E331: Jeremy Hitchcock CEO of DYN-TWiST



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On this episode of TWiST @jason travels to New Hampshire to sit down with Jeremy Hitchcock, CEO of Dyn. There is no downtime with Dyn who keeps web traffic flowing fast to clients such as Twitter, Stumbleupon and Netflix.


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Jason: Hey, everybody. Hey, everybody. It’s Jason Calacanis. This is ThisWeekIn Startups. I am in New Hampshire for a Dyn board meeting. I’m here with Jeremy Hitchcock who is the founder. He is going to tell the story of how this company grew from this tiny little startup to 200+ employees over the last 10 years. It’s quite an amazing story. Stick with us.

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Jason: Hey, everybody. Hey, everybody. It’s Jason Calacanis. Here, on ThisWeekIn Startups. I just wanted to take a moment to thank our friends at ShareFile by Citrix. What a great product. You can share files instantly, of almost any size. Access files from almost any computer or mobile device in a safe and secure environment. It’s built for business. Really, I love these great features. You can request a file. So, let’s say I need a file from you, but you’re not using ShareFile. I just say, “Hey. Listen. Here, I’m going to email you. You get a link and you can put it my little request file.” Then, I get an email alert when you upload or download files. You can share large video clips. It just works. I’ve been using it here at ThisWeekIn. The audit trail is amazing. When you start looking at your files and you’re able to see who opened stuff. Who opened these asset files? Who has the rights to them? This is really cool stuff that they’re doing. Especially with the audit logs incredible and with the request files. This is industrial strength file sharing. So, visitsharefile.com, click on the radio microphone button and use the promo code TWIST. That’s the essential thing you need to do. TWIST for a free 30 day trial. No credit card required. That’s the sign that they’re so confident that you’re going to want to use this product. Go to sharefile.com, click on the radio microphone button, use the promo code TWIST. TWIST, TWIST, TWIST. 30 day free trial. Thank you so much @sharefile. What a great product by Citrix. If you want go ahead, if you already gone and got ShareFile at sharefile.com, thank @sharefile on your Twitter account. Just say, “Thanks for supporting ThisWeekIn Startups @sharefile. I think it’s really cool of you to do that, because I get so much out of it.” It’s a great product. It’s rock solid. It’s industrial strength. If you really want to know like when are investors downloading this pitch deck and how often are they downloading and etc… Or, I’m going to request them to get the term sheets back, signed documents, whatever. Request the files. Have them put into that. Secure and built for business. Safe and secure. Yes. Thank you @sharefile by Citrix. Let’s get back to the program.

Jason: Hey, everybody. Hey, everybody. It’s Jason Calacanis. Welcome to ThisWeekIn Startups. If you don’t know what the show is about, well, gosh, I can’t help you. ThisWeekIn Startups. Every week we talk about startups companies and how to build something that changes the world. Today you’re going to hear an amazing story of a little company that grew from nothing in a little town in New Hampshire, called Manchester. Now is one of the most important companies in infrastructure. That I’ve actually started to get involved with. I joined the board just this year. Or, in the last 6 months. it’s quite an amazing story and I’m really looking forward to sharing with you. Welcome to the program, Jeremy Hitchcock.

Jeremy: Thanks so much. Glad to be here.

Jason: Yeah. So we’re here in Manchester.

Jeremy: Manchester, New Hampshire. The internet capital of the world.

Jason: Absolutely. Tell me about Manchester. This town was created how? I mean it’s pretty amazing. You drive in and it’s like dozens and dozens of these huge industrial buildings that you guys can’t see on the camera. But, around us, you know, basically huge factory building that you’ve now got this internet company in, but what was the origin of Manchester?

Jeremy: Yeah. So, some dude in the late 1700s he wins the lottery and he travels the world. Because that’s what you do when you win the lottery.

Jason: Sure.

Jeremy: He goes to Manchester, UK and says, “Man, I really like the industrial base that’s in Manchester.” He comes back to what was called Deerfield at the time. He says, “We’re going to rename the town. We’re going to call it Manchester.”

Jason: And, that’s it.

Jeremy: That’s it. He builds this huge textile producing capital, this manufacturing base. All the buildings are basically these large half a million, million square foot office skyscrapers on their side.

Jason: Yeah. Like tens of thousands of square feet per floor. It’s amazing. Dean Kamen is here?

Jeremy: Dean Kamen is right down… kitty corner wise.

Jason: What’s the name of his company?

Jeremy: Deka Research.

Jason: Deka Research. That just sounds like something from RoboCop or something. It kind of is.

Jeremy: It kind of is.

Jason: He makes the Segway.

Jeremy: He makes the Segway.

Jason: He also makes the arm.

Jeremy: The Luke arm.

Jason: The Luke arm. The Luke Skywalker arm. I think he also makes… Does he also make the full body suit?

Jeremy: Well that’s… We can’t talk about that.

Jason: Ah. Oh yeah. See, I think that’s the thing he’s working on that’s… No. That’s been in the news though. He’s building like the eco… What do they call it? Exoskeleton. It’s like a skeleton that goes around your body and you can lift thousands of pounds. It’s quite a little tech hub here now.

Jeremy: Yeah. There’s a lot of interesting companies making cool stuff. There’s a couple of spinouts from them and a few other companies that are doing some neat stuff. There’s some Active Shocks companies that are building like dynamic shock dampening systems. Pretty neat stuff.

Jason: Interesting. So, let’s talk about Dyn. You started the company when and for what purpose?

Jeremy: Well, it was an open source project. Kind of the turn of the century. It was useful for getting a paper off of a dorm room computer. I went to school in Wooster. It snows and it’s cold. Printers were in one building and the place where you turned in a lab was in a different building. Where we’d actually worked on the labs was in a third place. That’s a lot of outdoors. A lot of cold.

Jason: Right.

Jeremy: So we built some technology that was useful for addressing computers remotely. Before there was the Log Me Ins and GoTo MY PCs. It saved a trip out in the cold. But, it was useful for other people too.

Jason: Then it becomes DNS routing at some point and becomes from an open source project to a company.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Jason: So how did you make that jump? Why did you decide to do that?

Jeremy: So, we had a good user base, about 20K-25K people. We were starting to get tired…

Jason: Wait, wait, wait. I missed something there. How did you get to 25K people?

Jeremy: Well there was one day and the second day we kind of shrugged. No. It was just something that was kind of enjoyed by the community. Enjoyed by the internet world. People just, word of mouth, would talk about it, “Like hey this is a way that I can run a web server on my home computer. I can access files remotely. I can move things around.” The ability for consumers to kind of access the control plane or the accessibility of DNS and routing was really foreign. It was just a bunch of ISPs that were doing that.

