The Founder Formula
The Founder Formula

Episode · 1 year ago

Armon Dadgar, Co-founder HashiCorp - Changing Hats as a Founder


Big tech companies have their pros and cons; but compared to the freedom found in startups, the choice was a no-brainer for Armon.

In this episode, we interview Armon Dadgar, Co-founder and CTO at HashiCorp, about how his company gained success through a balanced relationship with the co-founder, seed money from trusted investors, and changing hats as the CTO to best fit the specific concerns of the quarter.

In this episode, we discuss:

  • Armon’s journey to startups & HashiCorp’s origin
  • Startup success & funding through friendship
  • Changing hats as a founder
  • The HashiCorp Employee Exchange and COVID-19 epiphanies
  • Building an open source business vs. open source project

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Listen to this and all of The Founder Formula episodes at Apple Podcasts , Spotify, or our website .

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That's number a question of the other person's motive or the question of the other persons, you know, honesty or whatever it's like. Hey, what data points do you have that I'm not considering? The founder Formula Brings you in behind the curtains and inside the minds of today's brave executives at the most future leaning startups. Each interview will feature a transformative leader who's behind the wheel at a fast paced and innovative tech firm. They'll give you an insiders look at how companies are envisioned, created and scaled. We hope you're ready. Let's get into the show. Hey, everybody, welcome back for another episode of the founder Formula. My Name is Todd Galina, and with me is the chief marketing officer. Here a trace, three sandy salty. Wait, todd, how's it going? It's good. I'm happy to be here again. We are super excited. Today's a big interview. We gotta we got a whopper. We do Hashi Corp. Yep, they are super exciting, and can't we talk to their founder? Yeah, they've got an amazing brand and internet. That the immerging text space. But before we get to that, I'd look to take over for just one minute, are you? Are you okay with that time? You are the cohost. Sweet. Okay, so I want to talk about one of my favorite topics, which is your dog, not my dog. It actually happens to be you. Let's talk about you for a minute. I know this is going to be excruciatingly thankful for you, but I get the sense that are listeners here your amazing voice day in and day out, and maybe when I get to know a little bit more about Tugalina. I don't think that is happening at all. You want to hear from founders. Okay, so I'm just going to keep going. Okay, so, todd, you know, you and I get to work together almost every day and it's pretty cool. Like this is, this is sort of like what you do by day. Most people don't realize that there's another site to Tugalina, which is an entrepreneur yourself and really an amazing world class animator. Oh yeah, already very uncomfortable. So okay, so what you're talking about is some of the background in an animation work that I do outside of my awesome, awesome job here at a trace three. But you know, yeah, so I yeah, the background and Flash Animation, which is is soon became animate which is an adobe product. But recently, yeah, I've been launching and pitching and animated series, which has been super duper fun. It's been a big, big lifelong dream of mine. I tell people I've only had three good ideas my entire life. One of them was a super great idea I had for a movie and so I had written it all down and then one day I'm in the movie theater and I take my son to go watch this movie called Chronicle. So for those of you've never heard of it, go check it out. But I watched that whole movie and I was like, oh my gosh, like that was literally my idea and someone else did it. I'm taking too long to like get my great ideas out there and all my ideas around, like TV shows, movies or series or animated series. So in a panic, I really started working in earnest on my second idea, which is this show that's called fourth five, and we've been super excited. I've partnered with a with a good friend of mine WHO's an animation producer for cartoon network. He and I got together and he really we complimented each other. In this interview we're going to be having with Hashi Corp There's a conversation about complimentary relationships. Yeah, and I think that's key when you do anything. So he and I worked really well together and we were able to put together, you know, a test real and we've been able to pitch to all sorts of folks, including dreamworks and Nickelodeon and CBS. So it's been fun. It's been a big journey. We don't know where it's going to end up, but it's certainly been a blast.

