NetApp Cofounder’s Book is a Candid Memoir Laced with Real-Life Business Lessons

Sunnyvale, Calif. - January 20, 2009 - NetApp (NASDAQ: NTAP) today announced the availability of How to Castrate a Bull: Unexpected Lessons on Risk, Growth, and Survival (Jossey-Bass; hardcover; January 2009) authored by Dave Hitz, founder and executive vice president of NetApp. In the new book, Hitz delivers a compelling tale of NetApp's creation, search for funding, struggle for survival, and ultimate success delivering storage and data management solutions to customers worldwide.

Visit to learn more about the book, read Hitz's blog, and participate in a community where you can dialog with Hitz and other readers.

"In a sense, NetApp and I grew up together," said Hitz. "Being there from the very beginning has given me an amazing tour through business. I've seen, and participated in, venture capital financing, management shakeups, hypergrowth, going public, economic disaster, strategic reversal, and recovery. The book gives insight into NetApp's great culture and work environment, which have enabled it to become one of the most successful technology companies."

Filled with colorful examples and anecdotes, Hitz's book is a story for anyone interested in understanding business, the reasons why companies succeed and fail, and how powerful lessons often come from strange and unexpected places - even from the open range. Hitz cofounded NetApp in 1992 with James Lau and Michael Malcolm. Before his career in Silicon Valley, Hitz worked as a cowboy, where he got valuable management experience by herding, branding, and castrating cattle. Hitz's career path has been anything but conventional. And while he did get a computer science degree from Princeton, the skills and the strategies that have helped him steer NetApp from startup to a mature industry player were those Hitz learned in the most unexpected places.

The book includes many business lessons, and here are a few things you'll learn:

  • How the lifespan of a Silicon Valley leader might resemble that of an alpha bull leading the herd
  • Why spotting mistakes and then changing course can be more important than getting everything exactly right the first time
  • When venture funding is absolutely necessary to get a product shipped and why getting it is a completely bittersweet experience
  • How going after the low end of an existing market can turn into a brilliant strategy that makes a company strong

How to Castrate a Bull is available for purchase online and in bookstores today.

About NetApp
NetApp creates innovative storage and data management solutions that accelerate business breakthroughs and deliver outstanding cost efficiency. Discover NetApp's passion for helping companies around the world go further, faster at

Press Contact:
David Naumann
(408) 822-6551