Tech Talent And Company Start Ups: Sons Of Atlassian

In the News, Ampersand Latest


Glenda Korporaal’s article in The Australian, Deal Magazine shows how the harnessing of talent and focus on developing staff with a common journey can pay off in a very big way. Sons of Atlassian is a study on the method of fostering its own broader ecosystem to underpin its asset building and get set for further growth. This company was started 15 years ago and since then management has built a company valued at US 6.4 billion with more than 1,500 staff supporting offices worldwide.

Glenda, “While big Australian companies are laying off staff as they battle to cope in a changing world and the federal government is working on the next stage of it’s innovation policy, Atlassian is spanning a crop of whip smart tech savvy alumni who are going out on their own.”

Management Mike Cannon-Brooks and Scott Farquhar have developed and mentored many staff who have now gone out on their own and who retain close friendships and business relationships with them. In fact they have been encouraged to tap into the online facility marketplace, which provides online products to supplement Atlassian software.

Such is the strength and usability of these products and the confidence management have in the way they have been built by smart operators – they continue to be offered to those who have left and gone out on their own. The personal relationships have been kept alive and as such benefit both sides. The tech community continues to grow here in Australia and the marketplace makes it easier to translate this growth worldwide.

Glenda profiles two companies which have adopted the approach of Atlassian. These companies are Code Barrel started by Nick Menere and Andreas Knecht and Easy Agile started by Nicholas Muldoon and Dave Elkan. Menere recalls, “I walked through the door at Atlassian and didn’t really walk out for another 11 years.” Then it was time to start Code Barrel. Muldoon had worked in the San Francisco office of Atlassian, returned to Australia and decided to set up a business outside of the big cities. Wollongong became the location – then he approached Dave Elkan and both set up Easy Agile under the umbrella of Atlassian.

Muldoon, “We are serving a customer base that is mainly on the other side of the world, and we are doing it from Wollongong.” Muldoon has a problem though. It’s a good problem to have. Handling demand. Muldoon, “We are having to scale the business in a smart way. We have people walking in the door on a daily basis.”

Glenda’s message in this review shows us it is possible to employ, train and mentor staff for out-performance and when it’s time for them to move on, retain a personal and business relationship with them. This isn’t a threat if managed well and to both parties’ benefit., The key is to ensure that your own business continues to develop and remain strong. If your systems and market research lead the marketplace then those who have chosen to move on will remain in touch and potentially continue a business relationship which will be advantageous to both sides.

The power of respectful partnerships playing out for the greater good for all.



Hayley James

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