Scott Farquhar is the cofounder of Atlassian, a software company based in Australia. He has come a long way in the 10 years since he and his cofounder, Mike Cannon-Brookes, launched their company. Today, Farquhar and Cannon-Brookes are the two wealthiest young Australians, according to BRW magazine, with an estimated net worth of $480 million.
In the early days, Atlassian was a tech-support company founded with the hope it would keep them in beer money. "We basically didn't want to work for anyone else," Farquhar said. "The graduate salary at Pricewaterhouse was $47,500 so we said, if we could earn that kind of money, and we didn't have to put on a suit on, we'll enjoy it a whole lot more. That's the whole reason Atlassian got started."
But it wasn't fun, at first. Support turned out to be what Farquhar calls a "terrible business," with calls at 3 in the morning. They paid themselves $300 a week.
Flash-forward to today. Atlassian did "$100 million in sales last calendar year, and is growing north of 30% per annum," Farquhar says. It has 22,000 customers, 300 employees in Sydney and 150 in San Francisco. Next step: an IPO.
Farquhar says success hasn't changed him, much, the big difference is having less time. While Farquhar can't give as much personally, he makes sure the company makes up the difference. Atlassian donates one percent of its revenue, one percent of its employee, and one percent of its products to charity