IVP’s Hypergrowth Podcast: CircleCI CEO Jim Rose on the rise of software delivery as a competitive differentiator and what it’s like hitting the stride of hypergrowth

In IVP’s Hypergrowth Podcast series, IVP investors talk with CEOs from the fastest growing companies to understand the ins and outs of company building in the hypergrowth environment.

CircleCI is celebrating its nine-year anniversary today and CEO Jim Rose is on a mission to shorten the time from idea to value delivery. In this hypergrowth podcast episode, IVP’s Cack Wilhelm talks with Jim about the rise of software delivery as a competitive differentiator and what it is like achieving hypergrowth and adjusting the organization. Few businesses are immune from the need for quality software development and deployment. Building quality software and shipping quickly has become a core engine of value creation in companies across all industries.

CircleCI allows teams to rapidly release code they trust by automating the build, test, and delivery process for both mobile and web apps, either in the cloud or on their own private server. Thousands of leading companies, including BuzzFeed, Coinbase, Facebook, Ford Motor Company, Lyft, PagerDuty, Samsung, Spotify, and Stitch Fix rely on CircleCI to accelerate delivery and improve quality.

IVP led the Series E for CircleCI in April 2020, with IVP’s Cack Wilhelm currently serving on the company’s board.

Some key takeaways from Jim:

FROM FOUNDER TO CEO THROUGH PRODUCT PIVOT

“The challenge when you are a seed series or series A company is typically one around product and technology. But eventually, as you grow through that phase, the challenge starts to move from building the technology to building the company.”

CircleCI’s founders built new and efficient products to solve software delivery needs – beginning in the early 2010s. As the decade progressed, so too did the desires of consumers and companies. Thus, CircleCi’s in-house engineers had to iterate to consumer’s shifting wants by building and deploying products through increasingly organized and expedited software delivery. This allowed the company to innovate its own product simultaneously – from the inside out – benefitting the whole ecosystem. Through CircleCI’s nine years in business, they’ve continuously found ways to ship. As any startup grows, the realities of evolving product market fit come into play and with that leadership decisions for long-term hypergrowth.

SOFTWARE DELIVERY AS A COMPETITIVE DIFFERENTIATOR

“The market has definitely woken up to the competitive differentiator that software provides and being a well-oiled software delivery machine, what that creates for a company is really important.”

“So, in the same way that companies, if you’re in retail, have really thought about store design and have thought about experience and brand, you have to apply that same rigor to how you think about building software.”

Over the past decade, the world of technology has significantly iterated, especially in the way that startups must ship product and thus deliver software to their customers. With the pace and precedent set by the big tech companies in 2011 and 2012, the process of software delivery, led by companies like CircleCI, has helped keep pace with the industry and consumer demand.  What’s more is in the last year, the effects of the pandemic have accelerated how software delivery needs to be done given the world’s newly remote nature – affecting processes in the ecosystem as a whole.

AVOID PITFALLS BY ADJUSTING THE ORGANIZATION TO ACHIEVE HYPERGROWTH

“When you get to this phase of growth, what you’re doing is you’re building the organization that hires the people, that creates the context and the tooling so that other people can do the job.”

“There’s a window where you have an opportunity to make those changes and do so in a way that’s expensive and difficult, but not incredibly expensive.”

There’s a moment in time when “all the mundane becomes strategic”. In many companies moving from seed rounds to A or B rounds, processes like hiring explode and become part of the growth and strategy versus just a natural requirement to grow. Each role – from marketing to engineering to sales – all become hiring engines with a vested interest in the company, allowing startups to grow exponentially, and sometimes inexpensively, if the employees act as brand ambassadors.  The same philosophy of adjusting to the organizational need rings true for automating processes from the beginning to save time later. If done correctly in the beginning – when the world shifts significantly or quickly – companies can adapt.

More from the full conversation in the transcript is below.

To hear more, listen on iTunes or SoundCloud.

TRANSCRIPT

Narrator: Welcome to IVP’s Hypergrowth Podcast. In this series, we talk with CEOs of the fastest-growing companies and discuss the ins-and-outs of company building in the hypergrowth environment. If you like what you hear, consider following us on SoundCloud or subscribing to our podcast on iTunes. Thanks, and enjoy the show.

