I am Mitchell Hashimoto, Founder and CTO of HashiCorp. Ask me anything!

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Varrun Ramani's photo

What are some lessons from growing a software company from open source? If you were to go back and do things differently, what would the changes you would have made? Do you have any tips for entrepreneurs starting companies from open source?

Mitchell Hashimoto's photo

Sorry I haven't answered this, this is a really big question and difficult to answer without just typing for hours and hours. I've learned a lot of lessons, I've made numerous mistakes. It's hard to pinpoint them in the moment also because there is so much context around them.

I think my one tip I'd give, and I mentioned this in detail in another answer so for full detail check that out: starting a company of any form is so much more than the technical bits. For me, the technical bits were easy, a given. But you still need to build out support, sales, marketing, etc. And each of those is just as hard in their own way as the core product and technology. It is a big undertaking.

I don't want to discourage people from starting companies though! It has been very rewarding, I had no idea what I was doing going into it, and I am doing okay. You can too. But I also didn't realize how hard it would actually be.