Congratulations to the entire team at Fastly on a successful initial public offering. It’s been incredible to observe the effort and dedication that led you to this milestone. While there is no shortage of work still to do, becoming a public company is a huge milestone that is worthy of reflection.
As an investor, I’ve stood off-stage as you’ve done the hard work of developing technology, delighting customers and growing a business worthy of the public markets. I’ve been fortunate to see Fastly grow from the day it was founded, and in fact, even earlier. My history with Fastly goes back to late 2010 when Jesse Robbins, co-founder of Chef Software suggested I connect with Artur Bergman, who was then CTO of Wikia. Actually, it was much stronger than a suggestion. I believe Jesse said, “If Artur Bergman ever decides to start a company, don’t think, just back him.”
With that endorsement ringing in my ears, I invited Artur to lunch in SF. Our very first conversation over Thai food in SoMa left me with some strong first impressions that remain clear in my mind today. Artur was intensely thoughtful. He had a clear understanding of where Internet infrastructure had come from and where it needed to go next. He had a tendency to swear 🙂 And most importantly, he spoke with deep passion about not just how dynamic, personalized content and applications would transform the internet, but also how his fellow developers were hamstrung by internet infrastructure that was old, inflexible and insufficient to make that future a reality.
A few months after our lunch, Artur was ready to tackle those problems head-on and Fastly was born. I proposed a seed financing along with my friend Mark Jacobsen of OATV. Artur and our fellow board member Gil Penchina agreed, and we closed the investment in March 2011.
So much happened in the following eight years that it would be impossible to recount every one of your successes and setbacks, but there are a few specific things that I’ve come to deeply admire about what you Fastlyans have built:
Your Culture and Values: Building a company of 450 employees (and counting…) is hard. Doing so across a highly distributed organization is even harder. While many things contributed to recruiting such an outstanding team, I think prioritizing transparency, integrity, and inclusion stands out above all else. Stating your values with pride and living them every day is a practice that most young companies should aspire to emulate, if for no other reason than it attracts the best possible people from all corners of the globe. Team Fastly is the collective, living proof of that.
You Love Your Customers: At your core, you are a company built by developers for developers. That simple concept pervades your products, your customer relationships, and even our board meeting conversations.
Being led by a CEO who has walked many miles in your customers’ shoes has kept that idea at the center of every decision you’ve made. I trust that your focus on doing right by your customers will never fade and you will remain a better company for it.
You Remain True to Your Vision: Keeping your vision in focus, despite constant distractions, is one of the hardest parts of building a long-lasting startup. With that in mind, I was curious to look back and see how Artur pitched Fastly’s core value proposition when the company was being born. Sure enough, in a 2011 presentation, on a slide describing the Fastly vision, Artur put forth only three key ideas:
I can’t think of a more fitting testament to what you’ve all built than to say that you’ve accomplished all of those things and much more.
On behalf of everyone at Amplify Partners, I’d like to wish everyone at Fastly the warmest of congratulations on your recent IPO and best of luck as you enter this exciting new chapter in your company’s life. Onward!