Venture Capital and Control with Dave Tearewith David Heinemeier Hansson and Dave Teare
Dave Teare is the co-founder and official “heart and soul” of 1Password, which recently raised $200 million in its first round of venture capital. Basecamp is a longtime happy customer of 1Password and also a longtime critic of venture capital, so the funding announcement led to some back-and-forth on Twitter between Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson and Dave Teare. In this episode, DHH and Dave get on the phone to hash out their feelings about venture capital and what this funding round means for 1Password’s future.
- "Open Source and Power with Matt Mullenweg," our episode featuring a phone call between DHH and Automattic's Matt Mullenweg - 00:34
- DHH's tweet about Automattic's funding round - 00:49
- Dave Teare on Twitter | 1Password - 00:56
- 1Password's blog post announcing the funding round - 1:02
- DHH's tweet about 1Password's funding announcement - 1:04
- "A love letter to DHH and others concerned about our recent funding announcement" - 1:30
- "Bezos Expeditions invests in 37signals" (Signal v. Noise) - 1:55
- 1Password co-founder Roustem Karimov on Twitter - 3:10
- DHH's Ruby on Rails demo about building a blog engine in 15 minutes - 3:30
- "Conceal, don't feel" is a lyric from Frozen's Let it Go - 14:14
- "Inside WeWork's week from hell: How the mass layoffs went down" (CNN) - 19:16
- "The day I became a millionaire" (Signal v. Noise) - 21:22
- "It Doesn't Have to Be Crazy at Work" - 25:31
- Our Incredible Journey (Tumblr) - 31:42
- "The Mess at Meetup" (Gizmodo) - 32:08
- "Meetup wants to charge users $2 just to RSVP for events — and some are furious" (The Verge) - 32:18
- "Patreon now offers creators 3 plans, with fees ranging from 5-12%" (VentureBeat) - 32:45
- An irate forum post about Dropbox's new storage plan - 33:12
- "GitHub is trying to quell employee anger over its ICE contract. It's not going well" (LA Times) - 34:55
- "The deal Jeff Bezos got on Basecamp" (Signal v. Noise) - 39:20
- "How to Fly a Horse" by Kevin Ashton (Wikipedia) - 41:00
- Arun Mathew on Twitter - 43:10
- "Patagonia Is Refusing To Sell Its Iconic Power Vests To Some Financial Firms" (BuzzFeed) - 47:22
- Getting Real - 49:45
- Jeff Shiner's LinkedIn profile - 58:18
The Full Transcript:
[00:00:00] Anyone You Meet Normcore Remix by Clip Art plays.
Wailin: [00:00:03] Rework is brought to you by Basecamp. Basecamp is a software tool for teams. It centralizes everything the team needs to know, tasks, files and discussions in one easy to use place so nothing gets lost and nothing slips through the cracks. Try it with your team at basecamp.com.
[00:00:22] Broken By Design by Clip Art plays.
Shaun: [00:00:23] Welcome to Rework, a podcast by Basecamp about the better way to work and run your business. I’m Shaun Hildner.
Wailin: [00:00:28] And I’m Wailin Wong. A couple months ago we aired an episode that was a phone conversation between Basecamp co-founder David Heinemeier Hansson and Matt Mullenweg, the founder of Automatic. They had a spirited debate about tech monopolies and wielding power in Open Source software communities. That discussion happened to be inspired by a snarky tweet that DHH sent Matt’s way.
Shaun: [00:00:50] Today we have another conversation between DHH and someone he put on blast on Twitter. Dave Teare, the cofounder of 1Password. A few weeks ago after 1Password announced it had raised $200 million in venture capital. DHH tweeted so said to read this, sad face emoji. Whenever I read about a software service I like hopping on the venture capital train to unicornville, I fully expect them to go to shit. 1Password now needs to become a many billion dollar company or DIE TRYING, in all caps. That usually leads to desperate slash shitty decisions.
Wailin: [00:01:23] The conversation on Twitter went back and forth and Dave Teare of 1Password wrote a long response on medium that he called a love letter to DHH. We got DHH and Dave on the phone to hash out what this deal means for 1Password when it comes to growth expectations and control of the company and what anxieties they have around sustainability, change and the structural pressures of the venture capital system.
Shaun: [00:01:45] One quick note, you’ll hear some references to Basecamp getting money from Jeff Bezos. That refers to a 2006 deal in which Bezos bought a minority stake in the company. We’ll link to blog posts about that deal in our show notes. Now here’s the conversation between DHH and Dave Teare.
[00:02:02] Broken By Design by Clip Art plays.
DHH: [00:02:07] Well, first of all, I just wanted to thank Dave for coming on the show. I’ve been a big fan of 1Password for a very long time. I don’t even know when I started using it, but I have screenshots of like old rusty looking Mac OS versions where I see 1Password in it. So I think it’s been for a very long time. And we’ve also been a customer at Basecamp for quite a while. So this interview, comes a little bit the same way that the Matt Mullenweg interview came together where I, and Basecamp, big fans of the company and what you guys have been doing for a long time. And then just having the opportunity to sit down with someone who kind of tracks the same trajectory, of history that we did. I mean, Basecamp was launched in 2004. The math is what, 2006 for 1Password? 2005?
Dave Teare: [00:03:03] Yeah. 2006 is when we officially, Roustem and I, my business partner. So Roustem and I started our own company back in 2006 and primarily that was actually a result of Rails. We were doing Java 2 Enterprise Edition work back then. So, J2EE. One day, I think it was Roustem found this video of you giving a talk about how fast it is to make a website in Rails. So we watched that however many times. And so we got really excited about that. And we actually went out on our own. We founded a new company, specifically to do web development. Actually that’s the same company that eventually became 1Password. But the very first thing that we were trying to do was web development using Rails.
DHH: [00:03:52] That’s awesome. I mean it’s, again, it’s very similar actually to the Basecamp story. Basecamp started as a web consultancy, first just doing design, then I joined up, we did the design and programming and then we turned things into a product company.
[00:04:09] So I think that this is why when I tweeted out in response to the announcement of the venture capital that how to put it, like there’s a different level of care. Companies raise venture capital all the time. I mean there’s an announcement basically every other day about Series A or Series E or in between. And I mean in some ways from my perspective, whatever, but when it comes to companies that I’m really fond of, I get this uh-oh moment. Not that that means oh shit, it’s bound to go poorly. Just that, uh-oh I’ve been in this industry for 20 years. I’ve seen just the mountain of corpses that come out of the venture capital mill. And I don’t want that to happen to a company I really like, to a product that I really like. [00:04:55] So that’s really the impetus for this conversation, for us to basically talk about venture capital, talk about 1Password, talk about all the considerations that go into it. I think there are a lot of entrepreneurs that sit with basically just a lot of questions about how this whole thing works. Especially how it works at your scale. I mean this is such a large round that I think that there’s just a lot of curiosity about that.