Jason: How would you explain how DNS works to somebody who has a casual understanding of the internet? I think a lot people are building internet companies now, even technical people, they don’t actually understand how the internet works at its core. When people make a request, what happens?

Jeremy: So, we are the address book. We run part of the address book system. Type in a domain name like Dyn.com, Amazon.com or Twitter.com and your computer doesn’t have any clue what that is. It doesn’t actually use names. It uses a bunch of numbers just like a phone book does and the phone system does. Your computer goes out through the DNS system to find the address book that has the entry for Dyn.com or Amazon.com or Twitter.com. Your computer gets that phone number or what’s called an IP address.

Jason: Right.

Jeremy: Then your computer directly connects through that IP address to download the web content.

Jason: So what does Dyn do in between that sort of process?

Jeremy: So there’s a lot of magic that takes place in the kinds of tens to hundreds of milliseconds that this all happens behind the scenes. What we do is optimize the routing, make sure people get to the closest data center. We have some health checks that we make sure that somebody’s website is running. If we see that stuff is down we redirect people to different places. Kind of understand what the internet topography looks like and try to shift things around so that people get faster, better internet experience.

Jason: When you made this into a company you started to have people use your service to say, “Oh. Point this IP address to this computer.” Because people at home, their IP address changes.

Jeremy: Uh-huh.

Jason: So this was sort of the core innovation, would you say?

Jeremy: Yeah. It was the ability for us to update records really fast and for all that information to kind of work across the internet. So if you made an update or your ISP changed the address for your computer that you’d be able to access it 30 seconds or 60 seconds later. That technology works for millions of people that use that remote access technology and also works for some of the internet bell weathers when they have an outage they don’t want to have that outage for very long. Or, they want it to be noticed as short a period as possible. So we move things around quickly.

Jason: Correct me if I’m wrong, this concept of a free service is something you guys innovated in what year? You provided the service for free.

Jeremy: Yep.

Jason: Up to a point or something then charge. When did you do that sort of free to paid process?

Jeremy: This was 2001-2003. This was even before salesforce was doing that whole SaaS model. That wasn’t a word.

Jason: Yeah. Software as a Service didn’t exist at that time.

Jeremy: Yeah. It was really challenging to figure out what’s the right model for this. Because you buy hardware, that’s one side of the expense but, you’re in a data center. You have to pay these monthly bills. So trying to get our head around the cost model and the revenue model, we’re a bunch of college kids taking classes so this is kind or a hobby at night. There wasn’t a whole cohort of people to hang around with to figure out what’s the right way to charge for things. So when we first started we said, “Why don’t you give us money one time and you can use the service.” The concept of expirations, we didn’t think about that. We thought $30 for a college kid that’s a lot of meals, a lot of Ramen.

Jason: Yeah. People just paid $30 to set up their DNS routing. That was it. Flat rate, boom.

Jeremy: Yep.

Jason: For life.

Jeremy: For life. We still honor those for life customers today which is really cool.

Jason: Oh, really. There’s still a bunch of those who just paid $30 and they’re just good for life.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Jason: Then, you moved to this sort of free model at some point. When was that?

Jeremy: So we had the free model at the same time. We kept that pretty much until a couple of years ago. We moved to more of a trial method to combat fraud. Cause our services unfortunately get used… It’s internet infrastructure so it gets used for nefarious things.

Jason: When did it go from being… When did you realize it was more than just a hobby, you should probably turn it into a business?

Jeremy: It was probably 2003. We had been working on this for a few years at this point. It was my junior year in college. We were all sitting around thinking what do we want to do when we grow up? This was also at the time we were looking at this one time model. That’s when we started introducing the concept of a service expiring. We were pretty bottoms up user base driven. I mean they were the customers. They were the people giving us the resources to be able to do what we were doing. So it was ’03 that we made this modification to expire services. We grandfathered everybody in. That was also when we said this looks like the real thing. This looks like a real company.

Jason: You started hiring people and got an office at some point?

Jeremy: Yep.

Jason: How quickly did it grow over the years? Because now it’s a pretty large business 10 years later.

Jeremy: Yeah. So 2003, 2002 is when we hired a couple of people. We moved up to Manchester. Where myself and one of the other co-founders was from. We started hiring kind of steadily. We were probably 30%, 50% year over year growth for a number of years. Then about ’06, ’07 one of the co-founders left. It made us do another round of soul searching. We saw some customers that were pretty interesting internet companies. Or just really large like Subway or Anadarko Petroleum. Whoever thought that someone right out of school would have them as customers? We said that we wanted to be an internet infrastructure company. We really enjoyed the operations of technology. We started going after a wider continuum of these DNS type of customers.

Jason: Bigger and bigger companies started using it. Why? They obviously could build some of this technology themselves. They just felt it was so much easier and cheaper?

Jeremy: Yeah. It was one less thing… When I think about what the real genesis was… People were using these services at home. They were enjoying them. They always worked. They were no nonsense. They did what they were supposed to do. It seems like such a novel idea. You go out and you say, “Hey. This is a service and this is just going to work.” That was kind of the approach that we had. I think a lot of people ,at that time, it was difficult to find services like that. Where you could say, “I want something that could do routing. I want something that’s going to do DNS. I’m going to find a company that’s going to provide that service.” I think one of the baseline features of an infrastructure technology is that it’s very reliable and very redundant. That was something that we had always taken a great level or care and concern for.

Jason: Yeah. You started getting bigger clients but they’re still paying these tiny prices? I mean how do you as a company… You’re an enterprise company in a way. You’re a consumer company and an enterprise company. The consumer is essentially free and the enterprise is, I guess, where you make your money. How did you decide, “Well, gee. These are large enterprises. Maybe they should pay a different price.” How to build that as a model?

Jeremy: We asked them. We said, “Hey. $30 does not seem like the right way to do it.” We actually had a great story. Evan Williams registered Twitter.com through us. He was working on Odeo at the time. We were having a conversation with people who were running the ops side. They were… At the ’09 time frame they were starting to really popular…

Jason: Busy.

Jeremy: … and busy. They were kind of exploding. You guys are paying us $30 a year. What do you think is a fair price? Obviously it’s not $30 a year. They said what would you do for this wise? We said $5K. We found a price in the middle. That was one of the first times where we legitimately said, “There’s value to people. And, by having this weird $30 pricing or this kind of consumer pricing it didn’t quite work.

Jason: Do they think that if it’s $30 they can’t actually take it seriously?

Jeremy: We had those comments too. There were some people, public companies, that said, “I bring a $30 PO to a CFO and he laughs at me.”