Yeah, that's amazing and I've seen I've seen some of the design and I'm familiar with the concept and it is Super Uber Fine. The amazing thing is I don't think most people realize that behind and a nation is a real business, that's a competitive business and a super rigorous business with a lot of money behind it. Totally true. I mean, most of these people get into the animation business now because they want to sell toys and there's a huge following for folks that go to like comic con all collectibles, and a lot of times these people will make a series. You know, the first twelve or twenty four episodes of a season is a money loser from production perspective, but then when you start to get past that and get into the second season and third season, there's an opportunity for reruns and that's when the merchandising starts to kick in. I one hundred percent only kind of care about this idea in the story and I do believe that the rest of it will kind of figure itself out. But, like you said, that's that's a big part. That's what these folks who want to green light and give you a production deal they want. They want to see that larger opportunity from a business perspective. You're such a founder in so many ways side and you actually also, just to bring it back to this podcast, you are the founder of the founder formula. Can you tell our audience about how how that came to be, in why why you decided to launch a podcast for trease me? Oh sure. So, basically, we have this really cool thing that you created called the client advisory board, and this is where we get all of tracers, top tier customers, and we just basically ask some questions. We have some like Howard doing, what new products they'd like to see. We ask them to guide us in on new offerings, where we should be making investments in the business. And one of the things that came out of it was just how they consume information, and many said that they just consume information by a podcast. They want a multitask. They want to, you know, run right there by clift weights even drive and still learn. You know, tracery gives us an opportunity to be introduced to so many founders, I mean founders. One of the most romantic things on the planet, at least in the world that we live in, is someone just saying like, I've got an idea. Now I need someone to help me fund it, I need to build a team, and it's so romanticize. When you meet these folks, which you realize is there's a ton of blood, sweat and tears. There's a lot of losses in addition to the gains. For many of them, we found that we're interviewing them and they're leading a company, but it's their second or third company. They might have possibly failed once, and my hope is that when people listen to the show and they get a chance to hear directly from these founders, they get the whole picture right, the good, bad and the ugly. And you know, it would be awesome, HUH is, if it turns out that someone who is listening to this show actually launches something big and they come back to us and they're like, Hey, I was missing a few pieces, there are a few things that I didn't know, and your show help me put together the complete puzzle and now I'm going for it. That would be amazing. Yeah, well, thank you talk so much for sharing that with us. And lookome, no what he's listening anymore. That's not true. I think they want but they're going to want to learn more. All right with that? Should we roll? Yes, let's get to our guests. Our guest is an entrepreneur and engineer. He's a cofounder and chief technical officer for Hashy Corp, The San Francisco Bas company he helped launched in two thousand and twelve with the goal of revolutionizing data center management, application, development, delivery and maintenance. Before that, he spent the early part of his career as an academic researcher for the University of Washington, which is also his Alma Mater. Please help me and welcoming Armand Dadgar Armand Welcome to the show. Thanks so much, tod pleasure to be here. Appreciate your Hostman, tell us about Hashey Corp and and why... started the company. Yes, a great question. You know, in many ways it's me and Mitchell joke about all the time, Mitchell Hashimoto's by cofounder, that it's the world's longest sort of detour to sort of the start up we actually wanted to launch. So if I kind of go way back, you know, me and Mitchell actually met each other at the University of Washington. We were both studying computer science and we became close friends and you know, early on we both had the startup itch and so, you know, we went through created a bunch of different ideas that we had like a little working group at the university where we started kind of highlighting different things, everything from you know, we sort of an iphone APP similar to maybe like a group me sort of a group text APP, to sort of a point of commerce solution on the iphone too. You know, a few other textbook resound things like that, and I think one of the persistent challenges we always had was why is infrastructure so hard? You know, flash forward a few years and we end up working at the same mobile advertising start up in San Francisco together. I'm more of the application side of the house, he's more of the operation side of the House, and we have the kind of the same friction between our teams where my teams like, Hey, I want to push a new version and scale up and down and change a configuration. Why do we have to file a taking a weight for your team to do it? And at the time we felt like we were fighting a lack of good tooling. Right. There wasn't good tooling for how do you do cloud infrastructure? How do you do devops? How do you do kind of automation at scale? And so, in some sense the kind of genesis of a hagher corps was US saying like, you know what, there's got to be a better way, like why are we home growing this stuff, or why are we dealing with all this, you know, outdated, legacy software that we're trying to make work in cloud? What if we sort of rebuilt it all with a blank slate? You know, what are the tools we wish we had? You know, let's let's build those things and then we can get on with, you know, actually running the mobile company, are actually building our you know, port a point of sales tool, and so in some sense he was. He was really scratching that itch. That ultimately led us to Hash and corps was like hey, you know, as practitioners solving this problem, like we just felt like there wasn't good tooling. By the way, that's a great story. We've heard a lot of stories where a couple of people meet at a previous GIG, they find a problem that needs to be solved and then they go ahead and solve that problem. Of them as a startup, but you mentioned that you and Mitchell both had that startup itch. Is that something that you got when you were at Washington? Is it's something that we go way back into your childhood and and look at and say, okay, so this is where this is where it started for arm on. So it's a bit of a blend, to be entirely honest. I think going in, you know, I always thought, hey, that the big tech companies are always so glamorous, the ones you read about, that all these great perks and they're always launching these new cool projects. So, you know, I think kind of going in, you know, wide eyed, bushy tailed. You know, I thought that they would be really glamorous to work at these big tech companies. And so early on I did do a number of summer internships at Amazon and in fact I got to work at a to US super, super early. So it's sort of a fun claim to fame. Was I worked at Amazon web services when it was only two hundred and fifty people. The whole thing fit on one floor. So I got to see a little bit of like, you know, how the sauceage was made early on. At the same time, I think, you know, getting to see how the sausage was made and working at a big tech company a lot of it. You know, it lost the luster for me a little bit. Right. I think from the outside people, you know, think it's a lot different than it actually as on the inside. Right, I think, you know, every big company has its pros and cons, but I think there's a large element of, you know, bureaucracy that comes with being a very large tech company and I found it sort of off putting, to be entirely honest. I'm super candid, I actually decided to do a one hundred and eighty and go into, you know, academia, and so at some point I actually applied them. You know, the reason I moved to San Francisco was to go for a PhD program so it was such a jarring experience that I kind of went the other way. You know, what ended up happening was a few different things. You know, my parents got laid off during the the sort of recession and downturn and both of them ended up starting their own small businesses. So I got to kind of...