[00:05:21] And then there’s the other constituency, which is 1Password users, people who simply use internet that they buy online and they take a care and they take a concern in the companies that make the products that they buy and they want to sort of feel like they sort of know what’s going on, know where things are going. So that’s the basis of it. And I hope we can simply just, yeah, talk about all of it. And at any time if there’s any of the questions that I have, you go like, well, I just, I can’t share that, that’s private information or whatever. Totally cool. This is just for us to essentially have that have that conversation and explore the whole realm.
Dave Teare: [00:05:59] You hit the nail on the head. Like that’s how I try to read everyone’s tweets. Like coming from a point of view of concern, I like to say, if people didn’t care, right? They just wouldn’t do anything. Right. And like that would be the worst of all worlds. Your tweet absolutely was like a knife in my heart. I was like, oh man, it hurts so bad, man. But after I thought about it for a while, I was like, no, no, no. It’s coming from a point of view of concern and love, if I may. So yeah, that’s why I was more than happy when you suggested, hey, let’s get together and let’s talk because Twitter is not always the best spot for that.
DHH: [00:06:37] I think Twitter’s never the best spot for that. And I say that as a prolific tweeter and a prolific shit-kicker on Twitter is that it’s a place to perhaps start a conversation. It’s never a place to really engage in the depth of a conversation. And it’s certainly not a place for nuance either, right? And it never gets to the humanity of the issue. It never gets to the core of the issue. And I think leveling up to a podcast is, it’s probably one of the best things that’s happened for the internet in a long time.
[00:07:09] So I’m just gonna start with the first question, which was really the thing that provoked me to sort of tweet about the announcement, which was just this notion of curiosity. Like what is 1Password going to do with $200 million? And the standard answer was sort of delivered alongside the announcement, which I know we’ll get into more in depth on, but it was this sort of standard VC line like this is to fund aggressive growth. This is a growth company. I think even the word rocket ship was used in there. So it [crosstalk]
Dave Teare: [00:07:46] I think that was in my post, yep.
DHH: [00:07:48] That may be in your post, but just this standard vernacular around venture capital. This is because things are going fast. We need to pull in a lot of capital. Here’s $200 million to grow really fast. But then I also saw that you said somewhere else, I don’t know if it was your post or in a tweet where you said 1Password didn’t actually need the money, that this was perhaps not so much about just the company getting a bunch of money to fund aggressive growth, but also about taking money off the table.
[00:08:18] Can you sort of elaborate a little bit on like where did the money go in the sense that did it go mostly to the company and you guys just took a little slice of it? Or was it mostly to take sort of risk out of the equation for you and the business partner and whoever else kind of has an ownership stake?
Dave Teare: [00:08:35] Yeah, certainly a great question. I know I confused a lot of people by saying, Hey, we don’t need any money by the way, we just raised $200 million. Like those two, like, what on earth is going on there? A couple of thoughts there. So first of all, you started by talking about how 37signals and you are Basecamp now and 1Password. Actually I won’t even sharing our whole name. Well, Agile Bits is okay. We’re on similar trajectories. You know, I’ve learned a lot from you over the years and I’m so thankful how much you blog and all these types of things.
[00:09:07] One of the posts that you had actually from quite some time ago, like, over 10 years ago, you found yourself in a similar situation where you wanted to take a little bit of risk off the table yourself, right? We actually basically did the same thing. We have something really good going here. We have been profitable since day one and we’re enjoying what we do. We are bringing in customers very fast. Customers are really enjoying their time here and it’s like a virtuous cycle that’s taken place.
[00:09:39] And if I’ve learned one thing on the internet, it’s that not everything stays constant. I’m actually super confident in 1Password. I think we’re in a really good space. It’s not like we’re selling something people don’t need. People really need this. Like it’s the perfect tool for today’s internet and who knows how long that’s going to last. I do kind of laugh at these headlines when I see them, but quite frequently there’s headlines saying, you know, death of the password or fingerprints are going to replace the password.
[00:10:12] Like, all sorts of different things like that. And while I laugh at those ones, because I don’t see passwords going anywhere anytime soon. But who knows? Who knows? There might be something that comes out of left field tomorrow that just turns the whole industry on the side of its head and it’s no longer a virtuous cycle for us.
[00:10:32] To answer your question more directly, the majority of that money came off the table. We were removing a lot of risk. That’s rather surprising, I suppose, because we’re a private company, we don’t share our financials and these types of things. So, lots of people just assume that we’re just barely making it by, right? But that’s not the case.
DHH: [00:10:56] I think this is such a great discussion because this goes really to the heart of some of these stereotypes I just hate about entrepreneurship, which is that all entrepreneurs are all about like this maximum commitment, this maximum risk. About doubling down on this thing they just have undivided and eternal faith in. I think the one of the best stereotypes for this kind of person that is Adam Neumann at WeWork. When I heard the stories about him basically taking the stock that he had to borrow against the stock so he could buy more of his own stock. Just that anecdote alone went like, I don’t even, I can’t even understand that. Versus what you’re telling is exactly how Jason and I felt when back in 2006 we sold this minority stake to Bezos. That we were like, this is good. Things are going well, but internet companies, all kinds of companies go out of business all the time.
[00:11:52] All sorts of meteorites hit technologies. I mean technology is a thing where things moved. So who knows if this thing is even going to exist in five years and if we just have all our eggs in this one basket and it just all blows up, are we going to look back and think like, well, that was so courageous. That was so brave because we doubled down and we just had this unwavering faith in the company. No, we’re going to look back and think like, Jesus, that was dumb. That was just stupid.
[00:12:23] And I think that it’s almost like there’s a stigma around that for entrepreneurs where I’m looking at the original post that Jason wrote back in 2006 and I can see some of this dancing that thankfully we sort of over the years got away from. But we never actually sort of say fully outright, we say we didn’t need the money to run the business, which is sort of this euphemism to, for kind of just taking the money, or selling part of your share in a company to someone else and then taking that money and putting it in your pocket.
[00:12:56] And it just, it kind of makes me angry that that’s seen as something like, I don’t know, to be ashamed of. Which is kind of why, that’s sort of my basis of the question here. If the deal with 1Password is essentially like, hey, we want to sell some of the company. We own the company and we want to sell part of it to someone else so we can take some of that money and put it somewhere else. Get diversified, God forbid, into something else. That seems totally legit and I’m curious, I’m wondering if you have any thoughts on why do you think that that’s hard for entrepreneurs to just go outright and say, hey, we took a bunch of money. It wasn’t because we needed it for the business. The business is profitable, it’s fine, but we want it to take some money out of the business. Why do entrepreneurs feel like that’s hard to just come out and say?
