What’s an email worth?

October 26,2017

What’s an email worth?


In Scott Farquhar’s case, $3.5 billion. But only because he replied to it.

In 2002, 22-year old Australian Mike Cannon-Brookes decided to send an email out to some of his student friends during their final year of college: “Do any of you want to start up a company with me?”

Everyone ignored the email except Scott, who replied “sure”.

With no other takers, and a $10,000 limit on Mike’s credit card, the two started a software company straight after college.

Seeing their friends go and get jobs with companies instead of joining them, Mike says “our only goal was actually to pay ourselves as much as they were getting paid, which was $48,000 a year. So that was the goal of starting.”

With that goal came one principle: a "high commitment to legendary service.” Thinking of the Greek Titan, Atlas, MIke says “Atlas was a naughty boy who was banished to hold up the sky. We felt that was the original legendary service effort - providing a service to humanity.”

“We turned it into an adjective. Sort of an ‘Atlassian’ effort.”

So they named their company ‘Atlassian’.

Atlassian grew, with products like Jira, Confluence and HipChat. It grew to over 60,000 customers and over 2,000 staff.

As Scott says, “Over time, our website morphed and our company morphed and we moved from a support company to a one product company, and now we’re a software portfolio company

Two years ago Atlassian listed on NASDAQ and, at $4 billion, becoming the biggest tech company in Australian and the biggest US tech IPO of 2015

Then, this week, Atlassian released its first-quarter report, showing 42% year-on-year growth. The shares jumped, now valuing the company at over $11 billion.

Both Scott and Mike’s net worth have grown by another $600 million each this week.

Plenty has happened on their journey, but it all began with a reply to an email. A reply that today gives both of them a net worth of over $3.5 billion.

Are you like Mike, and when there’s no opportunity knocking you build your own door?

Are you like Scott, seizing the opportunities when they appear?

Or are you like everyone else who got the same email, and pressed “delete”?

We are only as poor as our choices.

“If a window of opportunity appears, don’t pull down the shade.” ~ Tom Peters

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