Jason: Can you please add a zero or two?

Jeremy: Yeah. That could have been one direction we went but we thought long and hard about how we wanted to build the technology out. How we wanted to build the product out. To have more globally redundant features. We use IP AnyCast. We do a lot of traffic routing. A lot of advanced features on top of what we do. It’s not just the generic I type in a computer name and it goes to an address and we’re done.

Jason: It’s about speed isn’t it?

Jeremy: Yeah.

Jason: And reliability now.

Jeremy: Yeah. It is. I think that that was certainly in the back of our mind in kind of the ’08-’09 timeframe. But that whole slowness as the new downtime… It used to be that, hey, getting your site and keeping it online, that was the challenge. Now it’s about making sure it’s fast. That was in the back of our head in the ’08-’09 timeframe. I think that now it’s a lot easier, it’s a lot more accessible for people to have a really awesome web experience.

Jason: Speed is an interesting observation. You were just trying to keep the servers up in 2007-, 2008, 2009. Then this incredible thing happened that consumer web products would scale. I guess because of network effects or whatever. Just tremendously, so fast. We kept seeing this concept of things becoming popular and they went away. That’s something where people have gotten much more sophisticated on how to scale. Haven’t they? The whole industry.

Jeremy: Yeah. There’s a lot more people that are going through that, “I was ten users yesterday now I’m 1,000. I’m going to be 10 or a million next month.” It takes a huge amount of thought and process of how users interact, how you still maintain that kind of intimate experience. And how you just scale. The technology side alone is a really challenging thing. Now there’s a lot more tools that make that stuff happen.

Jason: You guys at some point also moved into mail delivery?

Jeremy: Uh-huh.

Jason: What made you add that service? Was it consumer demand? Was it you thought this is a place we are good at providing infrastructure as a service? Let me segue into that.

Jeremy: It was kind of a mix. We had run a bunch of consumer services. Our consumer services, our adage had been, we’re offering all the things your internet service provider should do but just doesn’t wasn’t to. Cause it’s not big enough or it’s not sexy enough or it just erodes their margins. It was kind of one of those. We had a bunch of email technology services where if you’re running a mail server at home, we had some things that would make that easier. As the DNS product was trying to take off we were thinking about other things that were performance oriented. We wanted to do something that was also a little nontraditional. We didn’t want to go and kind of be a number two in a space or kind of challenge convention. I think that we could but it more interesting for us to kind of blaze a different path. There’s some other people who are doing email delivery or kind of messaging in general.

Jason: SendGrid, MailChimp.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Jason: A bunch of folks who do it as well yeah.

Jeremy: We saw a lot of our customers who were trying to build web applications were trying to scale. One of the problems that they kept running into was they could send 1,000 messages to 1,000 different users but when the got to 10K or 100K they started getting blacklisted. We also saw some of our best customers hiring people that were email deliverability people. So we said, “That’s an interesting product.” We launched that a couple of years ago.

Jason: How has that done? How do you look at the future? Adding services or just being the best at a small set of services. It’s got to be a constant… You must have constantly people inside the company saying, “Let’s add these 20 things.” Everybody’s got a different idea of what the next big thing will be. You’ve got this reality of being number one in DNS, being one of the top players in email. How do you as a CEO balance expansion vs. being the best?

Jeremy: That’s a great philosophical question. I wish I has a great answer for you.

Jason: I just want to know because I’m asking myself the same question.

Jeremy: I think that’s something the company goes through different cycles. You try a couple of things you see which one work, you see which things don’t work. You get rid of the things that don’t work. You have to be not shy about that. This year will probably be the year that we start thinking about what are the next things. We think DNS and email have some great runway ahead of them but the mix of products… It’s easy for anybody to offer ten products. But, I think it’s challenging to offer two. I’d say this is a 200 person company. It’s pretty tough to get two products really really polished and really right. I think as a company we’re probably not ready for a third or fourth yet.

Jason: Yeah.

Jeremy: But the things that we do very well, we’re performance oriented and we keep things running. Whether it was… we’re not going to be a microblogging site but I think that we have the capabilities to run that type of technology really well. That’s the landscape. It depends on who our customer base is.

Jason: You didn’t raise any funding for this business when you started. Or did you raise a friends and family…

Jeremy: We had those donations guys.

Jason: You had the donation guys.

Jeremy: They gave us $30 at a time. It was Cheesecake Factory in Newton.

Jason: So you basically built the business off of this revenue? At what point did you start coming up on the radar of venture capitalists or angel investors? Cause when I met you guys… Kyle, who worked with you, emailed me a year ago. You guys had never raised money. I was absolutely confounded by this. When did you first come on the radar of investors?

Jeremy: It was probably ’06-’08. Where enough people were starting to say, “This infrastructure space is kind of a fascinating area it seems like where there’s a lot of growth.” We had the first conversation, our first exposure about what life might be like. I think we were also having enough time and cycles to be able to reach and talk with other internet companies. We were also thinking about what we wanted to do. So we were always talking to our customers, who were technology people, were venture backed. So we always had kind of what that understanding of what that world may look like. But, being a donation originally funded service it made us extremely frugal. We had to make sure our business model worked, kind of, a profitability and cash flow basis.

Jason: But it was working fabulously. You, still, for half a decade shunned raising any money.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Jason: What was the decision there? Was there people in the company saying, “Why don’t we just take down a $5M round and make life super easy and spend a bunch of money? But you didn’t do it. Was that just you were scared the VCs might screw up the business? Or we simply don’t need the money cause we’re profitable.

Jeremy: Yeah. It’s kind of all those things. All the critical reasons you wouldn’t take… Why a successful growing, happy company wouldn’t need any outside capital. There were certainly things we could do differently. We could probably grow faster. We could take on more products. We could go after different types of customers. But, really when we came to it it was fun and interesting for the business to keep going in its capital structure. Probably the other thing was there was a lot of carnage after the .com bust. When we were hiring people, they kept saying, “Pay me cash. I don’t want any equity compensation whatsoever.” So I guess that we have to figure out how to live within our means. We can’t do stock options or other things. Cause people, they would be leaving the company.

Jason: You were just in college during the .com boom.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Jason: You didn’t actually experience it as a founder. It informed a lot of your thinking because of the people you were hiring were coming in licking their wounds.

Jeremy: Yeah. I had friends who were running companies or who were at companies. They said, “Oh. Well, you can get away with paying nothing to people. You just give them stock options.” Then we started doing interviews for our first engineering people. That was not how it went.

Jason: Yeah. They were like, “Stock options are worthless.”

Jeremy: They were worthless. They’d have the tax liability and no job. That was tough for a lot of people.