Dave Teare: [00:13:50] That’s a really good question. The first thought that comes to my mind is people have a really difficult time being vulnerable online. They have a difficult time being vulnerable in real life, like face to face. But when you’re online, most people, anyway, seem to kind of double down on it. Right? It’s like I need to kind of hide and conceal, the Frozen, right. The Frozen music’s going through my head right now. Please don’t sing it because I don’t want to go there.
[00:14:19] The other part is people really love what they do. I really, really love what I do. And as I was listening to what you were saying, part of me, myself, actually started to feel kind of bad cause I was like, you know what? No, no 1Password really is the bee’s knees. Like I should double down on this, right? And it’s human nature to, to look at things from multiple angles. And especially when it’s something that you love. I don’t want to fuck it up. Right. Like the RuPaul, don’t fuck it up. It’s something that I think about a lot.
[00:14:52] At the same time, I really think 1Password, and this is where I listened to your Matt interview, I think this is where we’re going to disagree, but I’m going to go there anyways. I truly believe that every single company out there should be using 1Password. Like, they need it. It’s solving a problem that they have. And so I see the opportunity and I want us to have aspirational goals and, and to push ourselves and to get there.
[00:15:21] I see the opportunity out there and I see that we can help and so I really want to, I really want to push 1Password forward to help them out. So it’s kind of a balance in my mind. One is, yeah, I want to take some money off the table and kind of deleverage a little bit. Not that we’re leveraged, that’s probably the wrong word. But you know to take a little bit of money off the table, but I also want to, I also want to continue pushing.
[00:15:46] In Jason’s post there, I don’t have it in front of me, but I seem to remember there was a part there or maybe it was in the comments where it was just like, you know, having a little bit of extra money in the bank account actually helps to help you sleep at night a little bit better. Those are my words, not Jason’s. But let me back up on that thought a little bit.
[00:16:03] When we first hired our very first employee, Dan Peterson was his name and he still works here today as our lead designer. And when we hired Dan, I was nervous as hell, right? Like up until that point it was Roustem and I, and we didn’t get paid. So who really cared, right? There was no a payroll to meet or anything like that. When Dan came along it was like, oh, I’m now responsible for someone else’s livelihood. And like, that’s something that I don’t take lightly. So I did all sorts of things to help me sleep at night. You’ll quickly learn that I really value my sleep and I’m very easily kept up at night. So I do all sorts of things to make sure I can sleep.
[00:16:43] And in this case we actually saved up, like Roustem and I wouldn’t pay each other. We saved up three months worth of expenses so that if sales stopped on a particular day and sales just went to zero and didn’t do anything, like we didn’t have a sale for like three months. I knew I could pay everyone and they would have plenty of time to either go find another job or to help us fix whatever the problem was, why we didn’t have sales anymore.
[00:17:10] And so while the majority of the money did come off the table, I feel much, I don’t know how to describe it, but I feel more, maybe confident is the word. I feel more confident just knowing that we have this safety net basically. Not that I ever plan on it, but like now we could have like a rough year and we’d be okay. We could weather the storm so to speak.
DHH: [00:17:33] Yeah, I love that. I mean those sentiments are exactly the same kind of sentiments that Jason and I were batting around. Both from the perspective of just how important payroll is. That once you have a payroll, the game has completely changed. When I joined up with Jason, I switched to, from being an employee to being a partner at the company and it sorta didn’t dawn on me really at first.
[00:17:57] Part of that is perhaps sort of the different places you grow up. I grew up in Denmark and family lived paycheck to paycheck and sometime that paycheck didn’t stretch all the way to the end of the month and that was a little rough, but it was never like, oh well I can’t afford health care or you’re not going to buy books for schools or something. So I got a little bit of a rosy colored glass version of that and then coming to the US and just realizing just the stakes were different.
[00:18:26] And I think we really, I think we missed payroll once in the history of Basecamp. And it wasn’t because we didn’t have the money for it, there was some just something went wrong. And I remember just that sense of just feeling like this is one of the worst things we’ve done.
Dave Teare: [00:18:39] Yes.
DHH: [00:18:39] Like even if this is because of a mistake… It was, I think we were switching payroll providers or something and there were some fuck up and I think it happened on a Friday or something even, which just makes matters worse, right? Like people are supposed to be paid on Friday, there’s no money and we can’t fix it until Monday. And I think that really just etched into my brain, like you got to fucking make payroll. Whatever you do, you got to make payroll. And it was also one of those things where, I mean, I don’t know why I keep coming back to this, but the WeWork debacle just seems so fucked up when you’re about like, oh, here’s all these billion dollar deals and like, oh, they can’t afford to pay severance or whatever. There was some delay in that and you just go like, you gotta take care of that first. So I completely sympathize with that. And I also sympathize with the—go ahead.
Dave Teare: [00:19:26] Oh, I was just going to say, making payroll is quite difficult actually. Like it’s not, again, it’s not what you just said. It’s not about the money. It’s, it’s about the systems in place. So here in Ontario, we’re based in Canada. And when you actually pay your people, the government actually fully expects you to be trying to delay payment as late as possible. And so we didn’t know this, we didn’t know this, but Sara, my wife, CFO, all these different types of hats, but she makes sure that people actually get paid. So my wife has this wonderful thing where she’ll always pay taxes ahead of time. We were trying to do the same thing with payroll, so we paid it like a week early. That way if something goes wrong, who cares? We’ll fix it.
[00:20:10] And I want to say it’s funny, but it was incredibly frustrating. We actually ended up getting dinged by the government for not paying our payroll taxes on time. And so we called them and we’re like, no, no, no, you don’t understand. We’re paying early. That was such a foreign concept to them. They had no idea what we were doing. Their systems couldn’t handle it. And they’re basically just like, no, if you do that, you’re gonna get flagged and we’re gonna charge you interest and you’re gonna have to call us like every single month. Like it was ridiculous. And so, yeah, it’s funny how money is not always the part of paying payroll that’s the hard part.
DHH: [00:20:44] Yeah. And it’s also just funny how the sort of the whole conception of capitalism and companies are like, well, we’ve got to set this up because like everyone is out to screw everyone over.
Dave Teare: [00:20:54] 100%.
DHH: [00:20:54] And that’s probably true a lot of the case, right? Like a lot of the time that is what’s going on, but it’s also just when that’s not going on, you just feel like this, this is a foreign world that we’re in. The other point you brought up, this idea of feeling confident. That’s probably been the number one thing I go back to when I talk to people about the deal we did with Bezos in 2006 was, the money was obviously great. I mean I went, I’ve written about this several times. I went from having essentially $20,000 in my bank account or whatever it was at time to all of a sudden like there’s millions in my bank account and that’s a really weird foreign experience for someone who’s not used to money like that.
[00:21:35] But it was also, more importantly, it was the kind of experience where you just go like, well now we can take it all the way. Now we can keep doing this how we want to do it for as long as we want to do it. Saying what we want to say, doing what we want to do, running the company in the weird ways perhaps that we want to do it. Because you know what, if us doing our best according to our best ability and our noblest intention is not good enough? Do you know what? That’s how I want to go down, then. I want to go down trying to run the best company I could and if it didn’t work, fine, versus if you don’t feel like you have that risk off the table, you can be so much more anxious.
