product Management, Customer Experience, Technical Support, and Finance all endured huge changes to help scale the organization. LiveAction’s transformation was clear at our second company retreat at the Asilomar Camp Grounds in Monterey, CA. The atmosphere was completely different than the first retreat, with mix of new and familiar faces, and a new range of ideas and opinions as well.
LiveAction entered 2016 with a bang. In February, we announced our Series B financing of $36M. While this was an exciting milestone for us, the stakes were higher and our goals were more aggressive than they’ve ever been.The funding provided us with the resources to hire more employees and secure our own office space in Palo Alto, alongside the 101—where we are today.
When I first began my journey with LiveAction, I never imagined that our company would reach this type of success. I do believe our culture is one of the main drivers, and although our Mission, Vision, and Values have slightly changed over the course of the years, we have managed to remain as a tightly-knit team despite our geographical differences. I sincerely hope that we keep this sense of teamwork and that we work towards an even greater future that exceeds our imagination!
September 30, 2016
AUTHOR: Jeremy Yeung