Each Friday on this blog I enjoy highlighting some of the cool things my friends do in their personal and professional lives.
This week the Campbell, California based Barracuda Networks (CUDA) went public on the NYSE, raising $74 million in their initial public offering. I caught the story while skimming the news on Wednesday and knew that this had to be the "Cool Things My Friends Do" blog post this week.
One of the company's co-founders, and CMO, is a childhood friend. Michael Perone and I grew up on the same street when we were kids (ages 5 - 12. I moved in junior high). When I remember those early days it always includes the kids on that block...especially Mike. There were about six or seven kids who were close in age, and we spent a lot of time running free in the neighborhood. Sometimes we were best buddies, other times we were not, but I have only great memories of my days living on that street.
Mike is a smart guy who was into technology at an early age. I saw my first computer at his house in about 1979. We would have been about 12 years old, and he had a computer in his bedroom. While that is common today, it was certainly not in the 1970s. He was destined for growing a tech company from the start.
I have not remained close with Mike over the years, but I have watched the success of his company. He and his co-founders were the 2007 Northern California winners of the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year award, and the company and its products have been praised in tech circles for nearly a decade. As CMO he has done a great job, as Barracuda Networks does a fantastic job of being visible and growing their revenues year over year.
Earlier this year I met with him at his office for coffee while I was in the Bay Area. I got to tour the company's headquarters and see the cool things they are doing. My impression is that Barracuda Networks is a great place to be for those who work there. It was nice to catch up with Mike, and I was very happy to see an old friend achieve so much.
Congratulations to Mike Perone and his team at Barracuda Networks. It is not everyday that someone sees and old friend ringing the bell at the NYSE.
Have A Great Day