By Susan Nelson – Employee Engagement

Employee surveys consistently show that one of the most important factors in job satisfaction is an individual’s sense that their work is really making a difference – to their team and to the company as a whole.

This presents a real challenge when a company is growing as rapidly as Nimble Storage. Three years ago we had fewer than 250 employees, but this month we surpassed the 1,000-employee milestone.

In reflecting on this, I was reminded of the words of American anthropologist Margaret Mead: “Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed, citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”

That’s a pretty bold statement, but I believe it accurately reflects the magnitude of the work that we at Nimble have taken on – changing the world of data storage. We are in the midst of a once-in-a-lifetime transition, as old-guard vendors anchored down by decades-old technology struggle to compete against a bold new generation of flash-based upstarts.

As CEO Suresh Vasudevan put it in his letter to shareholders earlier this week, “Major architectural shifts are continuing to disrupt the storage market, resulting in significant year-over-year revenue declines for incumbent vendors in our industry.”

This is the opportunity that confronts – and excites – our people. Nimble can compete very effectively today because of the foundations we’ve already built – in technology, product, and channel support, to name just a few. But our future lies in the hearts and minds of our most valuable asset – the one thousand people who come to work here every day.

In part, these are people drawn to Nimble by the promises we make to our employees: competitive pay, trustworthy leadership, growth through challenge, and a collaborative culture. More importantly, they’re people whose values consistently align with our own – to think creatively, be open, make it happen, and not tolerate jerky behavior.

Cofounders Umesh Maheshwari and Varun Mehta founded Nimble less than eight years ago, and quickly grew the team to ten people. A complex and massively innovative file system – CASL™ – was designed and built from scratch, but so was a company culture that values openness, candor, and mutual respect.

Two years later, the team had grown a full order of magnitude – 100 engineers, product designers, and marketers huddled together to build and ship the first Nimble storage arrays. Today we’ve grown another order of magnitude, with 1,000 people across 20 countries, covering every technology and business discipline required to create, sell, deliver and support enterprise-grade data storage solutions.

This is an exciting stage in our growth – we now have the people and resources needed for us to evolve the product faster, thus adding more value to our customers’ organizations. Each Nimble employee is one in a thousand – one among many, united by a desire to build awesome products, something we can only build together.