Episode 23: HashiCorp CEO Dave McJannet Reveals the Secrets of Commercializing Open Source, Selling to Enterprises and Building Successful Relationships with Founders

HashiCorp CEO Dave McJannet and Glenn Solomon live at
GGV’s Evolving Enterprise annual conference

Dave McJannet joined HashiCorp as CEO about three years ago when the company was approximately 30 people. Today the company employs more than 400 people, the company’s value has grown more than 20x and customer adoption for both the company’s open source platform and enterprise products have exploded. Prior to joining HashiCorp, Dave ran marketing at GitHub and HortonWorks, and earlier in his career spent time at VMware, Microsoft and webMethods.

In this episode, we dig into HashiCorp’s growth and how it balances open source communities and enterprise revenue models, Dave’s journey to becoming the CEO and his relationship with HashiCorp co-founders Mitchell Hashimoto and Armon Dadgar, and the secret to selling software to large enterprises.

Episode Highlights:

02:36: What’s it like to join a startup as a CEO when you’re not the founder? What are some of the challenges?
05:23: What made you think you were the right CEO for the CEO role at Hashicorp?
06:40: How to do split things up – between yourself and the two co-founders?
08:05: How do you manage disagreements?
08:54: How does your open source business model work?
10:40: Are there key indicators or metrics that you use to monitor the health of the business?
12:05: How do you think about time and resource allocation between the open source and commercial sides of the business?
13:11: How much time are the founders spending with open source communities vs. commercial customers?
14:15: How do you prioritize what’s going to be part of the open source roadmap and what you’re going to keep for commercial?
15:50: What do you need to do to be successful in selling to the enterprise as a young company?
17:39: In selling to the enterprise, it is just fake it till you make it?
19:21: How big a deal is support when working with enterprise customers?
20:05: What value do you get from your user conference? Do you recommend annual events for users?
22:08: As you scale from different revenue phases, what have you had to re-tool? What’s on your mind next?
25:07: What’s your favorite book that you recommend for founders?
25:33: If you were a investor or board member in a Series A or B company what’s the one piece of advice you’d give to the founder?
26:12 What’s a company that you admire and why?

If you have any questions you’d like us to ask our guests, or founders you’d like to hear on this podcast, feel free to email us at founderrealtalk@ggvc.com. If you like what you hear, please rate and review us on the Apple podcast app to help others find this podcast.

GGV Capital is a global venture capital firm that invests in local founders. As a multi-stage, sector-focused firm, GGV focuses on seed-to-growth stage investments across Consumer/New Retail, Social/Digital & Internet, Enterprise/Cloud and Frontier Tech sectors. The firm was founded in 2000 and manages $6.2 billion in capital across 13 funds. Past and present portfolio companies include Affirm, Airbnb, Alibaba, BitSight, ByteDance (Toutiao), Ctrip, Didi Chuxing, Grab, Gladly, Hello Chuxing, HashiCorp, Houzz, Keep, LingoChamp, Namely, Niu, Nozomi Networks, Opendoor, Peloton, Poshmark, Slack, Square, Wish, Xauto, Xiaohongshu, Yellow, YY, Zhaoyou and more. The firm has offices in Beijing, San Francisco, Shanghai, Singapore and Silicon Valley. Learn more at ggvc.com, @GGVCapital or GGVCapital on WeChat.