Aug. 24, 2022

Ian Tien - CEO & Co-Founder of Mattermost | Open Source Platforms vs Closed Source Platforms

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➡️ About The Guest⁣

Ian Tien is CEO and co-founder of Mattermost, Inc., which delivers high trust collaboration to leading enterprises on a vibrant open source platform. Thousands of companies trust Mattermost for vital communications across the web, PC, and phone, with archiving, search, and integrations with hundreds of business applications. Ian has also won the 2018 Gartner Cool Vendor Award.

Ian previously founded SpinPunch, Inc., an award-winning online video game company whose titles were played by millions of people across 190 countries. He was formerly VP of Product at Flickme, a movie streaming startup backed by Sequoia Capital, Warner Brothers, and Sony Pictures. Before that, he ran product management for Microsoft’s SkyDrive and Windows Live Photos services (now "OneDrive") and was product management lead for Hotmail (now ""). Prior, he led engineering teams for Microsoft Office in its enterprise software business across SharePoint and business intelligence product lines.

Ian holds over a dozen patents in analytic applications and is an alumnus of the University of Waterloo, where he worked at Trilogy Software during school, and the Stanford Graduate School of Business, where he served as a teaching assistant for Andy Grove and Myron Scholes.

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➡️ Talking Points⁣

00:00 - Intro

03:39 - Ian Tien's origin story

04:35 - What was the career journey that brought Ian Tien to Mattermost?

10:22 - What is the concept of open source and how was it important for Ian?

16:00 - Conversations with VCs who are investing in an open source company

22:45 - Is an open source program more secure than a closed source program?

28:23 - What was Ian Tien's customer acquisition strategy?

31:12 - How to find, scale up, and maintain great talent?

36:54 - Ian’s advice for entrepreneurs regarding open source companies

39:49 - Evolving trends and common practices of remote work

42:54 - Which software companies have done remote work well before Ian’s company?

46:27 - Where does Ian Tien want to take Mattermost in the next 5 to 10 years?

47:26 - How can people connect to Ian Tien?

47:49 - Is there anything Ian Tien would like to redo in his career?

48:34 - What keeps Ian up at night?

49:08 - What was the worst point in building Mattermost and how did Ian overcome it?

50:41 - The biggest challenge Ian Tien ever faced in his personal life

52:01 - The most impactful person in Ian Tien’s life

53:42 - Ian’s book or podcast recommendation

54:00 - What would Ian Tien tell his 20-year-old self?

54:14 - What does success mean to Ian Tien?

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