We’re shutting down – time to celebrate!

Learning fast in the CA Accelerator.

“The only way to win is to learn faster than anyone else.”

— Eric Ries, author of The Lean Startup


I am shutting down forty2.io, an internal incubation project within the CA Accelerator program. Here’s what I’ve learned.


As a founder, it’s no doubt the most difficult decision to make. Being data-driven has been my guiding principal in running Forty2.io. In being true to myself, I had to objectively listen to what the data was telling me – that customers weren’t feeling the pain enough to buy the solution.

The end of forty2.io may at first seem like failure. However, my CTO, Otto Berkes, said it the best, “It’s not just fail fast – what’s more important is that we need to learn fast.”

And there have indeed been some incredible learnings and accomplishments from forty2.io. Just to name a few:

  • First CA Accelerator project with approved non-CA branding. We established our own domain name, Twitter handle, logo, and website – just like a stand-alone business.
  • First CA Accelerator project to create software adopted into CA’s common stack. Forty2.io’s analytics engine (Project Jarvis) is being used to build advanced analytics into CA’s products across the portfolio.
  • First fully functional SaaS product in the CA Accelerator with Try-and-Buy capability, where customers can try for free and have their system provisioned and running within minutes.
  • First CA Accelerator project with cutting-edge technologies such as Google FireBase, Tensorflow, and much more.
  • Seven invention disclosures and pending patents, including the winner of the CA quarterly invention IQ Award.

A screenshot from forty2.io

The last seven months have given me so much to remember.  Our game plan kept adapting, our brains never stopped racing, information was flowing in steady streams across our team – always something new, always filled with laughter or groans. I vividly remember each moment.

Perhaps what’s most fulfilling is knowing that the trail we’ve blazed – the new learnings we’ve captured from both our accomplishments and failures – will not only benefit existing CA Accelerator teams, they will serve future generations of teams to come.

We’ve already seen other teams adopt their own non-CA branding and utilize SaaS try-and-buy capabilities. Rounds of lessons learned have also dramatically matured the CA Accelerator program, improving the process of onboarding new projects and streamlining how to receive a steady flow of new ideas. A community of innovators is forming and new muscles are getting exercised.

We are learning fast.

This gives me confidence and excitement as we move onto the next big idea – the new chapter of our journey.  There are always two possible outcomes when building a startup. You make it, or you pause it.  Celebrating what is learned when you pause is the most valuable.


Jin Zhang is a CA Technologies intrapreneur and head of the forty2.io team within the…


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