Intelligent CIO APAC Issue 18 | Page 79

Derek Rast , Area Vice President – Australia and New Zealand at Fastly
On the lighter side of things , we ask the industry experts what makes them tick . . . .

. . . GET TO KNOW . . .

Derek Rast , Area Vice President – Australia and New Zealand at Fastly

wWhat would you describe as your most memorable achievement ?

One area where Fastly has done really well is in media and publishing . Our platform can purge content incredibly quickly – that ’ s one of its killer advantages . Historically , when media organizations had breaking news , they had to handle that massive server load themselves , whereas , if they ’ re Fastly customers , they can publish a story and know we will deliver it from our servers within milliseconds . I inked the company ’ s first major publishing deal in 2014 . It was a tough sell , walking into the office of the CTO of one of New York ’ s biggest media organizations to tell him about this IT company no one had ever heard of , but that deal led to many more . Our network has grown 100-fold since then and our revenue from that industry is in the tens of millions .
What first made you think of a career in technology ?
I grew up three hours outside Silicon Valley and was a kid during the rise of the personal computer , and in high school when the Internet took off . There was an extraordinary sense of optimism in the air at that time – and a sort of pervasive myth about technology and the possibilities it could open up . That
notwithstanding , I headed down the scientific track , studying and working in bio-engineering in San Diego . It wasn ’ t until I broke up with my girlfriend – and my band ! – that a friend in San Francisco persuaded me to come and check out the cool things happening there . I went and slept on his couch and he helped me to navigate the industry and find the opportunities that have led me to where I am today .
What style of management philosophy do you employ with your current position ?
I ’ m very collaborative . Having entered the tech space a bit later in my career , I ’ ve always valued others ’ opinions . I know I don ’ t have all the answers : I have a valuable perspective but so does everyone else in my team . Being open to their input has been beneficial from a cultural perspective ; it ’ s helped make my move to Australia a successful one .
Unlike in the US , markets in this region tend to be dominated by one or two vendors .
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