Docker has celebrated a number of important milestones lately. March 20th was the fourth anniversary of the launch of the Docker project at PyCon in 2013. April 10th was the fourth anniversary of the day that I joined Solomon and a team of 14 other believers to help build this remarkable company. And, on April 18th, we brought the community, customers, and partners together in Austin for the fourth US-based DockerCon.
March 20th, 2013
Docker Team in 2013
DockerCon was a great opportunity to reflect on the progress we’ve seen in the past four years. Docker the company has grown from 15 to over 330 talented individuals. The number of contributors to Docker has grown from 10 to over 3300. Docker is used by millions of developers and is running on millions of servers. There are now over 900k dockerized apps that have been downloaded over 13 billion times. Docker is being used to cure diseases, keep planes in the air, to keep soldiers safe from landmines, to power the world’s largest financial networks and institutions, to process billions in transactions, to help create new companies, and to help revitalize existing companies. Docker has rapidly scaled revenues, building a sustainable and exciting subscription business in conjunction with tens of thousands of small and mid sized businesses and over 400 G2000 customers like ADP, the Department of Defense, GE, Goldman Sachs, Merck, MetLife, and Visa. And, we’ve created enduring partnerships with the likes of Accenture, Alibaba, Avanade, AWS, Booz Allen, Cisco, Google, HPE, IBM, Microsoft, Oracle, and more. We’ve built the foundations for a lasting and sustainable business.
I am incredibly humbled and honored to have been a part of this journey. So, it is naturally with some mixed emotions that I share the news that Steve Singh will become Docker’s new CEO (he is currently chairman of the board), and that I will be moving to a role on the board of directors. While there is always some uncertainty about changing roles, I am 100% certain that Steve is the right person for Docker.
He is an incredible individual and leader, with a broad base of experience that includes founding and growing one of the most successful enterprise companies, Concur. Over the course of two decades, Steve took Concur from startup to public company, successfully navigated the shift from software to SaaS, and built a world class team, customer base, and business model, forging an organization of lasting value. More recently, he has demonstrated his considerable expertise as a member of the SAP Executive Board, serving as President of SAP Business Networks and running SAP’s largest cloud businesses. As I worked with Steve– first as Docker’s chairman, and then as we worked together on the transition– I also saw his incredible qualities as a human being, and heard from the many people who have had the pleasure to work with Steve at Concur and SAP. (the average tenure at Concur was over twelve years). Docker has the potential to become not only one of the most enduring technology companies, but also a transformational platform, technology, and movement; I can’t think of a better or more qualified individual to lead us to that future than Steve.
I’d like to end this note with a few personal thoughts.
My first “Silicon Valley” Job, c. 1982
I started my “career” in Silicon Valley cutting apricots in an orchard a stone’s throw from what was to become Apple headquarters. Since then, I’ve had the privilege of working for six startups—three as CEO. Two went public (Avid and Verisign), two became part of larger companies (Gluster and Plaxo) and one was unceremoniously shut down by government officials. (A “business school” in Uzbekistan ). I think Docker has the potential to far exceed all of them.
Of the Six Startups I’ve worked at/led, Docker stands out (and certainly has the best logo!)
But, all of my startup experiences have been remarkable, and have taught me that my heart lies in startups. I’ve also learned that great companies are bigger than any individual person, and that a person’s life is defined by much more than any one company. Finally, I’ve seen that different leaders with different skills are needed at different stages in a company’s history. Steve is the right leader for Docker now, and I am confident that his leadership will enable Docker to fulfill its incredible potential.
I’d like to end by thanking a number of people. I’d like to thank Solomon for his vision, passion, brilliance, and willingness to share this journey with me. I’d like to thank our board and investors, our many partners, and especially Docker’s customers for their faith in–and support of–a young company and team with outsized dreams. I’d like to thank the incredibly creative and talented people who are using Docker for everything from finding cures for cancer to searching for earth-like planets to developing new sources of clean energy. Your enthusiasm and passion has made the past four years not only fun, but deeply meaningful. I’d like to thank my incredible family, my wife, and and three amazing sons for your support, love, patience, and encouragement through the long days, nights, and weekends.
Finally , I’d like to thank the incredible team at Docker. I’d like to thank the early employees ( like Sam Alba, Eric Bardin, Victor Vieux, Yannis Peyret, Ken Cochrane, and Jerome Petazzoni–who met me on my first day) and people like Nick Stinemates and Michael Crosby, who were among the first people I helped to bring into the company, and who have all continued to contribute so much to Docker. I’d like to thank entrepreneurs like Aanand, Anil, Ben, Daniel, Diogo, Evan, Jeff Julien, Madhu, Nathan, and Patrick who were willing to join their dreams and companies with ours. I’d like to thank the incredible members of the Docker executive team who I haven’t already mentioned: the irrepressible Roger Egan, the multi-talented Marianna Tessel, the hard-driving Scott Johnston, the passionate customer advocate Iain Gray, the wildly creative and insightful David Messina, and the unflappable Mike Gupta. Thank you for not only joining us at Docker, but for attracting and building such amazing teams of your own. And, thank you all for persevering through the difficult times. Thank you to Faith Kinyua for keeping me sane and organized. I could probably go on for at least another 300 names. But, to all of you: you are one of the most passionate, skilled, diverse, and amazing groups I’ve ever known. You have done such inspiring and impossible things already, and I will be cheering from the sidelines as you take Docker to even greater heights.
Docker Team Today