[00:22:17] One of the things I always feel sorry actually for a lot of entrepreneurs is just how anxious they are, a lot of the times. Like how nervous they are, or how paranoid they are. Like, paranoia has even been sort of exalted to this virtue. Intel’s CEO was famous for saying only the paranoid survive.
Dave Teare: [00:22:34] Yes.
DHH: [00:22:34] And you’re like, do you know what? Maybe there’s something to that, but do you want to live your entire life walking around paranoid? Like that just sounds horrible.
Dave Teare: [00:22:42] It really does.
DHH: [00:22:42] So I totally get that and I totally get wanting that cushion. We did it really early in our experience already after Basecamp was just like two years old. You guys have done it after 14 years. So it’s obviously a different kind of scale, but I think the sentiments, they’re very similar.
Dave Teare: [00:23:00] Yeah, I think so, too. Yeah.
DHH: [00:23:00] But if I may then ask a couple of questions about sort of then the path that goes into the company or the part that goes into the company? Because perhaps that was one of the things from the PR or the announcement of the funding that kind of just rubbed me in this way of like, why is this so hard to talk about in a… I mean, I don’t want to say honest way, but in a frank way where, for example, I think you wrote up the announcement where it said something about like, “Our partnership with Accel helps us ensure that we have the resources not only to stay at the forefront of the privacy landscape, but to push the industry forward as well.”
[00:23:38] And then on security, Accel will help us take our processes or protections and our research to the next level. And I kind of felt like, again, you can just tell me to shut up, but I kinda felt like it was a little incongruent. Like, because I had this sense that what you were telling me, like, hey, the majority of the money went off the table. This wasn’t so much about the company needed more money for research and development. This was just, hey, we’re taking some money off the table. That’s fine. There’s nothing wrong with that. There’s nothing to apologize for taking money off the table. But then this feel of, well, we’ve got to rationalize it somehow. We’ve got to rationalize it as it’s like, hey, you’re getting more privacy, you’re getting more security.
Dave Teare: [00:24:17] So a couple of thoughts there. First of all, you know, it just has to be said. If a majority of $200 million is taken off the table, there’s still a big fucking number left, right? Like it’s ridiculous what these numbers are. It’s crazy, right? You know, just that alone is going to give, it’s going to give us more confidence, right? I find myself, maybe you feel the same way. So you talked about like, entrepreneurs feel paranoid and we need confidence and like this type of stuff. And it’s all true. And I feel that I feel that way often. But in addition to that, I spend a lot of my time feeling frustrated and it’s not a really good feeling, but like it’s actually frustration because you, you know that there’s things that you could be doing, right. You know, that there’s things that would help your company. Would help your employees. Would help your users. You’re actively saying no because your hands are already full. You look around the team and their hands are already full. So it’s like, you know what, we’ll get to that next year and we say that quite frequently.
[00:25:23] And here’s one example. We’re pretty, I hate to use the word crazy, darn it. But, you do use it in your title of your book. So I’m going to go ahead and use it. We’re pretty crazy when it comes to privacy. WE bend over backwards to make sure that we’re not getting any additional information from our users that they don’t explicitly want us to have. And out of that principle, you know, we don’t add analytics to our apps, so we actually don’t know what features you’re using in the app on a day to day.
[00:25:57] And so we actually would love to add analytics one of these days. But I just, I don’t know, I’m probably going too far to be completely honest, but I got rather err on the side of just don’t collect stuff because you might end up figuring something out that you don’t want to know about, about a user or heaven forbid the feds come and say, Hey, I know you have analytics. I want to know how this users using the app.
[00:26:19] But Apple, I think it was two years ago now, they added differential privacy, but the idea was they wanted to know what their users were doing, but they wanted to do it in a completely anonymous way. And this has actually been on my wish list ever since I heard Apple give this presentation and talking about differential privacy.
[00:26:38] I think it’s really cool. It’s something I want, I want to learn more about. I want to add to our products. And instead we quite frankly have just said, no, we just, we don’t have time for that. So we’re basically living without analytics. And so that’s an example where the money itself is not necessarily going to help with that. But of course we can actually maybe grow the team and have more confidence to grow the team. You know, right now, I don’t want to say we’re constantly firefighting because I think that would sell us short. But I will say all of our hands are full and we say no to too many things.
DHH: [00:27:20] I love that allegiance to privacy. I mean, I think there’s, there’s few causes in the tech world that I’ve cared more about. And I think it’s also actually one of those key nerves actually, that a lot of the commentary, the uncertainty or the disappointment or the dismay that was expressed online go along those lines. So people are like 1Password has some very intimate pieces of data, not only just the outright passwords but what those passwords unlock and uh, perhaps people are using the secure nodes for other features where they’re actually storing key pieces of information in 1Password.
[00:28:03] So that sense of knowing who owns the company, who controls the company and feeling fuzzy and warm about that connection. I think that’s one of the reason why those nerves sometimes end up being exposed and people go like, Jesus, this is terrible or this doesn’t sound good.
[00:28:21] I’m curious, you mentioned in one of the write ups that you received a lot of well wishes on the announcement, did it surprise you that there were also thousands of people who expressed disappointment or at this may or are just almost angry uncertainty?
Dave Teare: [00:28:37] No, no, not at all. I guess I should have started the show with this. My title here at 1Password is the heart and soul and a big reason of that is because I wear my heart on my sleeve. And so when you’re that type of person, yeah, when you read the actual individual tweets like it, it does hurt and you’re like, ugh. You feel pretty bad. So in some ways that may have been shocking. But I was fully expecting there to be, I don’t want to say backlash, but because the vast majority of our of our users are not taking to Twitter and with pitchforks. Certainly there’s a lot of concerns being raised and I welcome them. I wish I could spend all day writing blog posts because like a lot of these tweets are poking at really interesting questions.
[00:29:22] And that’s actually why I wrote that love letter to you was because I just enjoyed it. It was fun. I have a nerd crush on you and I know you’re younger than me, but I actually look up to you. And so like it felt right to that. What would you do in real life if there was no internet? Well you’d probably write a love letter. So that’s the approach I took and I tried to use that to explore people’s concerns and try to address them and try to explain where we’re coming from.
[00:29:51] You mentioned control, okay. Now if you’re no longer in control, then maybe you’ll start adding more surveillance to your ads. Subscribe to the surveillance economy. Or maybe you’ll start showing ads, all sorts of concerns like that. And that’s why we wouldn’t have been part of any deal whatsoever had we lost control. I guess it might be different if I wasn’t an active part of the company anymore. And if everyone else kind of wanted to just retire or something like that, maybe that would be different. But like, we’re nowhere near that point. That’s just… we’re all actively working on 1Password and we’re all enjoying ourselves and we all see a tremendous potential.
