Onward and Upward Together
As we turn the page on 2017, I’m proud to share that DigitalOcean had another tremendous year of rapid growth and strong profitability, a combination which few tech companies have achieved at our scale. We are rapidly approaching $200M in annual recurring revenue and are looking forward to celebrating our 6th anniversary next month. The key to our success is our disruptive offering — a cloud computing platform that is engineered with simplicity at the core — and our vibrant, growing developer community. We see a substantial and growing market need, and believe that DigitalOcean is perfectly positioned to lead this category in the years ahead.
While we have enjoyed great success since I co-founded the company in 2012, I believe we have barely scratched the surface. I’ve been reflecting on our next phase of growth and what it will take to reach our full potential, and it’s become clear to me that now is the right time to identify my successor as CEO of DigitalOcean.
I recognize where my strengths lie and where others will have more experience to give. With all of the exciting opportunities in front of us, including the possibility of an IPO — a long-term goal we have frequently discussed internally — I feel a new seasoned executive will be best to guide the company through the next chapter of our journey. We have engaged a leading search firm to help us find a great leader. One that will be inspirational, able to scale our operations beyond 1,000 people, evolve our go-to-market strategy, and help us reach our audacious vision. Someone who can build a global brand that could potentially help us become a publicly-traded company with the simplest cloud platform for developers to run applications of any size.
Once we’ve identified this person, I’ll be taking on a new role as Chairman of the Board, which will allow me to support our company vision and strategy while working closely with the new CEO.
When Moisey, Mitch, Alec, Jeff, and I started the company in 2012, we left our families and friends in New York to join the Techstars program in Colorado. We slept on bunk beds and worked relentlessly pretty much every day until midnight. Finding product-market fit didn’t happen overnight and it took months of iterating and refining our product offering. We had 400 users when we graduated from the Techstars program, and while we knew we had developed something special, trying to raise venture capital at that time was a real uphill battle. We heard many “no’s” from investors along the way, but believed in our long-term vision.
After returning to a small office in New York City, we launched the first SSD virtual machine service with unprecedented price-to-performance on January 15th, 2013. We instantly went from signing up a couple of new users per day to more than 100. I vividly remember sitting at our kitchen table with the co-founding team, having to manually install SSDs into our servers to keep up with the demand. It’s been a humbling journey to say the least, and I could not have imagined the growth, success, and scale we would achieve only five years later. DigitalOcean has accomplished so many incredible things over the years and I know that our product, people, and operations have never been stronger.
Aug 9, 2012 - Mitch, Alec, Moisey, me and Jeff walking on stage for Techstars demo day
We have raised $123M from some of the world’s leading VCs that share our belief that the developer will lead the continuing technology revolution. Today, we have a team of 400-plus employees around the world with growing offices in New York, Cambridge, Mass., and Bangalore. Our user base has grown with us and last year we crossed one million users from almost every country in the world. Over the last few years, our product went from a single offering, Droplet, to a complete cloud platform. We are extremely proud to be one of the largest and fastest-growing cloud providers in the world.
I’ve always said that putting the business first and doing what is right for DigitalOcean is my highest priority. I’m making this decision knowing that DigitalOcean’s best days are still to come. We have never been in a better position to begin this transition. We have a great leadership team in place, the business has very strong momentum, and we are a clear leader in our industry. I’m confident that our new CEO will be able to rapidly build on this strong foundation.
No matter who our next leader is, one thing that definitely won’t change is our unwavering commitment to delivering the industry’s simplest cloud computing platform, while building one of the world’s largest developer communities. All of the core elements that have contributed to our success — the powerful simplicity of the product, the dedication and talent of the team, and the passionate community of developers that we serve — will remain the same.
I am tremendously excited about DigitalOcean’s future and the milestones ahead. I want to thank everyone who has helped turn our dream and passion into reality. The skills I have learned and friendships I have made while helping to build this company will last me a lifetime, for which I will be forever grateful and I couldn’t be more excited for the journey ahead.
Onward and upward together,