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busweekimage.jpgA nice one for the scrapbooks! Atlassian co-founders Scott Farquhar and Mike Cannon-Brookes made the cover of BusinessWeek.com as the top young entrepreneurs in technology. The article cites a VC who said “the company should be more focused on growth.” Mike’s response to that: when given an option between a focus on growth versus quality, the choice has always been about quality of engineering and service and support.
Growth is of course key to any business’ prosperity, but for Atlassian it has always been about building a sustainable business and focusing on customers. If the past is any indicator, Scott and Mike have made the right choice.
I think other characteristics also play a hand in the company’s success. First and foremost is the idea of transparency. Most enterprise software companies put barriers between themselves and their customers. If you want to see a product’s pricing or roadmap, for example, you have to talk to a sales person. By contrast, Atlassian not only lets anyone get this information for each product, but also allows anyone to see the bugs that have been submitted by users. I think that extremely low price points have also played a part in the rapid growth and uptake. And maybe most importantly, listening to, and having open dialogues with, our customers.
And while the media spotlight recently has been on Confluence, our enterprise wiki, JIRA remains our biggest product in terms of number of customers — 4,000 and counting. Both products just won Jolt awards for excellence in engineering and quality. Bamboo, Crowd, and Confluence Hosted, our newest products, will help the company expand into some new markets.
Read the Business Week Young Tech Entrepreneur of the Year article (you need to click on the photos of the entrepreneurs to read their write ups). You can also read BusinessWeek.com’s write up about wikis in No Rest for the Wiki, a two-week old article that talks about corporate wiki use and mentions many Confluence customers, including NASA, IBM, Ephox, and Sony Playstation.

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