[00:30:37] So when we went into this deal we were like, yeah, we’re keeping complete control and we did.
DHH: [00:30:43] I think that that’s really the key here. And I think that that’s, there’s so much that hinges on that sense of trust with the founders, with both of you guys and whoever else is on your leadership team, that they sort of stay in place. And not just that they stay in place but they stay true to sort of the values that people feel like they signed up for. And I think a lot of the commentary and a lot of commentary I make online, these things are not on individuals. It’s on the structure. Like looking at the history of say venture capital, what happens to companies when they disappoint that venture capital? Like some of the recent examples that have popped up, which I thought were just particularly tragic and none of these are tied to 1Password nor are you accountable for them or anything else like that.
[00:31:31] It’s just sort of illustrations of what happens in venture capital when happy assumptions that are shared on announcement day and that incredible journey turns out to be a little less incredible or the rocket ship turns out to sputter or blow up. That things then change. Like you look at a company like Meetup that had a nice profitable business, raised money and then was not quite profitable enough to make it all the way to an IPO on their own. Not quite profitable enough to just sort of stay where they were and boom, they end up being sold to WeWork. It didn’t take that that long for the sale to WeWork before things like, oh now we’re instituting this like $2 charge per person and people go like, what the hell? Like I believed in Meetups mission for 10 years and then because they happened to have taken money from someone seven years ago, that’s that bill is now coming due.
[00:32:29] Or you take an example like Patreon who goes out and says like, hey, we have a nice business here taking a 5% cut of hundreds of millions of dollars. Do you know what, that’s unsustainable. It’s just not good enough. Why? Because they took $170 million in VC and like, yeah, that isn’t good enough. You can’t just turn out a $40 million a year business once you’ve raised $170 million or even go all the way to the best-case scenario, like the successes. You take something like Dropbox, right? A big success for the venture capitals, has made it all the way to the IPO. The IPO was then kind of a disappointment and it’s been trading down ever since. And now you see things like, Oh, we’re going to raise the price like 20% year over year with some bullshit justification that you get more space and people go like, geez, I’m really locked in here. Like I’m really locked into Dropbox. It feels pretty shitty that they do this, or that they start shoving all this corporate enterprisey collaboration junk down my throat. All I wanted was my files to be synced, right?
[00:33:31] And in all of those stories, I can see sort of these silhouettes, these shades of how people would say the same about 1Password if things came to be not so great, right? And I think that that’s the fear, is that in some ways it’s completely unreasonable for anyone to ask you to answer for those fears because all you’ve done up until this point for 14 years was built a great business that built the trust and all these things, but I think it just goes to show how delicate that trust is? And how much something like venture capital, a category, can cast doubt over even the most stellar and speck-less reputation. And I think that that’s where a lot of it comes from.
[00:34:12] And it certainly, I mean partly here, I’m speaking for myself, right? Like that’s where some of my anxieties come from. I come from the anxiety that like I don’t want 1Password to turn into neither Dropbox like the supposed success nor Meetup, the not so much the success or even something like GitHub, right?
[00:34:32] Like, GitHub, another example of a company independent for a long time. Then they raised also, I think actually $150 or $200 million, where I also believe that the majority of that went to the founders and then the quote unquote success, which is again them selling to a big tech conglomerate like Microsoft. And we kind of get some of the political fallout from that with either whether it’s the ICE contracts. So it’s just this idea that like, you know what, if we’re all just building big, or companies that are making the large conglomerates bigger, that’s just depressing.
[00:35:04] So I mean a lot of this, what is it, like a pessimist is an optimist that keeps being disappointed. That there’s some of that sentiment of pessimism that comes from continuously disappointed optimism or continuously investing your heart in products or services that you use, you pay for, you root for. You feel like, man, this is really great. They’re doing really great. And then it just turns out that like on so many outcomes on venture capital spectrum, whether it’s a complete failure, whether it’s a middling success or even if it’s a blowout success, you go like there’s a lot of disappointment in here.
[00:35:47] So I think, I think where some of that is coming from. So when we talk about the Bezos deal that Jason and I did, we talked usually about minority, no control, right? Like those are two of the key statements. First, you, you don’t have a majority of have neither the outright shares or the voting shares and you don’t have control to force us to do anything in particular.
[00:36:08] And I think you picked up on that in one of your notes as well. Where I’m curious to get your take is to explore what no control actually means when it comes to venture capital. Because first of all, I’m pretty sure I read that like Accel is taking at least one or they’re taking one board seat. Right? Which sort of brings me to the sort of that the parallel of all you need is one juror, often defense or attorneys or prosecutors, they talk about like you just need one juror who’s like really committed to a certain outcome and then it’s surprisingly easy to turn the other 11 around. So I’m curious to get your take on like what does it mean to have someone from a venture capital background whose intentions are, they’re not evil, they’re very clear, hey, we need this investment to go whatever, 5, 10x over five to seven years. How do you square against that? Not in such a way that the person can actually force you to do something, but they can actually make you want to do something?
Dave Teare: [00:37:11] Quite a few places I could take that. So first we should clear up some confusion there, right? Accel doesn’t require a rocket ship from us. I think we could become one, don’t get me wrong, but they don’t require that. They are investors and like any other investors, they could go put their money in the S&P 500 and the S& P 500 you know, gives them like 10% return on their investment per year. And so they basically just have to beat that. And so when you’re investing in very early startups, you have to at least have a couple of rocket ships to pay for, as you say, the wasteland of the other 98%. In a late stage venture. It’s much, much different. If they do 2 or 3x, which, honestly I expect to do a lot more than that. Just personally, I would not be happy if 1Password didn’t do more than 2 or 3x. But like if they did 2 or 3x, they’re doing just fine. Everything’s called a Series A, but that simply means like that’s the first, that’s the first outside investment, that it’s like—
DHH: [00:38:19] So just on that point, you think Accel in like, let’s say seven years from now, if, you’re doing twice the revenue that you’re doing today, they’re going to look back on that and say man, this was great.
Dave Teare: [00:38:29] Well, I have to kind of dance here because I’m not going to be sharing any financials. I’m just, that’s just not—
DHH: [00:38:40] Sure, nope. Wouldn’t want you to, either. Just in terms of like orders of magnitude, like if you did, I mean, I have no idea actually what your finances are, but whatever they are today, if you 2x that over the seven-year span, do you think Accel would be saying, wow, we’re really happy we put in $200 million here?
Dave Teare: [00:39:00] I think they would realize that we missed an opportunity. But can I just, I’m not sidestepping your question, but I do tend to forget things. So if I forget to come back, please, please just bring me back, okay? But I just want to talk about something. You had this really nice post. The deal Jeff Bezos got on Basecamp, and I just love that title because I was like, Jeff Bezos got a hell of a deal. Man, we sold him some shares. I guess you’re a limited liability corporation so it’s slightly different. But you know, you sold him a stake in the company and you’ve been paying dividends and he’s made a ton of money since. And in your post, I love it. Because you said something along the lines of, you know, dividends, who would’ve thought, right?