Cack Wilhelm: Today my guest is Jim Rose, the CEO of CircleCI. We’re catching up after the recent hundred-million-dollar series E funding round that IVP is very proud to have led, and a company where I’m also on the board of directors. CircleCI is a powerful software delivery platform that automates the complexity of building, testing, and deploying software, allowing teams to deliver value quickly and at scale. This might sound niche when software is eating the world the way that it is today. CircleCI really brings automation, consistency, speed, and reliability to the craft of software creation and their customers, illustrious names like Facebook, Ford, Spotify, Lyft and PagerDuty all have a huge competitive advantage because of this best in class continuous integration and delivery service that CircleCI provides. In this episode, we’ll discuss why devops is taking off and Jim will share lots of lessons for entrepreneurs on navigating markets, scaling teams, and automating work in this volatile environment. So, Jim, over to you. I mean, you and your co-founder, Rob, are founders, but I’d say founders with an asterisk. Asterisk being that you didn’t actually found CircleCI per say, but you founded a company called Distiller that was acquired by CircleCI. Over time, since the acquisition in 2014, you found yourself in the position of CEO and CTO at Circle, but my guess is you didn’t necessarily intend for that when you were acquired six years ago. I think actually six years ago this month, August. So maybe for the audience, can you share more about that year  2014 when you joined Circle? Why the acquisition seemed like such a good fit then and why it still seems like a good fit now?

Jim Rose: Yeah, absolutely. It is a unique journey. It’s not the normal way that this happens. But Rob and I were two of three co-founders of a company called Copious, which we started in late 2010, early 2011. And that was a social marketplace that was built on top of Facebook and was the original company that we had founded and ultimately funded through two rounds of funding. And everything was going great. We were growing really fast. It was a social marketplace and we were leveraging Facebook as a growth platform. And everything looked good until one day we woke up and Facebook decided they didn’t really like our segment anymore and all of our traffic went to zero. So, you know, in typical startup fashion, we had to get into pivot mode. And we originally pivoted to take that social marketplace business and put it into the mobile world and put it on to mobile platforms. And as we made that original transition, we realized as we were building mobile apps that all of the tools that we needed and that we depended on when we were building a Web app just didn’t exist in the mobile space. So, we ended up having to build it all ourselves. And so, we built all of this tooling to be able to rapidly deploy new changes to mobile applications and get it out into the hands of our testers. So, we built that tooling, but it was really the tooling we had in place so that we could support this continued growth of the social marketplace app. And as we got into it, we realized, hm, actually maybe the thing that we have, that’s valuable, is the tooling itself and we focus on building it. So, we pivoted hard. We ended up building and focusing on the tooling that we had in place. And we got up to, you know, a fair number of customers. Like we got to our first sort of 20 or 30 customers and everything was going great. But then all of a sudden, our customers started saying to us, you know, this is really interesting. I can build my mobile applications on your platform and that’s great, but my mobile applications have to talk to these other services that aren’t built in Mac OS, they’re not iOS services, and I’d love to be able to build it all in one place. You all should really figure out how to build those services as well. And at that point, Rob and I had a pretty long conversation about whether or not that was something that we thought was a good idea. There were lots of other services out there that were already building Linux based services and we were going to be about the twentieth one to market. So, at that point, we thought, well, either we can go to another partner and figure out if there’s a way that we could whitelist our builds to other third-party services. So, we would do the mobile builds and someone else would do all the Linux builds for us. Or I don’t know, maybe there was another option. And so, when we met with CircleCI, we met with Paul, one of the two original founders of CircleCI. He mentioned to us that they really needed to figure out how to build mobile applications because they had all of the rest of the stack in place. And so, it seemed like a really good fit. And then, funnily enough, we were built in the same relatively esoteric technology stack as well. And so even at that level of technology, it made a lot of sense. And so, we quickly moved from a partnership conversation into more of an acquisition conversation. And then we had that happen in the middle of 2014. And for the first six months that we were at CircleCI, Rob and myself, and our third founder, we were actually integrating Distiller, that mobile platform, into the broader CircleCI platform. And that was the genesis for it. As we continued to grow and as CircleCI continued to grow, the challenge when you are a seed series or series A company is typically one around product and technology. But eventually, as you grow through that phase, the challenge starts to move from building the technology to building the company. And the two original founders of CircleCI, Paul Bigger and Allan Rohner were both software engineers, and that was what motivated them. They were really interested in building new and interesting applications, new and interesting platforms, and as the job really pivoted into building the company, that was less interesting. And so, I stepped forward because a number of the investors, were really looking for help to try and help us scale up the operations, and then I kind of came in at the end of 2014, the beginning of 2015, to really help Paul and the investors work together as we were scaling the company up. And so that was an interesting transition. So, I became first the COO and then the CEO. And Rob ultimately became the CTO, as Paul went and actually went on sabbatical to go think about what he wanted to build next and then ultimately went off and built his new technology and his new startup. And we’ve been in place now for almost six years, to your point. So, it’s been almost six years that we’ve been working on this and it’s been quite a journey.