Jason: Yeah. A lot of people go whipsawed. So the company starts making significant millions of dollars a year and is significantly profitable at some point. You finally decide you’re going to actually raise capital and form a board. Fast forwarding ten years into the business?

Jeremy: Yeah. That gives it probably the thought process, let’s not do.

Jason: Right.

Jeremy: Probably last year we said, “What do we want to do? We should have some sort of governance or accountability. We were starting to get to 100 people or so and starting to… There were decisions that we could make that would certainly affect a lot of lives. So we thought we should surround ourselves with smarter people. The decision to raise funding was kind of a risk calculation and a risk calibration for one of the other co-founders.

Jason: Yeah. So you go to market for your A round as it were. As a ten year old company with… One would assume if you have 100 employees, millions or tens of millions of dollars in revenue. What’s that like as a founder going out and saying, “OK. We’re going to raise capital?”

Jeremy: You get a lot of choices but really it comes down to people. We had been in contact with a number of people that had reached out to us and were friendly. I had always taken the Zappos approach where you give everybody a half hour. So we knew kind of what the personalities were like.

Jason: What’s the Zappos approach?

Jeremy: If you… Maybe I shouldn’t say this. He’s very open about talking or meetings or whatever.

Jason: Right.

Jeremy: He always believes in spending a half hour with anyone.

Jason: Spending a half hour with anyone is Tony’s approach?

Jeremy: Even if it’s something you have no idea how it will…

Jason: Turn out.

Jeremy: … end up, turn out. It’s still worth time. You still need somebody else.

Jason: So you meet a ton of VCs and you decide to raise a little bit of money. Tell us about that process. Where did you wind up?

Jeremy: So it was at the Nantucket Conference, June of last year. We ran into some people from North Bridge and hit it off really well. I have to say that there was a little bit of chasing back and forth. The first time they actually came up here, I had a prior engagement. I didn’t think that it was actually still going to happen. I thought it had gotten cancelled or whatever. Then a couple of other people, Kyle and Gray on the management team, again hit it off really well. It was a good time for the co-founder kind of reallocating risk.

Jason: Yeah. One of the other founders left and was able to sell some of their shares. Now you’ve made… Now you’ve basically, in a way, put the company on a new trajectory. Which is high growth and professionalizing as you said. Just making it more stable. How has that worked out? How has that transition been for somebody who hasn’t had any, essentially, oversight. You’ve been this standard business. A normal business in the normal world not a venture backed business. To add that sort of dynamic, how has that been for you as a CEO?

Jeremy: Well, I like to say we’re still in the honeymoon period.

Jason: Yeah.

Jeremy: It’s 4 or 5 months later and it’s still doing pretty well. The company continues to perform well. Which I think is important for any venture backed company. I think that we take a pretty conservative approach to how we do things. That helps but it’s been a pretty addictive process. There are certainly things I had to learn. Running a board meeting is a fascinating new study for me.

Jason: How so?

Jeremy: The managing of information, what do you talk about, what’s the agenda? What do other people want to talk about? How does that all fit together? Making sure there’s the right chorus of voices. Then it’s not just managing the board it’s also managing the management team’s expectations. Do I get to know this information? Are we talking about this? I have a lot of interest in this particular decision. How does this other person that I haven’t met influence that decision? There’s a lot more back and forth kind of the nuances.

Jason: How do you prioritize? You’re the CEO. There’s a million things you could talk about at a board meeting. Right? So how do you think about it? What is the optimal board meeting and the purpose of it? You know?

Jeremy: I guess for me, how I thought about structuring it is, what are the things that are in my head that we have to think about? Maybe the time scale is the best thing. If I’m an engineer I’m thinking about what’s the scrum that I’m working on? What’s the sprint that I’m working on? It’s a two week cycle. If I’m a manger maybe it’s a couple of months.

Jason: Right.

Jeremy: If I’m a director maybe it’s the core, couple quarter planning. Then you kind of go up the chain. It’s probably on… There’s a calendar schedule in my head or there’s some sort of 4 quarter or 16 quarter type of time frame that I’m thinking about. So the things that matter that impact those quarters… Certainly the operational piece. That’s how I started calibrating.

Jason: As you move up the view of the battlefield, as it were, sort of widens. The time horizon. What are we really trying to accomplish here on a multi-year, not just multi-quarter, not just multi-week, not just multi-day basis?

Jeremy: Yeah. It’s been a challenge for me. I’m spending time on that and not time on the tactical side. Which means other people hopefully are spending time on the tactical side. There’s a kind of huge shift…

Jason: You’re fighting the war and other people have to fight the battles.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Jason: Does it make it less enjoyable for you? As a founder do you find, “My God. I’m spending so much time up here in this tent with the 10,000 foot view I, kind of, miss being in the trenches?”

Jeremy: Yeah. There’s a little bit of that. I think the lieutenants also probably like that. Then they’re more the field commander and they get to make more of the tactical decisions. So we hope that the strategy and the tactics line up.

Jason: You’ve got a really wonderful culture here at the company. How much of that just happened? How much of it have you sort of worked on and curated, as it were?

Jeremy: I’d say that putting culture first was something we did really early on. It came from, we graduated college and we were like, “Oh. We’re on our own health insurance.” I can tell you, there are a lot of schemes… and not just over health insurance but on all sorts of employee incentive programs that you can skew stuff by pay and by age really well. But, if you are young and you’re paid, kind of, on average with the rest of your team there’s not that many things you can do. So we came up with a semi-egalitarian kind of system. We really thought about treating people well and keeping them. Because you lease talent, you don’t own it. So it was a very deliberate process in the beginning of thinking about culture and maintaining it. We found that that was actually time well spent. We were thinking about… Certainly in a company that’s growing. You’re constantly rehiring people because the company they signed up for last year isn’t the company that they signed up for this year.

Jason: Oh that’s a fascinating concept. Yeah. I came in when there was 50 people now there’s a 100. There’s all these people between me and the decisions that used to be made. Wow. It’s just much different. You have to go check and make sure, take their temperature to make sure they’re still into it?

Jeremy: Yeah. It’s a lot easier for me because I’m supposed to be making the decisions that matter to people. The people have gotten… There’s more layers of management or they’re working on a narrower piece of technology. I mean, there are people here who were the 7th or 8th person at the company. That’s a huge challenge. But, they still have a great insight into the business and they’re still great contributors. Having that calibration is something we spend a lot of time on.

Jason: I suppose being in a smaller tech hub you have less turnover to worry about? Would I be correct in assuming that?

Jeremy: Yeah.

Jason: Compared to somebody in Boston or New York or the Valley?

