Not too long ago, open-source technology projects were pursued in large part for altruistic reasons—they were “almost religious,” and not viewed as businesslike or potentially profitable, says Jay Kreps, the founder and CEO of newly public data company Confluent*.
Today, companies like Confluent have changed that perception. Confluent—which commercializes the Apache Kafka open-source project and specializes in continuous, real-time data processing—went public this past June and just reported its first financial quarter with more than $100 million in revenue. On this episode of the Billion-Dollar B2B podcast, Battery General Partner Dharmesh Thakker talks with Kreps about the company’s journey from a small project developed inside business-networking site LinkedIn into a large, public technology company.
Kreps offers advice for other entrepreneurs scaling their own B2B tech companies, including thoughts on:
- How to partner with big public cloud-computing providers, even when you might also be competing with them;
- How to balance a low-friction, bottoms-up sales model with enterprise sales;
- The benefits of doubling down on the cloud early on in a company’s lifecycle; and
- How to consider the decision to take your company public, even when you could continue to raise capital privately.
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*Denotes a Battery portfolio company. For a full list of all Battery investments, please click here.