Cack Wilhelm: That’s cool. It’s a very classic Silicon Valley story of product pivots, the tooling becomes the product, founder evolution.  I think it’s worth noting for CircleCI that Paul remains on the board of directors and an instrumental part of the team, so no strife there, which I think is important. So, the Distiller story really sounds like a case of market pull, both for the mobile component and the combined platform plus CircleCI. What about fast forward to now. I’d love to hear more about these secular trends behind CircleCI and sort of what do you see in the industry right now that’s continuing to drive demand for a solution like CircleCI? And it might be worth noting, just taking a minute to explain in your words what CircleCI does provide to the ecosystem.

Jim Rose: Yeah, for sure. So, what CircleCI is, is an automation platform for software delivery team. So, we help automate all the repetitive tasks that happen between the time that there’s a change upstream that impacts your application, to then build it, test it, validate that everything is good. And if everything is good and green, then ship it downstream into the data center, into the hands of your users. And typically, what a company and what a team will have is, they will have a system that manages their codebase. You know, oftentimes GitHub, Bitbucket, GitLab, some other git solution. They’ll run their application in a data center more often than not now in the cloud in AWS or GCP or Microsoft Azure or some other platform, and then they string that entire process together using CircleCI. So, we kind of think of ourselves as the manufacturing floor for software delivery. We start with code. We assemble all of the pieces, both your custom code as well as all of the open source components and libraries that you use. And we make sure that all the pieces fit together, and everything still works. And then we ship it down into retail and ship it down into the customers’ hands. And you know that process, starting back in 2011 and 2012, when the company was started, this idea of full automation and continuous delivery, this idea of being able to ship as quickly as you made changes was pretty heretical. It was pretty new at the time. And the only companies that were really following continuous delivery as a model were the Facebooks, Amazons, Netflixs and Googles of the world, as well as small startups. And small startups were very technically sophisticated, they were greenfield opportunities. They had money, but they didn’t necessarily have time. And they were busy trying to find product market fit in their business. And so, they had a distinct interest in being able to outsource anything that wasn’t core. So, they would put their code in GitHub, they put their application AWS, and then they would use CircleCI as the glue that held that entire process together. Over the last almost nine years at this point, what we’ve seen is that continuous delivery has become more of instead of being a really kind of fringe idea, it’s become the aspirational North Star for pretty much every software delivery team that’s out there. Every software delivery team is trying to figure out as fast as they make changes, how can I ensure that they’re good? How can I ensure that they work? And how can I get them into the hands of the customer without having to wait? And so, when we started in 2011, 2012, predominantly startups and really technically sophisticated folks. And now where you are today is you have much larger, more traditional enterprises, more traditional logos, more traditional companies that are adopting these continuous delivery practices. And trying to bring software delivery best practice to all of the things that they do because they’re realizing that pretty much their entire business is a software business. Somewhere in the process, their relationship with their customer is getting mediated by a screen, and that screen is being controlled by software and that’s the primary channel at this point. So, in the same way that companies, if you’re in retail, have really thought about store design and have thought about experience and brand, you have to apply that same rigor to how you think about building software. And more and more companies are waking up to that. And if you haven’t woken up to it, there’s probably somebody in your industry, in your direct competitive set, that is using software to try and disintermediate you. And so that has been a really, really big shift over the last nine years. And we, even before COVID over the last year and a half, we’ve seen that accelerate dramatically as companies got more and more of their application workloads into the cloud and as they realized that their developers were picking up pace as they adopt a git. They needed to think through how to get those changes into the data center and how to do so in a high quality and rapid manner. So, all of that was going on even before COVID hit. And what happened with COVID is everything accelerated. So, what you often find inside of big companies is that software delivery teams have a tendency to be very broken up. They tend to be very siloed. They don’t necessarily use the same toolset. They don’t necessarily deploy into the same environments. And a lot of those continuous delivery efforts were kind of piecemeal. There was some going on here with a center of excellence, there were other things going on, perhaps in a mobile space, there were other things going on inside of certain countries. But continuous delivery is kind of an overall philosophy for how you would deliver software, wasn’t necessarily the bedrock that everyone was trying to build on top of. The minute COVID hit and everyone ended up being not just remote first, but remote only, you realized how many different manual processes in place, how many different patches you had in place to try and get a piece of software and a new change out and into the data center. You could no longer rely on the fact that you had a build machine that was sitting underneath somebody’s machine and or somebody’s desk, and if that machine had a problem, they could just reboot it. Or if you had a problem with a particular test, you couldn’t go to someone’s desk and tap them on the shoulder and try and figure out how this script is supposed to work. All of those manual processes became impediments and really blockers to being able to shift change. And so, so many of those continuous delivery efforts, which, maybe there were projects, you know, in terms of priority projects, seven, eight, or nine all of a sudden became priority one or priority two, or priority three. And so, a lot of change got jammed into the beginning of the year. And we’re continuing to see that. Companies are really wrestling with this idea of, in certain geographies, development teams have been able to go back into the office, but you never know, right? Tomorrow you may have a situation where, wherever you are, goes back into shutdown and you need to be in a place where you can make those changes from an operational perspective on a moment’s notice. And so, this idea of automation, this idea of being able to move quickly and to move reliably has become not just a ‘nice to have’, it’s become core to what you have to do as a software delivery team.

