Dave Hitz was co-founder of Network Appliance in 1992, the company which later shortened the company name to NetApp, and became a worldwide major supplier of network based storage systems for the computer industry. Following his college graduation, Hitz worked in small companies, including Auspex and an unsuccessful startup working on "pen-based" computers, in which he established friendships with co-workers with whom he later co-founded Network Appliance. After finding investors to start the company, and a year of hard work to evolve an appropriate network storage architecture, they established production in 1993 for the evolving corporate computer market. Hitz was active in establishing NetApp's role as NET versus SAN network architectures became a major computer industry contest. He had a key role in establishing NetApp's growth culture and methods of competing with other companies providing network storage systems. After retirement from NetApp's management, Hitz has assumed a role of observing and providing input to current management on the firm's potential problems and opportunities, and how to improve results.