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Silicon Valley veteran John Dillon has been chief executive at Hyperion, Salesforce, and, most recently, Engine Yard. Now he’s been hired for a new post: chief executive of Aerospike, one startup pushing a NoSQL database for storing and serving up information.

Aerospike isn’t the most prominent NoSQL database startup out there. That would probably be MongoDB — and startups like DataStax, Couchbase, and Basho also come to mind. Even so, Dillon isn’t afraid.

“Other guys have raised tons of money and spent boatloads of money on marketing and positioning and branding,” Dillon told VentureBeat in an interview. “What we’re going to be focusing on is the client workloads and hitting the ball out of the park for the customers.”

That’s a challenge to competitors — but Dillon doesn’t seem to be worried about what they’ll do if they don’t like his bravado. He makes it sound like he knows exactly what to do at this point to make Aerospike grow and grow.

He said he doesn’t want the startup to merely issue press releases touting the open source Aerospike database’s speed relative to other databases. He’d rather ensure, for one thing, that business development and sales teams are operating in the best possible way.

“None of this is rocket science,” Dillon said. “It’s all blocking and tackling; that’s why I’m so excited about the opportunity.”

Dillon believes Aerospike already has solid technology to work with — namely, the enterprise version of the core in-memory Aerospike database, which Aerospike made available under an open source license last year.

Aerospike started in 2009. It announced a $20 million funding round last year.

Dillon started his new job about a month ago; he left Engine Yard in September, according to his LinkedIn page.

“We were doing a lot of good work, but the reality is, it was just hard to differentiate our technology,” Dillon said of his time at Engine Yard.

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