Cack Wilhelm: Yeah, it makes sense, I mean with COVID I can see many trends in favor, and if we have time, maybe we can touch on them at the end. I’d love to switch gears and talk more specifically about CircleCI, especially the phase of hypergrowth that you guys are experiencing right now. I did have the good fortune of seeing the series B phases as the board observer from Scale Venture Partners and then getting reinvolved with the series E from IVP. And it’s, you know, I must admit, it was kind of fun to take a break and come back to a massively scaled, mature organization without seeing all the increments along the way—all the board meetings in between. So can you share more about the growth phase coming into this recent fundraising round and what it’s like hitting hypergrowth, adjusting the organization? I’m sure there are some differences for the go-to-market functions versus engineering. What about just mundane stuff like hiring, onboarding, office space, and adjusting to all of the rapid scale?

Jim Rose: Yeah, for sure. Well, I mean, all the mundane basically becomes the strategic, you know. Once you get up to past one hundred and fifty folks and you get on the path between a hundred and fifty employees to a thousand employees, the way that you scale is by making the mundane, highly leverageable. So, you know, the first requirement I have for everyone that’s on our exec team is you have to be a great recruiter. You have to be able to not just recruit great folks, but you have to be able to build a repeatable hiring function that because it’s not about hiring the first person, you’re going to have to hire 15 more in the next six months. So how do you make that scalable and repeatable over time? The same thing around infrastructure, whether it’s office space, tools, having a global, a globally managed set of HR policies in place, and systems in place, everything that you need to be effective, and to grow as you get to this, get to this phase. Prior to that, you know, a lot of what you’re doing as a founder, a lot of what you’re doing as an executive, is you’re still actually doing the work. You spend most of your time, if you’re a developer, if you’re a product owner, if you are a salesperson or a marketer, you’re still actually doing marketing or sales or you’re writing code, and you’re still doing the actual job. When you get to this phase of growth, what you’re doing is you’re building the organization that hires the people, that creates the context and the tooling so that other people can do the job. And really trying to get all of that in place and make it scalable, make it effective, and make it resilient to change. If there’s anything that’s been true about COVID, is that it exposes all the rough edges that you have as a company. You know, if you were doing something heroically and you were doing everything by hand and you had something that manually you would do every month, like you reconcile your books every month or you generate invoices for a handful of customers every month, because you didn’t have time to get them automated into the system. That gets really hard as everyone gets distributed, that gets really hard as you have more and more of those edge cases, more and more of those heroic efforts. It just doesn’t scale. And so that is then the big transition for us as a company is. Really thinking about expansion as the core operating principle, like how do we make something scalable, not just how do we get the job done? And, you know, I would say for founding teams, I would say for employees, you know, everybody likes different parts of the journey. You know, every company has different stages of maturity, has kind of different chapters of the book that they go through. And not every chapter is for everyone. And one of the other big pieces of learning is that there’s opportunities to basically sort of to tap out and to step back, and take that chance to basically say, you know what, this is the part of the journey that I really enjoy. I’m going to go find another company, another opportunity to go on that leg of the journey again. And that’s, that can be a moment of self-reflection. That can be a moment of personal and professional growth for a lot of folks as they go through this process, because it’s long, it’s very stressful. And it’s a marathon, it’s not a sprint, but you’re going really fast. And so, you have to make sure that you do whatever you can to pace yourself as you continue to grow.

Cack Wilhelm: Yeah, so with that in mind, you know, just love numbers and attrition, tons of companies hit the million ARR, many fewer reach five hundred million, one hundred million ARR. Do you, as it relates to your last comments, do you have any transferable tips for managing an organization at scale, especially like, are there actions you wish you’d taken sooner or other pursuits you just assumed would have avoided if you knew what you know now, you know all in the vein of someone listening, going through it? Can you help them avoid a pitfall or two?