...see them building that up and kind of the autonomy they had in the freedom to kind of build something that was their own and see that kind of firsthand. So that was to me kind of both inspiring to get to see them do it and see them kind of succeed at it was like, okay, you actually that is a thing you can do. You can go start a business, as opposed to just going and working for one. And then I think a combination of moving to San Francis going and getting introduced to a bunch of people in that start up ecosystem and and realizing, okay, it's not all big tech. There is this thriving ecosystem of startups and it's a very different vibe, and I think those, you know, all these different threads kind of came together ultimately where I joined US start up. That's where me and that she'll started working together in San Francisco and then ultimately sort of felt like it. It's sort of normalized at for us to go start a business our self. Yeah, I'm on. There's so many good teams in what you just said. Like there are many, including myself, that believe that struggle and strife is what creates future entrepreneurs and the firm believer in that. And it sounds like to a degree, you know, you witnessed a little bit of struggle and strife at some point in your life and and decided that the entrepreneur life was was right for you, and clearly it was right for your parents. And then the other theme is, you know, we hear this all the time, like working for a big company obviously offers certain luxuries, but it's a huge tradeoff and oftentimes you're treating obviously, speed and agility for that stability. And there are some that are okay with that, but we find that most entrepreneurs are not okay with that. They send to move pretty fast and they're pretty ambitious and and it's in some many, in many cases, that the cause of their their innovation. I couldn't agree with you more and I swore to myself I would never be subject to another database design review committee ever again. Were you there when you were a aws were you? Were you there reporting them? The now names the EO of Amazon, Andy Josse. You know, I was just an intern at the time, so I didn't get to directly report to and Jasse, but he was very accessible. We definitely met him as part of it. You know, he welcomed the interns. You know he has had sort of an open door policy. You could see him walking down the hall, so you definitely got exposure to but I didn't get to report to him. That's pretty cool. You saw it. You still have his phone number, which is so we like to play a little game of factor fiction and will sprinkle these throughout the session, but let me start with the first one. So factor the fiction. At the age of ten you asked for a coding book. Of fact, I'm of that one because I'm like I think in the age of ten we were asking for like bicycles and transformers. You are asking for a coding book. I will be the first toment. I was not the cool kid growing up, but you're the cool can now what a total language you're trying to learn. At ten it was a the visual basic dotnet book and I remember came in the giant box. It had like five CDs you had to put into install the whole thing, and I had, I don't know, it's like a six hundred page book that came with it. That sort of walked it through the basics and you built like a tick tick toe APP and the whole nine yards. But it sort of assumed no programming experience and kind of built it up from there. That's that's funny. That's a Microsoft product and you are in the home of a Microsoft right there. So did that have any influence on on that choice? Oh, for sure. You know, a lot of my family members actually worked at Microsoft, so had a great affinity for it and you know, it was just a very accessible language. At the time we had a windows desktop at home. You know, I knew it was sort of a from doing a little bit of research. It seemed like it was kind of a beginner friendly language, so it seemed like the right place to start. Plus you have to access all the visual studio so ide and things like that, which you know, as a Newbie, was certainly helpful. It's nice. You should sign that and put that on Ebay so I would been on it. So you okay, I got another fact in fiction for you. Factor fiction. I read a story that implied that you guys had VC's coming in asking to invest in you and asking you... build Hashy Corp out. This is true. Oh, sort of. It's sort of in the middle fact ish and fiction ish. I'd say it was a grab bag. I mean, I think so Mitchell had created a vagrant which predated Hashi Corp by a few years. So he built that when we were at the university Washington and it gained quite a bit of traction momentum when we work together at that startup in SF and so he was approached by VC's to be like, Hey, you should build the vagrant company and sort of really commercialized vagrant and focus on that. I think Hashi Corp as a company's actually totally different ball game. You know, I think most of us are thought we were crazy because I think most startups, you know, they fail with one idea and I think our pitch was like hey, we're going to build eight products spanning four different categories and we're going to try and win them all and people look at us like, are you guys insane or what? Yeah, definitely a different, a very untraditional business model. Yeah, they normally ask you to focus right totally, and I think in a lot of the early pitches people are like, oh, we're super excited about what you're doing with maybe one or two of these tools. You know, if we invested, we need you guys, to basically kill off everything else and just focusing on these and that was very common, I think for us, I think it was rare the early investor who, you know, we can explain the breath of the vision and they didn't just sort of, you know, laugh us out of the room. Well, I mean we can continue talking about funding because it's such a big part of the founder's journey. You talked a little bit, obviously, about the early rounds of funding. Let's talk about the earliest one. Was it hard to get your seed round. So the sea round was actually probably our easiest round, and the reason for that was when we worked at the Mobile Ad Company we became, you know, acquainted and friendly with the investors there and I think they had a good respect for sort of work man Mitchell had done. There, and so when we left and said we're going to go off and do our own thing, they basically, you know, we're like, Hey, we know you guys are smart and probably on something. We don't exactly know what it is, but can we write the steed track? And so I think that was actually sort of the easiest because they kind of were like, Hey, we're taking a bet on Youtuo as people, not necessarily on five year of the company, because it's so early stage that you two are still going to kind of develop that and figure it out. So the seed money was actually, I'd say that, the easiest money because there was no idea that we had to I should say, the idea wasn't well formed enough for us to have to explain it. Yeah, you talk, you talk about them betting on people. At you and your cofounder. Let's talk a little bit more about that. So you know, when there are two cofounders, or I should see two founders, there's a little bit of complexity there. How do you guys collaborate on hiring your executive team, for example, are making decisions in general? What's that dynamic like? You know, we often get asked the things like you know how to be a measure resolve conflict. And you know, how many big fights have we had and things like that in the you know, I think the Shinner, sort of shocking answer for us is we've never really had a major fight. We've never really had a major conflict. The way I described as are almost like left and right brain, and I think for us it's like, you know what it goes back to? I think there's a deeper friendship that comes first. You know, we were both in each other's wedding parties. We've been, you know, best friends for over a decade. So I think we just have such this bedrock of a call it like trust that, you know, anytime we get into a conflict, that it's always like hey, you know, it's never um question, it's never a question of the other person's motive or the question of the other person's, you know, honesty or whatever. It's like Hey, what data points do you have that I'm not considering right, like, why is it that we are coming at this from two different angles? It's like, you know, are we making different assumptions? Do we have different data write like, you know, why is it that we're sort of at ends? And I think we've always been able to kind of talk our way through it, if that makes sense. So it's never become this sort of fight where we're sitting...