Jeremy: Yeah. I say we get a benefit from that. The cost structure we get a little bit of a value of and being the company we are… I mean if we were in Boston I’d say we would be competitive. I think in the kind of 50 miles north of Boston we do get a better pick at talent.

Jason: The lifestyle up here is delightful for people who don’t get to live outside of Boston. That’s got to be a draw in a way. That you can come up here and actually own a home on a reasonable salary. A nice home. Have a great lifestyle and no commute essentially. Or like a modest commute as it were. How do you leverage those sort of assets? Are you going to people at Boston companies and saying, “Your commuting already into the city and it sucks. Your living in a shoebox in the city. You having a family, have a family out here and work at a company that’s really stable.”

Jeremy: Yeah. That works really well. The reverse commute. Somebody might live half way between Boston and Manchester but it’s a lot quicker to drive north in the morning than it is to drive south. So I think all those things as a company has really helped. As the company has looked for more professional talent it’s been a great thing for us because we have been able to continue to grow and find the people that we really want. It’s still competitive for a tech town. I’m not going to lie to you there.

Jason: How many people have you hired in the past year and how many are you hiring in the next year?

Jeremy: We hired a little under 100 last year. We’ll probably hire about 100 people this year.

Jason: So you were at 100, went to 200 and now you’re going to 300? Sort of, ballpark?

Jeremy: Yeah.

Jason: How does a company change going from 100 to 200? Do you actually… Are you actually able to remember everybody in the building name? Are you actually able to know… As the CEO and founder are you actually able to really bond with people? Or at a certain point does that go away? How does that affect your ability to lead?

Jeremy: I guess the question would be what doesn’t change? Cause pretty much everything changes. I was actually spending some time with Gail Goodman from ConstantContact yesterday. We were talking about this. She’s at a 1,200 person company.

Jason: 1,200?

Jeremy: 1,200. I mean, I have intimate relationships with a lot of people in a comparative 6th the size.

Jason: Yeah.

Jeremy: You try to be… I love the dealing with people, working with people, learning people’s background. Trading stories. I mean this is ultimately a social endeavor. We’re a company. We’re a group of individuals that work in a collective so… You still get to do that. You just don’t get to do it with everyone. Last year I left for paternity leave, second kid. We were about 110. I come back and we’re at like 144. That was the time in which I didn’t know everybody’s name.

Jason: It’s a really weird kind of experience to be like wait, there’s 30 people’s names I’ve got to go learn. “What do you do here?”

Jeremy: What do you do?

Jason: You meet somebody in the kitchen like, “What are you doing at my company?”

Jeremy: I’ve seen your name on a spreadsheet. That’s probably not that funny to say to somebody. “Oh. I’ve seen your name on a spreadsheet for a while.” Maybe that’s not the best way to introduce yourself but…

Jason: It is true. It becomes a little bit surreal for you. This was done out of your dorm room.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Jason: That’s got to be a very surreal feeling.

Jeremy: It is. I think the only thing that’s made it something the mind can actually grock is each year it’s changed incrementally. So if it was dorm room yesterday and then it was… The people that have the super hyper growth man I really feel for them. Each year it gets incrementally a little bit different. Last year it was not knowing everybody. This year it’s how does the management team and directors, how do we do departments? So each year there’s kind of a theme or some kind of role change.

Jason: But, you seem to be very good at reaching out and finding mentors and people who’ve done these things before. With North Bridge you added Rick who’s a pretty famous founder. Has he been a great mentor to you?

Jeremy: He has.

Jason: So talk a little bit about Rick and his role.

Jeremy: Rick Philip. So he’s done a couple of companies. The last one it’s been in the news. Probably not in the most positive light. 123 Systems.

Jason: The battery company?

Jeremy: The battery company.

Jason: A very famous, incredibly innovative and tremendously successful. Even though it has a bad outcome. I guess it shut down or went bankrupt or something.

Jeremy: Yeah. Asset sale of some form I think.

Jason: Yeah.

Jeremy: But he was there kind of day one. He was there at 1,700 people. That whole like how does a person grow? How does a person evolve? Where does he spend his time? Talked a lot about the kind of human nature of it. I think that’s… there’s certainly operations, there’s certainly product, there’s technology things, there’s finance things. But, really you have to enjoy people and the kind of messiness of people. In their business they had such an international component to what they did. People were going back and forth between here and China where they were manufacturing the batteries. He talked about the huge toll that that had on both the staff and on him and his family. That was a tough thing. That’s something that probably doesn’t get the fair love that it deserves.

Jason: Yeah.

Jeremy: That’s part of the challenge of running and growing a company is the travel, is the human relationships. It’s those things.

Jason: The stress. Just the toll it takes on a person. That kind of growth equals problems, equals stress, equals having to solve it. I mean, we’re seeing this discussion come up more and more often. Sadly because we’ve seen a couple people kill themselves in the industry. People are making this sort of jump, “Well the stress got to them or the pressure got to them.” We don’t know if that’s exactly the case but nobody can deny that being a founder in a high growth company is extraordinarily stressful.

Jeremy: You just keep saying it’s fun. That way you completely bypass the stress.

Jason: So just denial is the best strategy.

Jeremy: That’s right.

Jason: That’s what you found?

Jeremy: Tomorrow will be better than today. No. I mean…

Jason: How do you manage your own?

Jeremy: There is a huge amount of stress. I guess the rules around it I guess is… People will always ascribe things that they are annoyed about. Decisions like, “Hey, we’re going to do this font face.” Or, “This isn’t going to make it into the product.” Or whatever. They always think that there’s malice behind it. I think that that’s one thing that I can say, “People are making the best decisions with the information that they have and the context they have.”

Jason: Right.

Jeremy: Sometimes you wish people had a different context. Like, they should have my context and they would maybe make a better decision. But you have to really just look at the long term. There’s things along the way that you may not like but how important are they in the grand scheme of things?

Jason: Yeah. People in a vacuum, it’s interesting you point out, will assume, “My God. I’m in this high growth company and this decision was made. How could management make that decision? It’s so obvious to me from this angle…” their own personal angle… “that this is the right decision.” In fact, there are many ways in which to solve the same problem. So just like there’s 5 different routes between here and whatever city. There might be 4 or 5 different ways to solve a problem. You’ve just chosen one. It’s not that you’re negating the other 4 as a potentiality. You have to pick one and keep moving forward. I think that’s where maybe culture can play a role in sort of smoothing out my route was not the one picked.