Jim Rose: Yeah, well, you know, a lot of it is art, not science. And so, I mean, I would say one of the areas where we both have succeeded, but it’s also created challenges for us as we’ve grown, has been that CircleCI, the company and the platform, we found product-market fit quite quickly. So really, within 90 to 120 days of launch, we started to grow and grow pretty quickly. And because we found product-market fit quickly, and because we started adding customers very quickly, there wasn’t really the time to go back and really make the original core platform scalable, and so as a consequence, as the platform continued to grow, the pathway to scaling was, well, let’s just keep throwing more compute at the system and make sure that we have enough compute in the pile that we can run everyone’s builds and the whole thing is going to work and it will tip over. And eventually, that bill comes due. And for us, the bill came due in 2016 where because we didn’t have a chance to go back and really address some of the, you know, some of the areas from a scaling perspective in the original architecture that we should have, we had a massive collapse where the system could no longer take on any more work. It can no longer process any more builds, and the whole thing went down for about 40 hours. Now, that was a wake-up moment. It was a wake-up call for everyone. It created a rallying cry so that when we got the system back up and running, we realized we were going to have to dig back in and really think through how to architect a system, not to deal with the number of builds that we have today, but ultimately the number of builds that we expect to have five years from now or ten years from now and really think about scale, but that there’s kind of a magic moment there. There’s a window where you have an opportunity to make those changes and do so in a way that’s expensive and difficult, but not incredibly expensive. But if you miss your window, everything gets really expensive, really fast. And every day you get past that window, it gets harder, and harder, and harder to make those changes. I think when you feel like you’re in the pocket when you can make those changes, you should do so, right? If you have that moment like this could go poorly. If we don’t fix this in the next three or six months, that’s usually the time if your spider senses going off and you’re like, oh, boy, we should probably address that. You should probably go address it. You should probably go fix it and take the time and take the moment to invest in making your system scalable. The same thing is true across all the various functions, right? When I came to CircleCI in 2014, we were very much an engineering only culture. So, when I got there, I was the first non-engineer outside of the office manager, so we were the only two that were not engineers, and engineers were doing everything from sales to customer success, to support, to managing the books, to inviting people into the office. We had software engineers doing everything and that really wasn’t scalable. And so over time, we put in all of the various business functions, be it revenue, customer success, product management, design, finance, HR, and we put all of those functions in and we’ve evolved each and every one of those functions many times as we’ve continued to grow. So, it feels like you have one set of functions when you’re going from zero to 15 folks and you go from 15 to 50 folks, you go through the next evolution. When you go from 50 to 150, you have a third evolution in terms of each and every one of those functions. And then when you go from 150 to 1,000, that’s where we are today, which is we’re now going back and revisiting each and every one of those groups, each and every one of those processes to figure out, does it still work when we’re at three hundred and fifty employees? Does it still work when we’re at five hundred employees? Is it going to work when we’re to a thousand employees? And then I’m sure once we get to a thousand, we’re going to have to come back and revisit it again as you go from one thousand to ten thousand. But you shouldn’t be scared of that. That’s just part of the journey. I think more often than not, people hesitate to make the change because what’s worked in the past, you expect to work in the future, and that’s not wrong. But, you know, more often than not, if you feel like something you might be getting to the edge, you feel like something might be starting to burst at the seams. Your sense is usually pretty good, and it probably is bursting at the seams. And it probably does require sitting down and really thinking through how to make it scale. And so, I don’t know that there’s any one particular function outside of kind of making the platform scalable where we’ve had that moment where, where I wish we did it one, a different way than we did it. I just think, you know, you always look back and think it would have been better had I made that change two weeks ago as opposed to today. You always have the benefit of hindsight and saying it’s you. You always move probably a step too slow. But, you know, that’s not necessarily a bad thing either, right? Sometimes being considerate, really thinking it through, running a very humane organization is a good way to go.