...up, you know, to opposite Poles and we can't find a way to reconcile or whatever. So I feel very thankful for that. But to your point on like how do you make that work? You know, I think early on it was harder when we were sort of figuring it out and who plays what role. I think that's we've kind of grown up to scale. I think what we've done is like each of us has like a pretty clear swim Ling Right. Like I think Mitchell tends to still be much more of I'll called the engine mayor's engineer. Right. He is hands on keyboard most days of the week. He's still actively programs, he's deeply embedded at our engineering teams. I play a little bit more of sort of a you know, traditional ceto rolls. I spend more time with kind of bound with customers and partners and more kind of strategic kind of management conversations, and then both of US partner super closely with our CEO on on sort of running the company. And so I think each of us kind of brings a different set of skills and strengths to bear, but it's very much a true partnership between us all. Yes, sounds super balanced arm on. That's agree said. Wee to another question I have for you. What do you focus on and when? As a founder? This is really like a teasing hats questions. How do you know want to put your marketing cap on, say, versus your financial cap? Oh, such a good question, such a hard question. I joke internally that, you know, the first half of every quarter is be trying to rediscover what my job is, and the second half of the quarters we tried to put myself out of that job because it changes so often and with the scale of you know, every scale point of the business. You know. So I guess I'll answered in two ways, right, which is I think. I think as a company, every company, I think, goes through three phases. Right. I think phase one for any startup as well, called kind of achieving relevance, right, like how do you actually get, you know, your audience, your market, to care about what you're doing? Right, like, if you're any meaning full market, there's a lot of different players in that space. And so how you kind of rise above the noise, right. So I think that's kind of challenge one for a business. Then, if you succeed that that and you're a great you're are relevant to that market and people care about what you're doing, then you get to phase two, which is like product market fit. Right, how do I actually then have a product that I have tight fit and resonance with, you know, my buyers and I have a repeatable sales motion and you know all of that kind of classic, classic stuff, where I'm building a product and take into market. Then, if you succeed at that, you get to phase three, which is I'll called the scale phase, which is like great, you have product market that people care about what you're doing. Now your job is to make the company big, right, as big as the market will, you know, support depending on whatever market you're right. So that's kind of how I think about it. Is like the company itself goes through these through phases, and so I think as a founder that kind of translates to what my role is and each of those three phases. Right. So in phase one, that kind of how do we get above the noise? I think it was a lot more deep involvement in you know the tactics and the day to day of the product strategy, the daytoday of the product messaging, the marketing approach. How do we actually get in front of developers? How do we get people to care? And so it was kind of a hybrid, I'll call it, product manager and developer relations. Have that I was wearing. You know, that phase. And then I think as you kind of figure that out and you go into phase two and you're worried more about product market fit, then you spend a lot more time, as you know, your you are the number one salesperson and the number one solution engineer, right. So it's a lot more time with your customers to understand what their problem is, what they're willing to pay, what's the you know, the price tolerance for the product you're building. How should you think about pricing and packaging? So you're thinking more about the sort of, you know, the mechanics of going to market and how to start building that out, as well as like what's the product that's ultimately going to support that in that second phase. And then I think now, as you talk about kind of the third phase, as we talked about scale, it's so much more about like what are the systems we need to put in place, in the kind of processes we need to implement that's going to allow us to scale from, you know, five hundred people that we were, you know, two plus years ago, to one fifteen hundred people we are today, to the you know, two thousand and beyond that. We will be right,...