Jeremy: Yeah. It’s the trust in saying, “Hey. People are trying to make good decisions.” We’ve done a couple swaps. We had our CTO and our Chief Revenue Officer swap roles for a day. You know. Great perspective for both of them to have and their teams. That when you start building that context around people. Like, “Oh, OK. I understand that if I want a feature it doesn’t just show up next week. The same thing of why do customers always want the things that aren’t built.” You start doing that kind of cross education. It just adds to a more trusting environment.

Jason: What’s your take on the internet and it’s sovereignty, stability…? We’re seeing so many people looking at this beautiful oasis that was built and trying to control it now. Whether it’s the UN talking about different controls to put in place, governments outside of The United States, The United States government. I mean, can the internet remain an independent, free, open platform? Or, does it feel like to you, having studied on an infrastructure basis. We’re headed in a direction of control. Maybe it’s not going to be as free willing?

Jeremy: I hope that it keeps its independence. To say it’s completely independent now is probably… Even in The United States there are things you can do on the internet that you can’t do… for what we would say as the right things in other countries would say, “Those are freedoms that you’re taking away.” So you get this really interesting… You can’t line them up because it’s not a continuum. It’s a very multifaceted conversation about right of privacy and right to public knowledge. Different countries have different calibrations for how that works. I think the internet and ICANN it’s been a fascinating learning lesson for how does a nation-state model that we’re used to… I’m a resident of The United States so I live under US law but I’m also part of a global internet. What rules kind of define me if I’m interacting with someone from Sweden or from Russia or from China? That’s a tough question to try to untangle and unravel. Certainly in The United States you have internet service providers that have different rules. A lot of the core ARPANET that morphed into the internet is based in the US. So the Department of Commerce and the US government have a sizable roll still to this day. Kind of from an influence perspective. It’s an ongoing conversation. Certainly with the new GTLD round that’s going on it’s a fascinating thing to watch.

Jason: Yeah. So explain the new Global Top Level Domains. ICANN has approved you can have any ‘dot’ anything.

Jeremy: .jason.

Jason: I could have .jason. Why anybody would have that I have no idea.

Jeremy: Are you applying for one?

Jason: I am not. But I did think about it. There’ll be a .yahoo, a .google obviously and .anything. Somebody will control that. They pay $250K for a license or something and they have to prove that they can actually maintain it, I guess. What impact is that going to have on the internet? Do you agree with it? Where does it stand? A lot questions there.

Jeremy: So ICANN is going through the first time they have to answer a lot of these questions. I think the last real round that they rolled out with real top level domains was probably 2001 or 2006. .jobs, .arrow, .museum. Not ones that had a lot of pick up. They were generic top level domains. Now we’re seeing more brand ones.

Jason: Nobody can even spell .museum.

Jeremy: M. E. U.

Jason: So that’s dead on arrival.

Jeremy: But there’s still some technology reasons. The top level domains, they’re all in US ASCII. If you are native chinese speaker you have to use a character set to denote a domain name… That probably shouldn’t be the case. We should have some sort of inoperable language scheme. But that’s one of the reasons why people have been interested in the new top level domains and brands.

Jason: So we may see a top level domain with a non… They’re ASCII, I guess?

Jeremy: Non ASCII characters, yeah.

Jason: Non ASCII characters. So, what would be an example of a non ASCII character? Right now you couldn’t have certain things. You couldn’t have a tilde in a domain name.

Jeremy: Nope.

Jason: Or a slash, obviously.

Jeremy: Or you could have a tilde but it’s still .com. So there are a few top level domains now that are more experimental of being able to have non US ASCII characters. Through a scheme called Punycode. The browser hides away the character set. English is not the most predominantly spoken language on the planet. So it kind of makes sense that if this is a communication mechanism that other language is supported other than just english.

Jason: What impact will it have if we have thousands or tens of thousands of new subdomains? No wait. We would call them top level domains, TLDs. Is that going to damage the .com franchise and the value of them? Or is it going to be just noise and not have any impact?

Jeremy: Nobody knows. It’s probably somewhere in the middle between noise and having a huge impact. I think, a lot of people in a regional context, to be able to communicate better with their user base. Whether it’s, you know, a brand that’s able to communicate with their user base. You can start thinking yourself, “Hey. I’m a US citizen but I also have an affinity or relationship with this global brand.” Being able to have those conversations, I think you see governments be a little weary about that because they see that direct connection starting to change.

Jason: Ah. So the people in China reading The New York Times is sort of the classic example. Gosh, you can’t really work on that. Anonymity on the internet? Most people believe they have anonymity on the internet. As an infrastructure person you know very well that it’s probably a bit of an illusion.

Jeremy: Yeah. It’s a little false.

Jason: A little bit false. I mean, people can be traced and tracked very easily. It’s very hard to be truly anonymous on the internet, correct or not?

Jeremy: No. It’s pretty easy. The people that do hide their privacy, it’s through obfuscation. It’s through moving stuff around. It’s not through the kind of real I’m anonymous.

Jason: Yeah. So do you think that’s going to change? We’ve seen in Korea, China, and some of those places, to sign up for a Twitter account… or their version of Twitter or Facebook… you need to put in your social security number. You really have to be an actual individual. This idea of pseudonyms is gone away in some societies. Do you think that’s going to be sort of baked into the internet?

Jeremy: I don’t think so. More and more it’s going to be different. This is where it’s different. Because The United States, it’s a fairly… There’s major ISPs but there’s a lot of choices about how you connect to the internet and there’s different ways of doing it. In other countries you don’t really get as many choices. So they’re more government regime. They’re more my way or the highway. I think, as time goes on, there will be different ways for those people to connect. It’s a generational thing. Everybody wants progress to happen really quick but to have a completely democratic internet infrastructure where you can say anything and do anything that’s… For The United States, I think, that is a lot easier for citizenry to kind of grab ahold of.

Jason: Yeah.

Jeremy: I think it’s a lot more challenging. You see it in like the Arab Springs and other things. It’s like, “Wow. There’s this way that we can communicate.” How does that play out? It’s a very different type of technology. To have something that’s, not so much advanced as it is different. How do people cling to that? I think that’s… You know, governments are going to wrestle with that for a long time. Do we require information? What if we don’t require information? Then getting things right and wrong and trying to clean up after the fact.

Jason: Let’s talk a little bit… It’s sort of a segue with the governments. Espionage and criminal activity on the internet. Because you’re in the routing business, I would assume some amount of shenanigans with an open service… you mentioned earlier… occur. How is that changed over a decade of you running the service? Ten years ago, did you get X amount of law enforcement people showing up in your offices and now you get 100X? Is it more sophisticated? Chinese hackers, russian hackers. All this kind of stuff that’s going on. How much does that impact an infrastructure company today?