Cack Wilhelm: Yeah, and it’s one thing to make a mistake once, it would be another if you didn’t learn from the mistake and wait too long again for another re-platform or another change that you needed to make. So, it sounds like you guys internalized the, the mistake of 2016, and then you’ve been focused on that ever since. So, I give you credit for that.

Jim Rose: Well, 40 hours of downtime will… that’ll really ruin your metrics for the better part of several years. And so that can be a very clarifying force. And, you know, sometimes you need that shake at the shoulders to really get yourselves to focus and really lean into the things that are important.

Cack Wilhelm: Yes, well said. That was four years ago, so we don’t have to dwell on that. Instead, let’s look ahead to the public markets as you get bigger and bigger. You mentioned a thousand-person organization. That starts to look like a really big company, now a pretty big company. And if you look at through Tuesday of this week, Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Netflix, Microsoft, and Alphabet were up forty-three percent for the year, basically propping up the entire S&P. Even within that, Amazon, Microsoft, Alphabet, aka Google have a large part of their business that’s really akin to cloud infrastructure and a lot of what CircleCI does, if you also include Datadog, Atlassian, all of these companies are showing really strong growth, really strong public performance. What are you, sitting where you are, where eventually, someday every company wants to go public, like what do you make of the public markets as it relates to Circle and maybe your next moves?

Jim Rose: Yeah, I mean, I think the understanding of the public market investor has really evolved, so we’ve had conversations with folks that have been predominantly in the public space for the last, going on five years. And when we used to go in and have conversations with public market investors in 2015 and 2016, they had absolutely no idea what we did. And really, that sophistication, that understanding of software development as a key differentiator for companies, not just software companies, but for companies overall. I think about companies like Amazon and Google and Netflix and Facebook and others, software and their ability to build software quickly is, you know, front and center to what they use to generate value inside of their businesses. Increasingly, too, if you look in more traditional industries, the industries and the companies that have made real investments in technology over the last four or five years are reaping those gains today, right? So, Target and Wal-Mart have made tremendous gains over the last six months since COVID started because they have a pretty robust technical platform at this point. And that took a long time for them to build. And you compare that to some other more traditional retailers where they’ve really struggled, where they haven’t made that investment. You start to see the value of software and the value of agile processes in creating corporate value. And so, the market has definitely woken up to the competitive differentiator that software provides and being a well-oiled software delivery machine. What that creates for a company is really important. I think what you are seeing with the public comps that are out there and you think about the companies like Atlassian and Datadog and others, is that there typically is a tooling stack that goes and is put in place when companies make these digital transformations and really start investing in software as a competitive differentiator. I would venture a guess that over half of our customers that use CircleCI use Datadog. You know, same token, almost all of them are going to be on Jira. And so, you usually have this kind of cabal of tools that get implemented and are put in place by these companies as they make these digital transformations and ultimately are kind of the foundation in the seed core that allows for that transformation to occur. And so, I think the market is waking up to it. I think you’re seeing companies like Atlassian and Datadog and others be successful even in these challenging times, because as companies are moving and realizing that maybe today they’re remote only, but over time they’re going to have to really think about all their processes as being remote-first and resilient to shocks and changes, that you’re going to have to implement and that you’re going to have to purchase all of these various tools to support that process. And so, I think people have done really well in that transition. I would say we’ve seen the same impact and we’ve seen the same effect in our business. And the one area where I think everyone has made some changes is really just about guidance. I think most companies that are out there pulled guidance recently simply because while the top of the funnel looks really good and there’s a lot of demand out there, I think with more uncertainty amongst the customers, you just, you don’t always have visibility into what’s going to land in the quarter versus what’s going to stretch out into the next quarter. But I mean, you look at Datadog’s numbers, they’re still growing 60, 70, 80 percent at a massive size. You look at the same thing with Atlassian. And, you know, for us, those are great examples where you have people that are selling predominantly into software development teams that are doing so at essentially an unbounded clip. And, you know, that, that bodes well for companies like ours as we’re, you know, kind of getting close to that public window.