...because I think it's just such a different challenge of scale now as opposed to was before. So I think the role changes constantly, right, and I think my you know, I think with that you're always saying out like where am I, the bottleneck, and then how do I hire someone better than me, you know, to take that on, because that's the only way it's going to scale. That's a thoughtful answer. I mean that is like the best comprehensive guide of the founder Formula I think I've ever heard. That's it. That's the cliff notes of the entire pot. Thank you. Okay, so we's saying it is the easy part, doing it by the heart of heart. People only listening because they want to. They want to hear the saying part. They don't want to do the Don so you mentioned the last phase, which is scale. You also mentioned that you have you're currently on a fifteen hundred employees. So you know, at some point you guys you know start a company, you pretty much are walking around you know everybody, and then now you're in face three. There's one five hundred people. There's probably people that work for Hashi Corp that you might not ever meet. facetoface. At what point did that dawn on you? Did it get weird, because you left a really big company to start a really small company, so it had you have gotten weird for you? Oh, totally. When it's exacerbated by the fact that Hashakrp was, you know, a remote first company. Right even before Covid we were pretty much, you know, entirely remote. We had a San Francisco office but it was, you know, ten fifteen percent of our employees. So most people were were remote. So you don't really get a sense for the size of the company because you go into the office you see the same fifty people. You know there's the other four hundred people or whatever that you don't see right because they're not physically there. And so I think the first time that it really clicked for me is every year we do our big employee annual summit we call it Hex. It's the Hashi Corp Employee Exchange, and so we get everybody together once a year. I remember it was, you know, right before covid hit. We had our last one in Atlanta and we get into the room and we get on the stage first, sort of the opening keynote of the event, and it was like holy cow, you know, there's like, you know, eight hundred people here right it was like it felt like a conference. It was. It was basically doing a Kino talking to the conference, and I think that's when it really clicked for me of like, okay, this is like some real this is real scale. That let's you see everybody in one room, all sitting there and you're like, Oh wow, we're all we're all kind of part of the same ship. It becomes real, it winds. Yeah, it's totally hits you. I was going to ask a question about how covid has potentially changed somebody who would start a company today. Sandy and I were talking about this before the podcast, how important it is to connect culturally with people that have a small group, to be in an office, and it sounds like Hashy Corp was kind of ahead of the curb where now, I think people are very comfortable working remotely, hiring remotely, connecting digitally, yet arm on. The part that taught is skipping is the part where I joked that only in our generation do we have to be together in the same room to connect. I think like newer generations have a much easier time of maybe connecting remotely or maybe just offers a certain compartmentalization that they that they like and they they've gotten accustomed to totally. I mean, I think there is definitely a generational shift and there for sure, but I think one of the actually funny things we find is that it's harder for us to make remote work with like the really junior folks, like so the Pho, that are like real fresh coming out of college. It's actually harder and which is kind of counter into it, because you think, you know, great, they're the more digitally, you know, savvy and they kind of grow up on this stuff. But what's interesting is like if you think back to like you know, who is your networks of you know, friends and family and the people around you and your colleagues, a lot of that. Like...