Jeremy: There’s still a good amount of noise of people that are doing bad things. There’s different levels of sophistication. We would classify them by age. You get your 16 year old. They’re just like casual recreational attacker. Then you get your 18 year old who’s a little bit more sophisticated. Probably has a particular target in mind. Then you get the people who are really organized. They have a particular agenda, they’re funded, they know what they’re doing. I’d say, that the people who are organized that number has probably gotten a lot higher. Who know what they’re doing. Who have a particular agenda in mind.

Jason: You’re not seeing the casual… It’s not just a casual drive-by, I’m a script kitty or I’m a bonafide hacker who figured out a couple of the things I could do that are damaging or just entertaining for me. Damaging to others, denial of service attacks, etc… Now it’s coordinated. Who are those people? Russian hackers to chinese government.

Jeremy: Our technology… Kind of how our technology’s gotten used used to be one of the only ways you could have this infrastructure. We were a coordination method. So you go infect a bunch of machines then you’d have this one host that you tell all these machines to connect to. Then we were basically routing people to the control center. Then they would go march off and send off their attacks or whatever. As people said and found that there were these central hubs they could go disconnect them. It was like cutting the head off of a beast. Well they’ve gotten smarter and more organized. Now they’re more splinter cells and they have like these little hives and little buckets. So that way you can’t just shut them off kind of all for one. There’s been a whole bunch of like the Stuxnets and Conficker. There’s been a long evolution about how these things sort of progressed.

Jason: How at risk is the infrastructure? We have seen when EC2 goes down at Amazon, you know, half the internet sites go off because people don’t even understand how to have redundant data centers it seems. Or just haven’t taken the time to do it.

Jeremy: I know. It’s such a crime in this day and age for outages to happen.

Jason: It is a little weird. Isn’t it? That a Tumblr or Twitter could go down completely. It makes no sense that one of these sites would go down completely because you could mirror the entire site to a RackSpace or to another provider. Why does that still happen? Is it just that people haven’t had the time to…

Jeremy: Yeah. I think so.

Jason: So busy scaling?

Jeremy: So busy scaling that they haven’t thought about the other option.

Jason: Why doesn’t that just happen automatically? It seems to me that the internet… Or is that something we’ll expect? This sort of redundant cloud?

Jeremy: I think that will continue to get better. As now people can be able to spend time on it. But, going back to the attack stuff which is like, is the internet at risk? You know. There’s always like the next greatest threat. Just like any illness or flu, you know. We’re just one step away. There are certainly ways that people can take down the internet.

Jason: There are to this day?

Jeremy: I think so. I think if people… If you had enough smart people they could think about how to take the internet down but then they couldn’t do anything else.

Jason: They wouldn’t be able to use the internet. They would have basically… Yeah. They would be trapped on the island just like everybody else. There would be no infrastructure for them to fly around.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Jason: It’s almost like a self correcting mechanism. Do you think another government could take down… Theoretically, chinese or the russians could take down each other down or America down. You know, the infrastructure, the DNS routing. If you just absolutely assaulted that sustained, would they actually be able to turn the internet off in The United States? Or would we be able to shut them off at the routers.

Jeremy: Yeah. I don’t think it would play out like that. I think what would happen… We’ve said that the internet from kind of military and commercial purposes is called this dual purpose. So you have military traffic, you have commercial traffic. We actually kind of like the commercial traffic. We like to be able to use Twitter. We like to be able to purchase things online. We like to be able to regulate utility grids and other things. I mean, yeah, there are ways you could do regional types of damage. But from a really sustained manner… I’m not a security person. But this is just me going out on a limb. I think we enjoy the technology. Even the people who would do these attacks. There’s not that many super permanent things you could do. So it’s only as long as people are pulling a switch.

Jason: Yeah. To actually do a sustained attack would require sustaining the attack.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Jason: Eventually you’d find those people and be able to stop them, I guess.

Jeremy: Yeah. Those things happen. They happen on a regular basis. Some of them make the news, some of them don’t. Sometimes it will touch something and it will kind of get some public media play but… For the most part it’s a real pretty robust… I mean it was designed to be. It was designed to be robust in the event of nuclear war from the cold war days.

Jason: Yeah.

Jeremy: That was the whole design. I think that’s one of the reasons why it’s been such a successful thing. Is that you can have a pretty global, pretty universally addressable. I could talk to anybody in the world over the internet. But there’s still regional dialects, regional rule sets. Some people blocking content. Some people shutting things off. Countries occasionally disconnecting off the internet because they don’t like what’s going on on YouTube. That happens.

Jason: Yeah.

Jeremy: But eventually everything kind of corrects.

Jason: We’ve heard for a decade about this sort of internet 2 and higher level internet happening. Is the internet that we currently use just evolving so well that there’s not going to be a next generation internet or will we see a next generation internet with a new IP system, with a new routing system, etc…?

Jeremy: Yeah. A lot of the people that go to the IATFs and talk about the protocols is, they say they did such a wonderful job and it’s almost a crime that they did the thing with such a long futuristic view. We’ve been talking about IP exhaustion. We’re running out of v4 addresses on the internet and that’s going to stop commerce of whatever. People just figure out ways to adapt to it. All these proposals for all these kind of future internets have been kicking around for 20, 30 years. Maybe eventually we’ll get there. But I think a lot of the innovation is going to happen more on the applications. How we interface with technology. I think that the infrastructure that was designed was a lot of good work that people put in over a number of decades. We’re still exploiting kind of the things you can do on the internet. Which is a really cool thing. DNS and email actually are 20, 30 year old technologies. We’re still trying to figure out how to push the envelope with it. There’s still a lot of life left on it.

Jason: Broadband in the US. That sort of next step function. We’re seeing it in wireless, which is fascinating, LTE.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Jason: That has taken over the… That’s the traffic story of the internet today.

Jeremy: Yeah. People are making bets it’s mobile. That’s how we’re going to interact. You just see how people are using technology. It’s not… People are still using laptops. They’re still using desktops. But it’s the mobile devices. That’s where the infrastructure improvements are going to be.

Jason: It’s already for broadband… Do you think that will become the way broadband gets rolled out in The United States in a big way? Or do you think we’re going to actually see fiber to the home kind of stuff?

Jeremy: I don’t know. There’s certainly theoretical limits on wireless but the wireless technology… If we said as a country in the US if we wanted to do wireless and we want to do wi-fi like that, you know, we could probably do that. We’d probably get the video quality that we’d want. Maybe fiber isn’t that important. But, somebody else probably has that spreadsheet that can tell you better.

