Elliott eventually moved on from Apple and in 1995 relied on his same head-down, move-forward drive to co-found networking company Packeteer. The Packeteer team raised $20 million in venture capital funds to get its networking product line off the ground.
"At Packeteer, we built boxes that did some really cool stuff," Elliott said. "As CEO, I was bending sheet metal and gathering inventory and parts and making things."
From 1995 to 2002, Elliott served as CEO of the networking startup, taking it public in 1999 and raising an additional $66 million. From 2002 to 2008, Elliott remained on the company's board as Packeteer grew to more than 300 employees worldwide with more than 10,000 customers. In 2008, the company was sold to Sunnyvale, Calif.-based enterprise security company Blue Coat for $268 million.
Once Elliott closed the Packeteer chapter of his life, he packed up his family and moved to New Zealand, a place he had become familiar with while working at Apple.
It was time to fly-fish.
Elliott, his wife and three children had spent close to four years exploring and building a life on the island when he received a phone call about a new networking startup named Pertino, based in Los Gatos, Calif.
"Silicon Valley is full of people running around with ideas. This one for Pertino is technically disruptive and economically disruptive," Elliott said.
Elliott was approached to be an investor, adviser and board member, all roles he remembered pursuing in his own mentors when fighting to get Packeteer off the ground.
His first answer to Pertino was, "I don't know, I really like fly-fishing."
But in the end, Elliott said, "Pertino had both the interesting technology and a business plan. When you can do both of those things at the same time, that's when it's cool to be a startup. Since 1985, I've never seen anything like this one."
Twenty-eight years after Steve Jobs gave him a Porsche, Elliott had made his living, retired to New Zealand, and has now returned to start all over again.
Pertino is already partnering with a number of MSPs and is preparing to launch a more encompassing partner program at the beginning of next year. In addition, third-party application developers soon will be able to create applications for Pertino's app store, the first app store in cloud networking, he said.
Though flyfishing is happening far less frequently these days, Elliott said he is thrilled to have his feet firmly planted back in the channel.
But no, he doesn't still have the Porsche.
PUBLISHED NOV. 7, 2013