...if you think about graduate fresh from college, maybe you move to a new city. The way you ended up meeting that network of peoples was through work, and if you don't have that, then it's kind of weird. Right. You have these people who they have kind of no social network to really fall back on. That's their sort of support network, and so it's actually very hard for, I think, junior employees to go straight into a pure remote workforce. It tends to be the average Hash care employee skews older and probably has, you know, a wife, a kid, you know a families. There's some social aspect that is this for them outside of work, and so it's not so isolating. That's super interesting because it goes back to what you're saying before. In this scenario, do you run into Mitchell? Do you have these kind of do you butt heads in the same way and then still hang out and talk to the water cooler, potentially about starting a new company? Oh, I feel like we're so heads down in this one that we don't even have the time to think about the backs life. That's a cool, pretty good lead in to another topic. Do you have criteria for an exit or what does the feature look like if you get it? Hold US you. Yeah, it's a good question. I you know, I think the way we've always thought about it is, you know, you know, part of the way we explain like, you know, what was the motivation for Hashure when we started was like, you know, imagine a world pre oracle, right, like every company was building their own database. Every company that manage any day that had to build their own storage engine, their own query engine, their own everything, and so there's this kind of this huge tax, if you will, on the entire industry. But once you had a set of vendors who said great, here's the set of standard sequel solutions where it was Microsoft Oracle, sybase, etc. Then you know, you could build the higher level application and just consumed the database and it was sort of a detail. And to us it felt like that was kind of where we were with OPS tooling when we start, as like everyone was building their own platform, everyone was home rolling their approach to automation. Shouldn't there just be a set of venders who sell that to you and you just, you know, you operate it rather than building it, and I think that was kind of our view. And then, you know, I think what that leads to, like, you know, what would it mean for Hashire to be a successful long term. It's like, you know, I think it's that opportunity to go build a franchise business like that right where. You know, it is a large portfolio of products, it supports, you know, tens of thousands of customers and it becomes kind of a core building block of the whole ecosystem. And I think that's always been our aspirations. Like how do you build towards that? And I think, you know, it's certainly, I think, easiest, I think, to do that and achieve our goals if we're sort of an independent, standalone business. I think that's what we've always sort of built towards. Yeah, I've learned that like a lot of bunch of nurse and accident Lee they suffer from serial entrepreneurism. It sounds like you guys have created an awesome sort of platform for yourselves and that every time you you get an Itch, you can scratch it by augmenting your portfolio and in a pretty cool way. Yeah, that's the luxury, I guess. Luxury or downside or curse, I don't know, however you want to call it up. When you have when you have eight products, you know, it's not that much harder to out of night. Yeah, okay, so this is this is generally one of the favorite questions of the folks that we have on the podcast and it's a must ask question, and this is where we ask you to share a gratifying moment. A lot of technology leaders listen to the show, and so there must have been a time when you had a big customer, I know you guys have got some huge customers, where one came up to you and it just really gave you a pat on the back for what Hashi Corps has been able to do for them. I'm can you share one of those with us? Yeah, I'll share one that always sticks in my head because it was both a trendously exciting and I've lost sleep ever since, which is, you know, one of our big customers is a as a major stock exchange, and you know, it was a hard one deal. We sent a bunch of time. They had these crazy requirements of, you know, hey, we need to be able to do hundreds of thousands of transactions with second we need, you know, real time fail over, we need submilk, you know, sub Millisecond Response Times. Like you know, it was a crazy hard set of technical requirements...