Cack Wilhelm: Yeah, exciting. Well, yeah, with that let’s end on that very forward-looking positive note. What are you looking forward to as you move into this next phase of growth the next year or two years? What’s exciting?

Jim Rose: Yeah, well, I mean, I would say two things. I would say one is, yeah, we’ve been at this for almost nine years, and for the beginning part of our journey, we were really selling to people that understood the value of continuous delivery. So, it was a different type of conversation. But the companies that we worked with and continue to work with were very technically sophisticated, very forward-leaning. It’s exciting to watch companies that we may have talked to back in 2015 and weren’t ready for us are now leading in and ready to adopt continuous delivery and ready to deploy CircleCI as a foundation to that change. Some of the brands that we work with and some of the companies that we work with are doing incredibly interesting things from autonomous vehicles to space vehicles to machine learning to your basic, you know, mobile application, and kind of everything in between. When I talk to folks that we’re busy recruiting and trying to hire, I always say we’re in the engine room of the Internet. We’re that company that is basically helping build all of those experiences that you consume each and every day. And we enable those experiences to get into your hands and do so in a way that’s, that’s exciting and interesting and new. And having that impact, having that scope and range is really interesting. I think the other really exciting thing for us, too, is that we’ve had a very international user base ever since the company was started. So, when the company was started, it was started as a freemium service. So, developers from anywhere in the world could sign up and use CircleCI and get it integrated into their project for free. And whether you were building a small open-source library or building something for the U.S. Government, you could do, you could use CircleCI to be able to support that. And what we have found is that there’s these incredible pockets of innovation all around the world. And for the last two years, we’ve been really formalizing our footprint to be able to go into those communities and support the customers that we already have, as well as support the customers that we’re trying to get. In, so whether that’s in Japan or Korea or London or Berlin or Portugal or Brazil, there are incredibly interesting things being done with software across the board and across the globe. And it’s no longer a practice that is really limited to or focused on Silicon Valley or companies that are trying to embody Silicon Valley practices. It’s becoming something that you find in everything that people are doing. And so, having that, having that scope and having that impact is pretty exciting. And I think for all of the folks that that work at the company, like being able to go in and sell to a big automobile manufacturer and help them build all of the software that drives that car is a pretty cool experience. And we’re getting into more and more of those opportunities as we go.

Cack Wilhelm: That’s super cool and probably, I mean, as you mentioned at the beginning, Distiller got to 20 or 30 customers before he started at the tieup with CircleCI, so I’m sure the customer count at CircleCI is a far cry from 20 to 30 today. Well, this is awesome. I really enjoyed speaking with you today, Jim, and I’m sure the audience will gain a lot from your perspective. So thank you.

Jim Rose: Thanks a lot.

Narrator: Thank you for listening to IVP’s Hypergrowth Podcast. You can learn more about us on IVP.com or join the conversation on Twitter by tweeting @IVP.