Michelle Zatlyn is Co-founder and CEO of Cloudflare.
Michelle Zatlyn (@zatlyn), co-founder, president, and COO of Cloudflare, joined Village Global co-founder and partner Ben Casnocha for a masterclass with our founders in late 2020.They discussed:- The origin story of Cloudflare, including how the co-founders met, and how Michelle realized that she too could start a company.- Her advice on fundraising after raising more than $300M for Cloudflare, including why you should keep the rest of the VC partnership in mind, and how to show rather than tell in your pitch.- How they found the best talent, including why their blog brought them plenty of inbound interest, and why searching far and wide around the globe for engineers helped them build their team quickly.- Why they don’t use recruiters at Cloudflare.- How to turn a weakness into a strength.- How to process feedback and when it makes sense to ignore it.- Stories of extreme frugality in the early days of the company, including building their own Ikea desks.- How an emotional response by customers helped them know they had product-market fit.Thanks for listening — if you like what you hear, please review us on your favorite podcast platform. Check us out on the web at www.villageglobal.vc or get in touch with us on Twitter @villageglobal.Want to get updates from us? Subscribe to get a peek inside the Village. We’ll send you reading recommendations, exclusive event invites, and commentary on the latest happenings in Silicon Valley. www.villageglobal.vc/signup
My guest today is Michelle Zatlyn. Michelle is the co-founder and COO of Cloudflare, a now $25 billion dollar business which she helped take public last year. Cloudflare helps businesses make their websites faster and more secure, and over 25 million websites are running Cloudflare today. In our conversation, we discuss the catalyst for starting CloudFlare, explore the layers of the internet and the future of distributed storage and computing power, and discuss how and why Cloudflare operates its network across 200 cities globally. We close with the importance of finding and working with great co-founders and partners as you build a business. I hope you enjoy our conversation.   DocSend is a document sharing platform that enables companies to share business-critical documents with ease and get real-time actionable analytics. With DocSend’s security and control, startup founders, investors, business development executives, and financial professionals can drive business outcomes that have a lasting impact. Start for free at www.docsend.com.    This episode of Founder’s Field Guide is also brought to you by NetSuite. Netsuite allows founders to centralize their payment systems, ditch old spreadsheets and Quickbook tools, and finally gain visibility and control over their financials, HR, inventory, eCommerce - all in one place, instantly. Whether you are doing a million in revenue or hundreds of millions in revenue - see why over 22,000 companies are using NetSuite today. Schedule your free product tour at https://www.netsuite.com/invest.   For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag   Show Notes (2:52) – (First question) – Project Honeypot and how it started (3:39) – What question was Honeypot solving (4:59) – Working through the idea maze of Cloudflare (7:30) – The first iteration of Cloudflare (8:15) – An overview of the cybersecurity market and why more leaders need to pay attention (10:33) – First big break for the company (12:50) – Risks they help mitigate (16:42) – Cyber weapons that Cloudflare protects against (20:14) – Hardest part of the building process (24:06) – Effective marketing lessons (25:41) – The sharks vs mosquitoes concept (27:53) – How do decide where to focus next (31:34) – The Cloudflare workers program (36:33) – Their scale vs other cloud providers (42:21) – The finance side of Cloudflare and their relationship vs Wall Street             (42:40) – John Collison Podcast Episode (44:47) – Relationship with their founding partners (50:46) – What about the future is most excites them (52:32) – Kindest thing anyone has done for her   Learn More For more episodes go to InvestorFieldGuide.com/podcast. Sign up for the book club and new email newsletter called “Inside the Episode” at InvestorFieldGuide.com/bookclub. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag  
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