Rob Hirchfeld, founder and CEO of RackN

Rob Hirschfeld is the founder and CEO at RackN, an Austin-based startup which makes software to automate data centers.

Hirschfeld has 15 years of experience in the cloud and infrastructure industry. He has served four terms on the OpenStack Foundation Board and previously worked as an executive at Dell. He’s also a serial entrepreneur. On this episode of Ideas to Invoices, Hirschfeld discusses how he has fine-tuned his storytelling skills throughout the years to better communicate with customers, investors, and others.

Hirschfeld founded RackN in October of 2014, the company has received some angel investment, earns money and is currently raising money.

He founded ProTier in 1999, which Surgient founded in 2004. He also founded Zehicle and has worked for several other technology companies and startups.
Hirschfeld goes to technology conferences to speak and market RackN. He also blogs regularly and he launched a podcast on data center operations space called the latest shiny: L8ist Sh9y.

“Content creation is about telling a story about why your technology is important,” Hirschfeld said.

The content strategy is about helping people find the company and understand what it does, he said.

“If you are solving a problem for someone, it’s not difficult to articulate that problem in a way that people will read,” he said.

Content creation raises awareness and creates engagement, Hirschfeld said.

“It really is a much more natural way to interact,” he said.

A significant part of what RackN does is understanding how difficult it is to manage data centers and solve data center operators problems with its software, Hirschfeld said.

RackN is in Austin because there is a great technical community here.

“We love the culture,” he said.

It’s easy to recruit in Austin, Hirschfeld said.

RackN came out of the TechRanch program led by Kevin Koym. That helped the company launch, Hirschfeld said. Today, the company is active in the meetup scene and Capital Factory, he said. Andrea Kalmans with Lontra Ventures is an advisor to the company too, he said.

Storytelling is essential for technology startups to reach customers, partners, investors, and others, Hirschfeld said. RackN hired a public relations firm to help it hone its story and refine its pitch deck, he said.

“Of all the things you do in a startup, storytelling is so critical and so essential,” he said.

For more on Hirschfeld’s interview, please listen to the entire Ideas to Invoices podcast. And please visit iTunes to rate, review and subscribe to Ideas to Invoices.