[00:39:41] Like it’s almost like it’s a completely foreign concept that companies just don’t do dividends anymore. If we just stayed on our current trajectory, I think Accel would be doing just fine with their dividends. Now don’t get me wrong, they’re not gonna be happy. Like of course they want a 10x or 100x. That would be wonderful. But they don’t require that. That’d be gravy. That’d be gravy.
[00:40:04] So I know you want to talk about the control and I want to get there too. It’s just I’m gonna really hate myself if a hang and I don’t at least say this out loud. So, you mentioned change and then like the reaction that we got from change. We’ve been doing this for 14 years now and so for 14 years, well, for quite a few number of those 14 years, whenever we would make a change, a certain subset of our users would be like all up in arms.
[00:40:29] And I would take that extremely personally and, and it caused me, well, pain’s not too strong of a word. Like it caused me great pain. And actually as a personal progress in life, one of the things that I did, Roustem actually recommended a book to me called How to Fly Your Horse or How to Fly a Horse, I forget which exactly it is. And this is a tremendous book. This is a tremendous book for people who are creators because it walks you through how throughout our history lots of people have created stuff and there’d be a huge backlash against them. And the whole book just talks about how it’s human nature to fear change.
[00:41:12] Something as simple as like washing your hands before delivering a baby that was actually in the book and the person who quote unquote invented, he just had this idea. Babies were dying, so why don’t we try washing our hands before the mother gives birth. And he was ridiculed. And so this is really, really interesting. And so, ever since I read the book, I wish I’d read it much earlier. I’ve now learned to take criticism a lot less personally than I used to. And that’s helped me a lot.
[00:41:44] It’s allowed me to try to dig a little bit deeper. So when there’s a tweet talking about how, well without control you’re going to do this or without control, you’re going to do that. It allows me to dig deeper and actually see where people are coming from and that gives me a chance to breathe a little bit. And then try to go and address the root concern.
[00:42:04] It feels like I’m kind of dodging your points, so let’s get back to control. Control is an interesting thing. You’re right. Arun is on our board and we have board meetings and type of stuff like that. More to the point, we communicate. We just talk, and so yeah, he’s going to be influencing our thoughts. And I’m looking forward to that. We’ve been building 1Password by ourselves, I feel like we’ve been doing it in our basement, right? By ourselves in the corner, right? You got your head down all the time and it’s really hard to look up and look around the field to see what’s going on. And we’ve actually craved some outside perspective for quite some time. We actually looked to bring in other advisors and board of directors and stuff like that. And it just never happened.
[00:42:55] As we work with Accel, we started to build a relationship with Arun. And you know, yes, he’s a VC. Sorry, he’s a partner in a VC company. So, the instant feeling is, oh, you must be evil, right? Must be the devil. But over years, we started to build a relationship with them. And so it was actually about six years until we agreed that, yeah, let’s have a partnership here and see what we can do. But at the end of the day, we have full control and so that goes, that goes through many ways.
[00:43:35] So I really want to give you a chance to talk soon. So I’m going to take a drink of water while you talk, but I, I want to keep an eye on this control subject because a lot of the tweets are, okay, you have control today, but what about tomorrow? So it’s like we’ve addressed the first level of concern, but we need to get to the second level of concern as well.
DHH: [00:43:53] Yeah. I think the concern with the statement, like this is a minority stake, there’s no control. Is that people do sort of read a little between those lines and go, well you’re adding a board member and you’re specifically saying the reason that we add this board there is because we want to learn from their experience. We want to know what they know about growing companies. Not only do we want to know what they know, we want them to essentially help us install, I think one of the posts said something about it like, help us find the leaders to take us to the next level.
Dave Teare: [00:44:29] Yep.
DHH: [00:44:29] So I think when people, and when I read something like that, I go like this is not quite as arm’s length as minority no control perhaps could seem like just as a slogan. This seems like a pretty intimate thing. And if I trust Dave and I trust the team that he had in place. I don’t extend automatically. And I think a lot of other a [inaudible] wouldn’t extend that trust just to, hey, here’s a venture capitalist who comes in. They’re going to be advising the company to obviously suit whatever their objectives are. They’re going to be installing leadership and managers and help shepherding the growth, that rocket ship, the hopefully 5, 10, 100x or whatever outcome that they’re pining for. And then we end up in a place where we don’t recognize the people anymore. And I think that that’s part of, I mean, I kind of, I made a lot of people on venture capital Twitter mad when I made a funny… Well, I thought it was funny, they clearly think it was funny, but I made a jab about something like a venture capital eating entrepreneurial brains.
[00:45:38] And that’s what I meant. I meant the idea that you take an entrepreneur who you might feel like they have all the right incentives, they have all the right values, they have all the right things, then you put them in a board room with a group or single venture capital for long enough, they’re going to come out, as you say, changed. Right? And sometimes, I mean there could be a fear just in change in general, but I think the fear is that the entrepreneur becomes more like the venture capital. And I think that the fear there is backed up just by the number of times that has happened. Where you look at the companies and you look at the choices they make and you go like, I can trace that choice to the value system of venture capital. I can trace that choice or that decision to the outcomes that they’re going for. And you just go like, that’s so sad.
[00:46:31] Like, I wish that that zombie infection hadn’t happened. I wish that that company had just perhaps not tried to go for the moon, right? Like, that’s the whole rocket ship metaphor here that they’re trying to go for the moon or they’re trying to go for Mars. Like, hey, could we just stay on earth or in orbit or somewhere else, in connection to the rest of us. Could we get better companies if more of them weren’t on this rocket ship? And so I think that’s really the crux of it is, in which ways, once you invite venture capital into your fold, are you simply just subject to the structural pressures that venture capital applies?
[00:47:11] And it’s not about like whether one venture capitalist is the devil or they’re evil. I mean, for Christ’s sake, most of them wear Patagonia vests and walk in Allbirds shoes. These aren’t cartoonishly evil people in some sense where you’re like, their being, it’s just wrong. Like that’s not what it is, right? They’re just people working in a system under structural incentives and pressures like most of us. And you just go like as a critique of those that structure and of those incentives you go, I wish companies didn’t have that.
[00:47:47] So I’m curious to have your thoughts just on like do you think that is a concern for 1Password? Is it a concern for you that you end up genuinely changing your ways in ways that then align to what venture capital essentially wants out of companies? And you sort of like perhaps would end up regretting that?
Dave Teare: [00:48:05] Yeah, I certainly worry a lot. I worry about everything. I worry about too much. It’s one of the reasons I do yoga is cause I try to reclaim some of that peace of mind. Yeah, you touched on a lot of really good things there. I wrote down a couple of them.
