When you start a company, it can be tempting to keep it simple. You want something that investors and customers can easily understand. While it might be easier to go that route, that is not something that Cloudflare did when it launched a decade ago at TechCrunch Disrupt. Instead, the company decided to go big or go home, and went with the wild idea of building a faster and safer internet. Not too much pressure.
It launched in 2010 with a free product and a paid tier and grew that original notion of delivering speed and security into a suite of products and services. Today, a decade later, Cloudflare is a public company with a market cap of nearly $12 billion.
We are going to talk to company co-founder and chief operating officer Michelle Zatlyn in a one-on-one interview at TechCrunch Disrupt 2020 about what it took to build off that vision as an early stage company. They were going after established giants like Akamai at the time. They needed to build a network of data centers around the world, starting with five on three continents at launch.
None of this could have been easy from an operations perspective. They were offering the bold assertion that they could make the world’s websites faster and safer and do it in a way that didn’t require any additional hardware and software. As an early adherent to the notion of cloud computing, they were giving customers the ability to do things that up until that point were only in reach of the largest internet properties, selling a value proposition that is common today, but was pretty unusual at the time.
We’re going to ask Zatlyn how they built this early product, how they grew the product set and expanded their data center coverage to over 200 around the world and what it took do all that and eventually become a public company.
You can see this session on the Disrupt stage along with all the programming on the Extra Crunch stage, network with CrunchMatch and discover hundreds of early-stage companies in Digital Startup Alley with your Digital Pro Pass purchase for just $345. There are discounts available for students, government and nonprofit employees as well as a great offer for early-stage founders who want to exhibit in Digital Startup Alley. Get your pass today before prices increase!