Monthly Archives: May 2008

Turning a Page on Atlassian History

This weekend was an emotional moment for me. We moved our San Francisco office from its humble original space to spacious new quarters on another floor in our building.

Every time I move houses I make a point of going back into the house, once its empty, and sitting in the middle and thinking. Saturday when the movers finished, I had to take this picture of where it all started. Ben Naftzger from Sydney opened the office with me in September 2005. Benny and I sat here using both ends of this little printer table…
The original Atlassian SF office decor

On this table, there was enough room for our laptops and nothing else. We started with a VOIP phone and mostly our mobile phones. I wrote the Craigslist ads, and Benny and I started interviewing.

The memories from starting up are indelible and often laughable, because you often try to spend as little as possible:

I remember Ben arguing with me at Office Depot about why we should buy a $59 phone instead of a $79 phone. Ben being a Cheap Ass was good for the business. Startups need Cheap Asses.

Mike Cannon-Brookeswas staying at a hotel for $80/night with shared bathrooms. In San Francisco! Atlassian had just done $5 million in sales, was very profitable, and I was scratching my head: where did he find this hotel in San Francisco?

Later on, there was the Famous Scott Farquhar-personally-installed-and-configured Asterisk open source PBX phone system. Installed on this piece of shit server…
The Once Infamous, Forever Loved Asterisk Server

… and needless to say, in spite of Scott’s great engineering skills, we swore behind his back and went out and hired a trained consultant to fix the Goddamned thing. In case you wondered, this server is free — first come, first served — if the janitors don’t throw it in the trash bin first.

The printer table was a page in Atlassian History. The table will now go back to the landlord, and while I am a sentimental sap — and looking at this picture brings up some strong emotional feelings — I hope another startup gets this table.