[00:48:23] Leaders, let’s just start with leaders. So, yeah, we want Accel to help us find some additional leaders. Now we need to be careful there. We have some really damn good leaders on our team right now. They’re not going anywhere. We desperately want them to stay because they’ve made 1Password what it is today and we want them to keep on pushing. But there’s a whole lot of other missing parts that we just, it’s holes in the puzzle, if you will.
[00:48:51] HR is the biggest one. Like, I came from IBM and it’s a super-structured place. I love IBM, I’m not saying anything wrong about them, but their HR, it was like oh man, it was like why does this division even exist? And so for a very large portion of my career I would make fun of HR. As we’ve grown, though, I’ve started to get so much more respect for HR. Like just so much more respect.
[00:49:20] We’re now 174 people. And honestly, I think we needed HR when we crossed about, I don’t know, maybe the 50 or 80 person mark. We should have been investing in HR much earlier is one example of several where we very much have taken the advice of Getting Real. Because there are so many things in there, like you don’t need a process. If something happens out of the ordinary, don’t make a process for it, just move on. Don’t worry about it.
[00:49:53] And so we did that for many, many, many years and it’s worked really well. But at a point in time you start to actually want some process. And I surprise myself whenever I say that. But you know, you start to want to know that, okay, this thing over here, someone’s got it. Someone’s going to own that and get it to completion and I don’t have to worry about that.
[00:50:13] There’s so many sections of our company where we just don’t have any process at all. It’d be handy to have some. And what I found interesting about the examples you were giving, and just honestly, whenever a company starts to grow, I don’t know, is it the VCs, is it the VCs are evil on this type of stuff and the VCs are fucking everything up? Or is it that growing is just damn fucking hard. Like it really is. It takes a lot of work. It takes a lot of attention and it takes people pushing on it to actually get it through.
[00:50:48] I often just wonder like, VC or no VC, I just worry about as 1Password, the company, grows, what’s going to happen, right? Am I eventually going to wake up some day at a company that I don’t like working for? That would be, that’s like my worst nightmare. We do our best to actually grow in as smart a way as we can and try to preserve our culture as much as we can. Absolutely preserve our values. We’re growing much faster than, I dunno, than I ever expected. Perhaps Jeff, our CEO, maybe he could foresee this, but to me, I’m amazed at our growth.
[00:51:29] I guess it’s just stupendous is a word I would use for it. This is absolutely remarkable. And so we need to grow and create systems and get the right systems in place and the right people and all of this stuff. And yeah, it’s a little bit scary. I’ll be flat-out honest, yeah, I worry about that stuff a lot. We’ve done it successfully for 14 years. That’s one thing. I just lose track. I don’t really pay attention. I just there’s not like some master plan. We just kind of go along as we go. But I did the math and we went from two people to 174 people and we’ve been here 14 years. So we’ve basically been doubling every other year, anyways. We’re already growing quite aggressively. Somehow, I don’t know how, but somehow we need to find a way to actually continue that growth, but maybe, hopefully we find a way to accelerate it. I’m going to stop talking here real soon cause I tend to ramble.
DHH: [00:52:29] I think that hits the nail on the head. The fear, you say about the fear of waking up one day and not liking the company that you’re at. I remind myself of that at least once a week. Of all the choices we make at Basecamp, how do we make choices such that I want to continue working here for the next 10 years? And I think that this is one of those things why I’m so eager to explore that venture capital question with a lot of entrepreneurs because when you look at the history of venture capital, the number of times where founders wake up and companies that they no longer want to be part of, it’s very high. You could say… I mean whether that’s because of the venture capitalists or it’s because of the growth pressure or they just wake up and think like, do you know what? I don’t want to work at a company that has a thousand employees and I’m just dealing with four layers of managers of managers. I really liked it at 150 people or 178 people.
[00:53:22] And I think that that’s the danger that I see for someone like you, for someone like me, for any other founder who’s in this position where you go like, you know, what if I reached a point where I really like it. Like say you get to the point of 250 people and you go like, this is a great size. I get to deal with managers, we have a large amount of impact, but I’m still, I don’t know, involved with some initiatives hands-on, this is a great size. If we were to double that again and become 500 or double that again and become a thousand, my job would just change in ways where I wouldn’t like it. What would happen? Like is that even, is that allowed? Can you step off the bus? And that’s the part where I share you fears, but perhaps even more. I think that that’s inevitable because then you’re going to hit that brick wall that is, hey, I don’t know what you’re talking about Dave, but we all agreed that this is the rocket ship. We can’t stop here. We can’t stop at 250. We need to preferably double next year and double the year after that. And that’s the road it’s on and that’s where it comes in where it doesn’t really matter whether someone has overt control or not. I mean, I’m just making a hypothesis here, but I’m going to think that you’re going to feel like, yeah, do you know what? This is what I signed up for, whether I now like it or not.
[00:54:42] And then what has happened, obviously, I mean several of the companies I mentioned earlier as sort of scarecrow examples, that was exactly what happened. The founders ended up being disinterested, stopped coming into work. Well, they kind of in some cases perhaps didn’t even need to because now there was a new layer of management, install new leaders, and then they sort of just checked out. And then you ended up with the company that was far less of what it started with in terms of its roots, in terms of its values and its people and its trust. And you ended up with that outcome where you go like, do you know, I don’t know how we ended up here. We ended up here one day at a time. And that just seems like a kind of hard, actually, to deal with. Like as you’re saying, your fear is you wake up one day and you think this is not the company I want to work at. What would you do if you wake up and you think well, do you know what 250 people, the size we’re at, this is a good size. What if we could just stay here? Is that ever an option?
Dave Teare: [00:55:38] Yeah, it’s a really good point. It’s certainly something I think a lot about. Instead of talking about the future, why don’t I just talk about the past just for a little bit. So we were two people, we hired folks, we got up to about 20. This is about, probably eight years ago now, and we’re at 20 people, Roustem and I, and we’re doing fine. You know, we were wearing many, many hats and we were juggling a lot of stuff. But you know, we were young then, full of piss and vinegar and we could handle it. But you know, the 19th person, the 20th person, whatever, at 21,22, every person that joined. Which, by the way, we very much subscribe to the Getting Real’s, hire after you need to. Don’t hire when you think you need someone. We would hire when it was abundantly clear that this role was what was needed.
[00:56:32] And so we got to a point where we’re like, huh, I’m still enjoying it at work, but like, I’m working myself to death here and this is just not sustainable. But we needed to make a decision. We had to decide should we put the brakes on 1Password? Because basically at that time, we were more successful than I ever dreamed of. This was eight years ago. And so, it was like, should we put the brakes on? Because we could, we could. We were starting to build out our Android product. I guess it had been there for a while, but we had continued to build our Android product. We were building out our Windows product. We had a web store version. We had a Mac App Store version.