...and they were, you know, always a little cage about what the exact use case was. You know, we ended up winning the deal. They rolled it out there happy in production. We were meeting with them a few months later and they're kind of sharing a little bit more with us and they're like yeah, every single trade that happens on the stock exchange, hundreds of thousands per second, is being authenticated by vault. Right, we're using ball as the underpinning for the key management and the authentication and the you know, the the root of trust for the whole trading system, and so this is why they had such crazy stringent requirements for what the deployment had to look like. And for me it was just such this moment of like wow, that's insane that like it's in the transaction path of every single one of these trades, which is both tremendously cool to think about the importance of, you know, in the role ball is playing for their architecture, but also terrifying that they about the importance of the role bolt was playing for their architecture. Oh my gosh, zing book and grass and a great lead into the answer. Understand you up at night. Oh my gosh. So it's definitely a responsibility we take seriously. Oh, I couldn't imagine. Okay, so Armand so what do I think about sort of appetite for innovation and maturity that that's required to kind of deploy some of the the concepts that Hashi Corp offers around orchestration, automation, etc. Is it fair to assume that, you know, the open source play was part of the strategy to kind of feed that commercial notion in the market? It's a super good question and I think it gets into sort of the nuances of like how do you actually you know, how do you how do you build an open source business right, as distincts from an open source project? And so I think, if I'm super blunt, you know, when we started I don't think we really knew how hash herb would commercialize. Right. I think what we felt strongly was the kind of future of infrastructure software was going to be built in open source. Right, like you know, as a developers, as practitioners ourselves, that's kind of where we saw the energy, all the momentum. That's where we saw a kind of the ground soil of how these neutrals are being adopted and communities were forming around them. So we start off, I think, okay, we don't know what hush of the business will look like, but we know the Hash your court. Projects need to be open source, because that's how we're going to build our community, that's how we're going to build sort of our audience and get people to adopt this stuff. You know, flash forward then a few years where we're saying, okay, great, we now have, you know, a portfolio of open source products, we have this community of users. What's Hash Your Court of the company, right, like, you know, how do you how do you kind of make sure that you know, you can commercialize this and that it's sustainable rather than, you know, it's just it's a well funded research project. And so I think the air is where, you know, is this question of like open source and how it intersects with, you know, a commercial go to market. And I think what we found was early on we had some of these sophisticated large enterprises who wanted to use the stuff and we're willing to pay for us to add some premium set of capability. Right. They wanted multi data center replication, they wanted disaster recovery, they wanted you know, certain hsams and fip certification and things like that. And so we started off, I think, with a with a clear focus on the very top of the market, right kind of the global to thousands, if you will, of like great, let's build a set of capability around what they want and the commercial versions so that everyone can start with the open source. That tends to be how our suffers trialed or discovered even as people downloaded. They use a you know, but they might even know who Hashi Corp is, and so our stuff ends up kind of everywhere. Yeah, and then over time they want a support relationship or advanced capabilities or whatever, they reach out to us, and I think what we've been doing steadily, like we started at the very top, kind of focus on those global too thousands, and we've added more capability that's focus on sort of more than the mid market customers. And now with our cloud product we're kind of going all the way down to SMB, which is like you might be two people in a garage and you want to use, you...

