David McJannet Joins HashiCorp As CEO
HashiCorp have a shiny new CEO in the form of David McJannet. He joins the company from Greylock Partners where he has been an Executive In Residence since December 2015.
McJannet first met HashiCorp co-founders Mitchell Hashimoto and Armon Dadgar about 18 months ago and became involved in HashiCorp as an advisor.
“At the time, we had a pure and relentless focus on product,” said Dadger. “Initially we thought the strength of the product, and adoption of the community would be enough for us to build the company. In spending more time with Dave, he really opened up our minds to that fact that, to make a really big impact on the industry, the strength of the product isn’t enough.”
“It just started to make more sense to have Dave join us full time, rather than just be an advisor,” he said.
Prior to Greylock, McJannet was Senior Director of Marketing at VMware where he was responsible for the Cloud Foundry and Spring Framework products (among others) and shepherded the business unit into what became Pivotal Software. From there, he joined Hortonworks as VP of Marketing and helped grow the company to its eventual IPO in December 2014. He then joined Github for a short stint as VP of Marketing before joining Greylock.
HashiCorp is the company behind popular Open Source tools like Vagrant, Packer, and Terraform as well as commercial offerings like Atlas and Vault Enterprise. It competes in the loosely defined DevOps market, providing software development tools for the modern continuous flow style of development. Other players in the space include Atlassian (makers of Jira and Confluence) and also companies like Puppet, Chef, and Docker.
The company has grown strongly, and Hashimoto said HashiCorp has just finished its first 7-figure revenue quarter, which is not bad for a startup which has only taken a series A round of funding for $10 million in December 2014.
HashiCorp products have seen strong use in large enterprises, but McJannet says his plan is to continue to use the partner ecosystem to deliver services, rather than build up a professional services arm of the company.
“Our 100% focus is products,” he said. “The natural partner ecosystem that enterprises rely on are naturally partnering with us.”
Dadgar added that the ecosystem surrounding the HashiCorp suite was a good place to be. “For every dollar we’re doing with a customer in terms of product licensing, there’s probably another five to ten dollars in services like enablement, migration, and training.”
Certainly the DevOps style software development ecosystem has exploded in recent years. It’s still quite a challenge to figure out what the shape of the market will ultimately be, and there are plenty of other startups working hard to build products for this market. Atlassian recently IPO’d for around $27.78 a share in December 2015, valuing the company at around $5.8 billion, but it had already demonstrated a strong period of profitability. The company is now trading at around $30.66 (at time of writing) despite a lukewarm tech IPO environment this year.
HashiCorp says its plan is to buck the trend of startups who chase fast growth in the hopes of a strong IPO leaving profitability until later. Instead, McJannet says he plans to continue the company’s steady pace, keeping growth in line with customer demand.
“The way we think about it is that we need to establish ourselves to help our customers through this transition to DevOps,” he said, “and we’ll let that dictate how fast we grow. There’s no premium for irresponsible super-fast growth.”
“This really is early days for the market,” said Dadger. “We’re just now getting past the early adopters of DevOps and into the early majority. The way we think about it is how do you structure the company to be there for a marathon and not a sprint.”
“The carbo-loading you might do if you’re about to sprint is very different to the rigorous routine that you adopt when you’re training for a marathon,” he said.
You can check out the HashiCorp Open Source offerings on their Github page here.
This article first appeared in Forbes.com here.