From the halls of Julliard to the world of critical infrastructure, twin brothers Zachary Smith and Jacob Smith have been orchestrating their careers and approaching business through a balanced left and right-brain strategy that includes discipline, learning, rules, creativity, problem-solving and an openness to integrating “outside voices.”
Innovating at the intersection of hardware and software and known in the industry as the founders of Packet, now an Equinix Company, the brothers started off as musicians, before transitioning from music to the technology space. Zach left his double bass behind twenty years ago to start a web hosting business for his music friends. Jacob became involved in the technology space much later, after a career as a professional bassoonist and a digital marketer.
In 2014, the brothers decided to try a venture together, their first joint effort since starting a lawn mowing business together as kids! They co-founded Packet, a company focused on the automation of infrastructure with Zach as CEO and Jacob as CMO. Their mission was to create a more efficient model for how technology is bought, sold, consumed and leveraged. The time was right as the world of specialized hardware was becoming more important even while users were being abstracted away from it. On top of that, there was an impending generational shift in the profile of buyers—from IT-focused buyers to developers or software-focused buyers.
This #NomadFuturist podcast unveils their incredible journey, passions and insights about what it takes to be successful entrepreneurs in the world of critical infrastructure—both on a professional and personal level. They offer the following advice for those interested in transitioning into the space:
“Anytime is a good time to enter the tech space as technology is changing so fast. You must be willing to ask questions and be the dumbest person in the room. Then surround yourself with people who are way smarter than you and figure out what you can do better than them!”