6 things you might not know about Virtual Instruments

Bone up on IPO candidate Virtual Instruments, which is targeting infrastructure performance management

Virtual Instruments
VIRTUAL WHO?

Virtual Instruments isn’t a household name, but perhaps it will be one day if the San Jose company really does get a huge chunk of what CEO John Thompson claims is a $9 billion market opportunity. Here are a few fun facts about a company that you just might start hearing more about in the months to come, especially since it has a major product upgrade planned for later this year – not to mention that it’s talking about going public.

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Virtual Instruments
YOU OUGHTA BE IN PICTURES

Virtual Instruments named its conference rooms after virtual reality-themed movies, or at least sci-fi ones. Among them, The Matrix and Blade Runner. The marketing conference room, originally dubbed The Abyss, was renamed after it was determined to be too negative for the marketing team. Star Trek is the new room name.

Virtual Instruments
MORE MOVIE MADNESS

For its Sales Kick Off event each year, Virtual Instruments assigns a theme and plans fun activities around it. Past themes include Ocean's Eleven (they had 11 sales teams), Transformers (for transforming the data center) and The Matrix (produced a video spoof and called it The Metrix "because we have the metrics that wake people up from the haze.")

Virtual Instruments
HE GETS AROUND

CEO John Thompson once owned part of the National Basketball Association’s Golden State Warriors and was once considered a strong possibility to be President Barack Obama’s choice for Secretary of Commerce.

Virtual Instruments
THOSE ZANY STARTUPS

As a start-up, Virtual Instruments employees do have some wild and crazy times, such as by filling the VP of Engineering’s office with balloons on April Fools’ Day and wearing Irish get-ups on St. Patrick’s Day.

Virtual Instruments
MUSICAL MIXUP

CEO John Thompson acknowledges that people often mistake Virtual Instruments, upon first hearing of the company, as being in the music business. And indeed, a quick Google search on the company name does bring up Virtual Instruments’ website, but other than that points to a bunch of pages about online music tools.

Virtual Instruments
FAREWELL FINISAR

Virtual Instruments spun out of optical communications specialist Finisar in 2008 and was originally located in Scotts Valley, Calif., but has since moved to San Jose – where the engineers are.

Virtual Instruments
MONEY BUSINESS

Virtual Instruments was initially private equity funded but over time has received nearly $70 million in venture capital, which Thompson says is an indication that backers believe the investment horizon for the company is much longer now.