You're Invited! Atlassian Founder Speaks at Redfin on Starting a Company

Big news! Scott Farquhar, CEO of Atlassian, is coming by Redfin’s San Francisco office next Thursday, April 12, as the latest speaker in our series of brown-bag talks about how to start your own business.

Atlassian is the maker of JIRA and Confluence, software for teams building products. Scott and I got to know each other years ago, just before Atlassian started getting noticed as the most exciting company in enterprise software, with jaw-dropping performance:

  • 47% compound annual growth rate for the last five years
  • 40 straight quarters of profitability
  • $100 million in bookings in calendar-year 2011

Scott’s story is unusual because he has had the guts to create a bizarre & wonderful culture, the endurance to keep at it for ten years almost entirely boot-strapped, as well as the courage to drive revenue through better products rather than by hiring salespeople — Atlassiann still hasn’t hired a single one.

What’s interesting to me about Atlassian is that Scott and his partner Mike were able to build one of the world’s best software companies from Australia, which is like trying to put together an Olympic ice-hockey team from Jamaica. There is plenty of amazing talent in Oz, but many are wrestling crocodiles or working for a bank, not joining startups.

On Thursday at 4:30, Scott is going to sit down with Redfin’s San Francisco engineering team for an informal chat. The public is invited, but please leave a comment on this post at least a day in advance to let us know you’re coming:

  • Date: Thursday, April 12, 2012
  • Time: 4:30 p.m. Pacific Standard Time
  • Location: 88 Kearny Street, 13th Floor, San Francisco

Dial-in number: 866-625-9936
Participant code: 7809241#

We told Scott not to prepare any remarks, but the topics we’re likely to cover include:

  • Where Scott and his partner Mike got the idea for Atlassian
  • What they’ve learned along the way about starting and running a business
  • How customers found out about the company, in the early days and even now
  • What Scott likes best about Atlassian’s culture of innovation and how it has changed over time
  • How the company has extended that sense of community out to its customers
  • How Atlassian works together across continents and time-zones
  • Why the company went so long without investor capital and what Atlassian gained or lost when it finally did raise money
  • Any and all questions from the audience
  • The difference between a wallaby and a ‘roo.

It’ll be a lot of fun! Like every Australian I’ve ever known, Scott is pithy, understated and kind. He is also unusually thoughtful about the whole process of coding software and building a business, so hopefully you can come out to hear what he has to say!


  • Linda Alioto

    You hit it on the head! Exactly what my buyers and I have been seeing/experiencing. Strange. but I am going to go with it and be excited by change! Change happens, you can't fight it. -Linda Alioto, Napa Valley real estate

  • Evan Meagher

    I'll be there. Can't wait to network and talk social media strategy with Linda Alioto.