46: Austin McChord, CEO and Founder of Datto Talks About His Startup Journey
What I want to cover in this episode is the protection of company data and availability. There is a company called Datto who says that no matter where your data lives it is safe with them. They use state of the art technology and infrastructure to protect businesses from downtime even if your physical hardware has been destroyed. Alternatively, as we all move to the cloud Datto can also protect your critical information from the most likely form of loss which is not machines but humans (accidental deletions, malicious activity etc). Datto backs up, protects and allows you to instantly restore accounts and data so our businesses can return to normal.
The founder and CEO of Datto founded the company back in 2007 when he was only 21. He has a very inspirational story in tech. I often say on this show that it’s less about the technology and what people are selling but very often it’s about hearing those inspirational stories in tech, sharing their experiences along the way and Austin has a fascinating story.
Can you tell us a little bit more about you and your role at Datto?
My name is Austin McChord, I’m Datto’s founder and CEO. I started the company right out of college and that was nine years ago now. I started it in July 2007. Since then the company has grown at an incredible rate, I’ve got over 600 employees now and offices all over the world.
Can you tell us a little bit more about your journey?
It’s had a lot of ups and downs (luckily more ups then downs). But the early days were quite tough. I started the company in a basement. There were a lot of points where we were just days away from going out of business. Then got really lucky and managed to find the managed service provider channel. We started talking to them and improved the product. When we came out with Siris five years ago that’s what put us on the map and from there we started growing 300 percent year after year.
You were also featured on the Forbes 2015 30 under 30 list. What was that all about?
Those lists and things are not what get me excited. I find it more embarrassing, I’m not the kind of guy that reaches for the limelight. But it was certainly an adventure and pretty cool to be involved with that. I think the big thing that stood out there was in 2013 a major security company had come by and asked to buy Datto for $100 million dollars. At the time I owned 100 percent of the business and had no outside investors or anything else like that and I said no. A lot of people say they love coming to work but rarely is that tested with a nine digit number.
For those who haven’t heard of you what exactly is Datto and what services do you provide?
We do data backup and disaster recovery. Our big magic trick is that we’re able to restore systems at a rate that puts us very close to high availability. If you have a machine that goes down or is destroyed we can bring it back almost immediately. In addition, we’ve recently expanded our offerings and in 2014 we acquired a company called Backupify. They were the leader in cloud to cloud backup and still are. We also do back up of Google apps and a variety of applications like that.
Haven’t you also recently released Datto Drive for medium businesses? What is Datto Drive?
It is priced to move. Rather than charging per user we charge per entity, so per company. And the price point there is $10 dollars a month per terabyte and the first year is free.
What’s next for you and Datto?
I’m here because I love what I do and I will continue coming to work as long as I absolutely love doing it. As for Datto we will continue to build out and improve our product. We’re expanding the different platforms that we support. We’ve also got our network appliance that’s shipping in June so we can build a better firewall internet security box.
What apps make it to the front page of your phone?
The most interesting one that sits there is an app called Glympse. You use it to share your location with friends and people that you know.
What’s the best place listeners can go to find out more about you and Datto?
Our website is www.datto.com and you can follow me on Twitter @AustinMcChord
Check Out Neil’s Column at INC. called Tomorrow’s Tech
Please also see check out the related article from my column: