Mark is the founder of Nitrosphere Corporation where he has produced a number of products and technologies. Always with an emphasis on enterprise software, his inventions span database, monitoring, and performance tools, mostly with a Microsoft focus.
Where did you grow up? How did your upbringing influence your career?
I grew up in the middle of cornfields in the midwest in a township called Groveland, Illinois. Thanks to lax child labor laws, and perhaps not the best judgement of my parents, I was able to work the cornfields as a pre-teen, which is how I was able to buy my first computer. I then taught myself how to program and haven’t looked back since.
What do you see as the biggest challenge in your market?
Our market’s biggest issue is the speed and security of moving SQL Server data around the globe or in and out of the cloud. The challenge we face as a company is raising awareness of capabilities that our product enables that are currently dismissed as impossible. Things like using native SQL Server replication across a WAN, moving 2-tiered apps to the internet, or pulling massive amounts of data out of the cloud, all in real-time, are what we enable without special hardware or complex configurations.
How do you continue to educate yourself?
By diving headfirst into new projects using the latest software stacks, I’m always building PoCs for new concepts and I take that as an opportunity to try the latest languages and technologies. You’re not pushing limits unless your latest roadblock yields 0 google hits.
What role do partnerships and relationships play in your career?
One of the most life changing type of relationships in my career has been mentorship. There’s simply nothing more rewarding than helping truly talented people attain their potential.
True or false? Hard work solves almost anything. Tell us why you feel this way.
True (mostly). My entire career has been testing ideas out to see if they’re feasible. Sometimes, proving things possible has taken me months of endless days and nights slinging code to prove out an idea. I’ve had one notable case where the idea simply was wrong and proved impossible after months of trying. I did fail as quickly as I could, but it was painful after sinking so many hours into the idea.
What achievement are you most proud of?
I’ve been involved in building a number of companies that have had successful exits. However, I’m always proudest of my latest conquests and my most recent is a customer that emailed to tell me that my product is “insane” because it started replicating his transactions so quickly. Building solutions with that kind of impact is what keeps me moving forward.
What’s next in your career?
We have some really cool technology in the wings that we are readying for launch, but that I am sitting on until we get the business side of things flowing the way I want. That’s kind of the long way of saying the next thing in my career is being more business focused, which is a massive, somewhat painful thing for me since tech is my first love.
What advice do you have for our readers?
Learn how to leverage and work with remote teams. I’ve been doing that well since about 2008 and have found that everyone involved is typically happier and more productive if done properly.
Is it possible for our readers to hire you or work with your team?
It depends. We’re a product-oriented company, so buy our product if you are moving data over distances. You can try it by visiting nitrosphere.com/trial We do have special expertise in SQL Server and Windows filter drivers and have been known to take on work that is in our wheelhouse. Of course, I’m always open to great ideas, so email me at email@example.com with any thoughts.