$48,500. That was the PricewaterhouseCoopers salary that I turned down in 2002 to start Atlassian with Mike Cannon-Brookes. There was no technology industry in Australia at the time, nor a start-up industry. Our university professors disowned us. Our parents looked the other way. Our original goal was to earn more than $48,500 and not to have to wear a suit to work.
Before we achieved that humble goal, we set a big, hairy, audacious goal to one day have 50,000 customers. Fifty-fucking-thousand! A seemingly impossible idea at a time when most enterprise software companies were selling to a subset of the Fortune 500. But we believed that software would be huge. That it would disrupt every industry. The world just hadn’t realised it yet.
We knew that in order to reach that goal whilst remaining in Australia, we’d have to sell online, at low prices, and in massive volume. So our business model was heavily influenced by geography – and it worked.
It’s been a 10-year journey since we set that goal, and we’ve had huge ups and downs. We’ve also hit some incredible milestones along the way: selling into over 100 countries, reaching a billion dollars in all-time sales, establishing offices on 4 continents, winning Australia’s Entrepreneur of the Year, hitting 100 (then 1000, then 1500) staff, becoming Australia’s best place to work two years in a row. We’ve donated $5.8MM to charity, and helped hundreds of thousands of children get an education. Millions of people use our products on a daily basis and are more successful because of it.
But today we’ve reached the sweetest accomplishment of all: 50,000 active customers of Atlassian’s products. Dreams can come true.
A huge thank you to all our customers who have invested in us, helped make our products better with your feedback, and recommended us to your friends. Without you, Atlassian wouldn’t exist.
To our staff, past and present, thanks for your dedication and hard work to get us this far. Our customers thank you for everything you give, and I’m thankful I get to work with you every day.
So what’s the next big goal for Atlassian? We want every knowledge worker in every company to use an Atlassian product every day. We’re aiming for 100,000,000 end users of our products.
Atlassian tools revolutionize the way teams get work done – we hear it from our customers, and as users of our own products, feel it every day. We want to eliminate busywork and make it easy to collaborate so we can all focus our energy on using the unique skill sets each of us brings to our jobs.
And with your help, we’ll get there. Keep talking to us. Keep raising feature requests. Keep giving us the feedback that will make our tools ever better and ever more useful. Keep holding us to a high standard.
Mike and I are honored to be behind the scenes supporting so many companies, schools, and non-profits. You inspire us every day with the big dreams you’re dreaming and the work you’re doing. Thank you for making us a part of your team.
P.S.: To celebrate, we’ve re-launched our customers page. Take a few minutes to check it out – you might learn some new ways to use your Atlassian products!