Jason: Yeah. It’s fascinating to watch the Google Fiber experiment. Which doesn’t seem like very much of an experiment to me. That seems to be the start of a roll out plan. They’ve already talked about a second city…

Jeremy: Yeah.

Jason: … being added. I mean it sort of goes back to what you said earlier in the conversation, that there’s so many options nobody can really control this. We’re going to see another level of ISP, you know, in our lifetime.

Jeremy: Yeah. I think so. Going to Google, they’ve done wi-fi in towns before. They did a big push in Mountain View and they did one in San Francisco. I’m guessing that they’ve learned that’s not the way to keep doing it. We’re going to do fiber. So it’s a fascinating thing to see how internet service providers are starting to roll out. Here in New Hampshire, Maine and Vermont Verizon sold their wire line business to FairPoint. They said, “To get the rural community we’re going to do the Wisp method.”

Jason: Which is?

Jeremy: Wireless internet service provider.

Jason: Yeah, yeah.

Jeremy: It’s kind of point to point. They have a repeater in the home. There’s still a good portion of the rural community that doesn’t have broadband access. Which

Jason: Is fascinating.

Jeremy: 2013. Wow people don’t have broadband?

Jason: Yeah. You know in Australia they did a whole thing where they essentially made broadband… They had so much money in tax because they sell so much minerals to China. They had so much money they said let’s just spend a bunch of money getting everybody in rural places onto broadband. They would spend $5K to get like somebody who lived on a farm broadband. Because they could. That’s pretty… I don’t know if you followed that.

Jeremy: Yeah. Somebody who used to be the former head of ICANN went out and was talking about this huge project and kind of helped to roll it out. If you could spend $5K per person for broadband that’s great.

Jason: Well there’s 70M homes here in the US.

Jeremy: That’s a couple of pennies.

Jason: It’s a couple of pennies but it seems a lot less than a couple of wars that we’ve had so it seems like it could work.

Jeremy: But smart people made good decisions about that money.

Jason: They did?

Jeremy: I’m just… I’m…

Jason: Yeah. I don’t think we’re ever going to see that money back. It doesn’t seem like it’s going to work that well. Listen continued success. I should note I joined the board of the company. You guys reached out to me. So I was a user of the product for my home setup. Again, I’m one of those home users. I wanted to be able to route around my IPs on my security cameras and knew the company from that. You guys reached out to me, I don’t know, was it a year ago Kyle or so? Something like a year ago we met and I couldn’t believe what a tremendous business. You guys asked me to join the board and help you guys on this journey. I did that. I’m actually here for the board meeting. I guess our second board meeting. Post funding of the company. It’s been really great to get to know the company and watch it grow. If people wanted to get involved what’s the ways that they can get involved? You’re looking for talent. I know that.

Jeremy: Send me an email at jeremy@dyn.com.

Jason: That simple?

Jeremy: That simple.

Jason: Just get… I always tell people always first name@the company. Even Steve Jobs, he was stevej.

Jeremy: Yeah.

Jason: It was so great that he responded to a couple of my emails. I kind of feel like those emails are like…

Jeremy: You should print them out and frame them.

Jason: That’s exactly what… I have… Steve Jobs responding to my email is like having De Vinci or somebody… Imagine like De Vinci returned your letter, you know. Or whatever, Einstein. This is like going to go down in history as one of the most important people of the century and I… He responded to my email. I could print… It was like a one line, “I’ll take care of it.”

Jeremy: That’s cool.

Jason: They kicked Engadget out of one of the Keynotes. I had met Steve Jobs at a couple of events. My blogger said, “We got kicked out of the Steve Keynote tomorrow. He’s going to launch the iPhone or whatever.” So I email him. It’s like 1 o’clock in the morning before he’s giving the Keynote to do the iPhone. He says, “I’ll take care of it.”

Jeremy: And he did?

Jason: And he did.

Jeremy: That was great.

Jason: At like one in the morning, he was like the Engadget guys could come to the… Somebody in marketing had been upset that he… They wrote something and then they kicked them out of the Keynote. Then Steve just… you know.

Jeremy: That was great. Cause there was just so many stories about him being an inaccessible person. Even though running Apple and doing all sorts of things there’s still so many stories about him corresponding with people and taking care of even the very… I’m not saying that was minutia but certainly he was very involved.

Jason: The details.

Jeremy: The details, yeah. I think that made a huge difference.

Jason: The details are super important as a CEO. The details of the things that are going wrong… This is the other thing, getting back to the CEO stress. Anything that’s going wrong with the business comes to your desk. So you hire 200 smart people here and the reward you get for all this great success that you’ve had is whatever they cant’t figure out comes to you everyday.

Jeremy: Chief janitor.

Jason: It’s like wow. The coffee machine sucks and the parking is a problem. What are the problems that you’re facing now? Is it the coffee machine and the parking problems? Or is it the fundamental core issues with the business? What do you get more of?

Jeremy: Oh. It’s a mix. You want to delegate… You want to make sure you delegate both of them. Both the details they could drive you nuts. You try to get people in line with it. But it’s also the strategy ones where you want to delegate both. We have a new coffee machine. Parking this morning… Cause we’re having a board meeting this morning. We have a few people driving in. I was panicking because nobody ever listens to me about parking. So I asked our management team to park away from the building. I walked by and all the spaces were completely open.

Jason: Awesome. Finally.

Jeremy: The first time in two years anyone has ever listened to me about parking.

Jason: This is the conclusion I’ve come to. Like when people are complaining about things that have absolutely nothing to do with the absolute fundamentals of the business that means the fundamentals of the business is doing very well. That’s great. So I just cherish those moments. Like really we have a problem with the bathroom because, you know, the soap is dripping and it’s making a mess on the floor. I will get on it. We problem solved, we brainstormed and we put a bucket underneath the automatic… There was a problem with the soap making a mess. So we got the automatic soap dispenser was then causing a problem because you time it wrong and soap would be on the floor. So now there’s an automatic soap dispenser with the bucket under it. I’m assuming it’s the same thing in the ladies room as well? Anyway. There is obviously… I’ve been alerted the automatic soap machine has been destroyed or stolen or otherwise vandalized. When I promise my team at Inside.com, when I get back to the office of ThisWeekIn I will address the soap issues.

Jeremy: It’s like median voter theorem. It’s the people in the middle… If the things in the middle are these really superficial kinds of things it’s better than running out of cash, not having customers.

Jason: Yeah. Not making payroll, having a competitor kick your ass. These are the other problems. Or the servers being down which thanks to DYN they’re never down.

Jeremy: Never down.

Jason: Keep them running. Hey, listen. Jeremy is was a great interview. Continued success. We’ll see you all next time on ThisWeekIn Startups.

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