...know, vault or terror form. Great, you can sign up for tear from cloud or you know our hosted HCP vault. You know, and you consume it as a service and I have to operate it. So, you know, at this point we have kind of a range of offerings for, you know, two people in a garage all the way up to the fortune ten. But I think that's kind of how it evolved over time. Wait, sad, is he they sustain that? Yeah, arm on, this has been great. We really appreciate the time that you've been able to spend with sandy and myself today. Before we things up, I just wanted to give you opportunity to share anything that you might have that you think our listeners might be interested in. Yeah, no, thanks again for hosting. It's been a it's been great pleasure for chat. You know, I think you know, we just touched on it a little bit ago, on sort of that intersection of kind of the open source strategy and and sort of the commercial strategy. I think one of the one of the pieces that's been interesting for us is, you know, the irony is not lost on us that by and large, we help people adopt cloud but we will sell them as sort of dust off software they have to self manage, and so I think that that disconnect is, you know, it's pretty obvious and I think over time people want to consume all the stuff as a cloud service, and so I think for us the big investment has been the Hasher Corp Cloud Platform, or HCP as we call it, in terms of transitioning the stuff from Ay it's self managed, you download it, you run it and to actually you consume it as a service. It's fully managed by Hashi Corp and I think, you know, I think that's its at the heart of a bunch of these themes we talked about, which was like one is it changes a bit of the commercial strategy, which is allows us to go down market and address and provide a service to the sort of smbs where it can be a low cost, you know, monthly, pay as you go type thing. But the same time it also provides, you know, people thinking about building open source businesses, a different route to monetization, right, if you think about staffs and building a set of services around a hosted open source project, especially, a different way to monetize, different way to build a business than kind of the traditional self manage route that we might have gone on or the support route that you know, red hat has gone on. So you know, I think with all of these things it's a as you think about the you know the ad biases, to realize that it was within a time and a place and then it just it keeps it bolving. Right, these markets are so dynamic that you know, what made sense five years ago doesn't necessarily make sense today. Cool. Well, thank you. Appreciate a great, great insight. Yeah, thanks our mine. It's been great fun and on behalf of face speed, thanks for the partnership as well with Hashite and tree. Well, thank you so much. This has actually been a lot of fun. Thank you for giving a very dynamic and interactible as we weren't trace three is hyper focused on helping it leaders deliver business outcomes by providing a wide variety of data center solutions and consulting services. If you're looking for emerging technology to solve tried and true business problems, trace three is here to help. We believe all possibilities live in technology. You can learn more at trace threecom podcast. That's trace, the number threecom podcast. You've been listening to the founder formula, the podcast for all things start up, from Silicon Valley to innovators across the country. If you want to know what it takes to lead tomorrow's tech companies. Subscribe to the show wherever you get your podcasts. UNTIL NEXT TIME.

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