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Five Questions For Jamie Lerner, President and CEO of Cittio

A veteran of Silicon Valley's boom, bust, and resurgence, Jamie Lerner has turned his focus from the way the Web works to making data centers work better. But work isn't all there is to life.

Larry Greenemeier

December 8, 2006

2 Min Read

Jamie Lerner
President and CEO of Cittio
Interview by Larry Greenemeier

Jamie Lerner, President and CEO of Cittio -- Photograph by Gabriela Hasbun

Photograph by Gabriela Hasbun


As chairman, co-CEO, and CTO of Xuma, a now-defunct provider of Web hosting services that launched in 1997, Lerner tapped into the early demand for Internet infrastructure. "Xuma was created out of the voracious appetite to build Internet systems when everyone was racing to do it, even though there wasn't a lot of expertise."


At Cittio, Lerner focuses on delivering cost-effective network and data center management software. He applies that approach internally as well. "Healthy companies are frugal," he says. Don't look for fancy furniture at Cittio's San Francisco headquarters--some tables are built on sawhorses.


A crucial factor to a successful startup is building a committed, reliable team. "As you move from startup to startup, you take the best people with you," he says. The hope is that when an entrepreneur finds the right opportunity, he or she has in place a team that works well together. "It takes time."


"A startup is truth serum to some degree." Hard work will tell all, he says. "By the third red-eye in a row, if you don't truly love it, you're not going to make it."


Lerner spends his downtime surfing and racing motocross. "If you can't turn work off, you'll go nuts." He surfs at San Francisco's Ocean Beach, but his favorite place to hang ten is Jeffreys Bay in South Africa. "It's got the longest and best wave in the world, a half mile long. It's unbelievably remote."

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