[00:57:12] We had a bunch of stuff and each of them had their place and their a purpose and they were great. And we’re like, well, should we put on the brakes and maybe just get rid of some of these things, right? Like we could go Mac App Store only. That would save us the web store. We wouldn’t need to run our Rails app anymore. We wouldn’t have to maintain our database. We wouldn’t have to worry about taxes because Apple would take care of all that. We could just close down Android and Windows because we’re just trying to focus, right? Just trying to reduce the amount of stuff that we need to do and this was totally an option and it’s one that we almost took.
[00:57:47] The other side of that decision was, okay, let’s hire a CEO. Now that sounds scary and it is scary because you’re going to hire someone and how do you make sure they’re going to share your values? How do you make sure they’re going to drive the company in the direction that you want?
[00:58:06] Now I’m going to be completely honest. I don’t really know the answer to that question but I got damn lucky, because when I worked at IBM I made a really good friendship with Jeff Shiner who was my boss at the time. And we made a really good friendship there. We used to finish each other’s basements, like all sorts of stuff. We were really tight knit. And after I left IBM, we kept in touch and he left IBM as well. So we kind of went our separate ways, but we kept in touch. And then I drove out to his house one day about eight years ago. And I basically, I was, I don’t want to say defeated, but I was like clearly burnt out.
[00:58:46] And so I went there with probably the worst sales pitch that I’ve ever done. Because again, I’m just burnt out. I’m just like, we got this app, it’s doing pretty well and it’s going a little bit too well. And yeah, would you like to come and help us run the company here? And we got lucky and Jeff said yes. And so he joined us eight years ago. And we’ve been growing ever since. And I’ll say with confidence I’m much happier now than I was eight years ago. And it’s not that hard to figure out why. I actually get some sleep now. I was going through quite some periods there for quite some time where I basically couldn’t remember anything because I didn’t get any sleep.
[00:59:29] I just wouldn’t remember that I was supposed to do certain things. That was when I left the stove on when I left the house. That’s a separate story but that did not end well. Anyways, we had a choice to make. Do we grow the company or do we put on the brakes and we made the decision to hire Jeff and it turned out remarkably well.
[00:59:51] We find ourselves at basically the exact same fork in the road now. People, particularly companies, are adopting 1Password faster than I ever imagined. And we’ve basically outgrown all of our systems that we have. Thank God our database is on Amazon because all you have to do is go into the admin console and you just click a little button to upgrade, right? It’s like, oh, I want the bigger instance please. And you’re fine.
[01:00:19] But we don’t don’t have that here in our processes and in our structure. And so it’s actually scary, but it’s also very exciting because we’re going to do our best to grow these processes that we need so that we can build some structure there and some additional teams that we just don’t even exist right now. Right? It’s not like the team’s too small. It’s like no, the team just doesn’t even exist. To grow some additional teams so that we can start being able to handle the load. And when we went through all the various ways of doing that, by far the best option was to partner with Accel.
[01:01:02] We, certainly could have done it ourselves with enough sweat and tears and energy and all that type of stuff. But I suspect that would have taken years, and to be quite frank, you only have so much energy that you can devote to a task on any given day. And I fear that if we did decide to do it ourselves we would basically come out the other end exhausted. That’s not good for anyone either.
DHH: [01:01:30] Totally. And I can see that this is where like we talk about these moments in time, these scars that you have on your memory. I mean I have all sorts of scars from being with Basecamp for 18 years that inform how we run the company today and to have sort of like, hey, we don’t want to go back to the time where I left the stove on, right? That’s a very visceral image to have in your mind to help you drive decisions. And I think that that’s, I mean that’s what humans do, right? Like we have this catalog of past experiences that we filter all our decisions and our hopes and our dreams through. And that’s how we end up being different, right? That’s how we end up making different decisions. And I think that that’s why it’s so great that we had the opportunity to get you on the show because think sharing those different paths and sharing those different experiences, help people understand how different people end up arriving at different conclusions based on even the same facts or even sharing much of the same values about how to build a company or the things that they worry about.
[01:02:37] Because as I listened to you talk, there’s so much of it where I just, I’m nodding my head and I go, that’s exactly what we were in. And then there are these small forks in the road or these slightly different experiences or slightly different times where we went different paths. And that’s how we end up with different premises and assumptions and fears and hopes and dreams and all these other things.
[01:03:00] So I just want to give you a huge thanks for coming on the show and sharing all this. I just want to also like, 1Password, if I could wish for anyone to beat the odds of the venture capital game, I’m going to put my money on you and I’m going to put my money on 1Password and I’m gonna cross my fingers. And hope in seven years we look back at this conversation and we laugh about all the unfounded fears and on the unfounded concerns and we go like, do you know what? This was just a slam dunk. This was one of those times where the averages were beat and the structural incentives didn’t screw things up and it turned out great.
Dave Teare: [01:03:45] Well, thank you. Thank you so much for saying so, I really appreciate that. And thank you so much for having me on the show. It certainly turned out a lot nicer than a Twitter thread, I think. And it saved me some RSI in my wrists as I type that through. And honestly, you know, I’ve told you this a couple of times, you really did help make 1Password take place and it’s just, yeah, you do such a great job of actually documenting what’s on your mind publicly. It helps a lot. My main regret is I don’t blog enough. There’s thousands of other entrepreneurs coming on the scene every day and I need to give back and blog more for these, people. And I’m going to try to follow your lead and do that.
DHH: [01:04:28] Well, I think you’ve given back a ton on this show and helping other entrepreneurs at least wrestle with the questions through other people’s experiences. I think this is how we can help others level up and they can come to their own conclusions. They can filter through their experiences and, and see where we went and decide for themselves. But just being more aware of that I think is a huge help. And then I’d also say just that I appreciate the kind words, but sometimes I also wish that I didn’t actually have this almost unavoidable drive to document everything that’s on my mind.
[01:05:01] Because a lot of that ends up on Twitter and elsewhere where you go like, do you know what? That was a fleeting thought that ended up being a tweet and maybe that shouldn’t have been committed to the internet.
[01:05:12] But thank you so much again and all the best with 1Password and I maybe we can set up a rendezvous. We check in in seven years and we bring out the champagne and we celebrate.
Dave Teare: [01:05:24] I would love that.
DHH: [01:05:25] Awesome.
[01:05:27] Broken By Design by Clip Art plays.
Wailin: [01:05:31] Rework is produced by Shaun Hildner, and me, Wailin Wong. Our theme music is Broken By Design by Clip Art. You can find show notes for this episode at our website, rework.fm and we’re on Twitter at @reworkpodcast.
Shaun: [01:05:42] Rework is brought to you by Basecamp. Basecamp puts everything you need to get work done in one place. It’s the calm, organized way to manage projects, work with clients, and communicate company wide. Try it for yourself basecamp.com.