The Silicon Review
I promised myself that I would not cut corners or sacrifice quality in what is provided to my clients: Austin McChord, CEO Datto Inc.
Datto Inc. provides business continuity solutions to secure the essential business data for thousands of companies around the world. The company’s integrated suite of services include market leading data backup and disaster recovery (BDR) offerings, advanced Cloud-to-Cloud (C2C) backup services for leading SaaS applications, and innovative network continuity solutions. All delivered as managed services primarily through Managed Service Providers (MSPs) for the data protection needs of small and midsized businesses or distributed locations of large enterprises.
Set up in 2007, Datto is headquartered in Norwalk, Connecticut and has offices in Rochester, NY; Monroe, CT; Boston, MA; Portland, OR; Toronto, London, Singapore and Sydney.
Interview Excerpt: Austin McChord, CEO Datto Inc.
Talking to The Silicon Review, Austin McChord reveals that he promised himself that he would not cut corners or sacrifice quality in what is provided to his customers. Even though he was unsure whether any company would hire him. Later, he started his own venture.
“I started the company right out of college. I was concerned that no one would be willing to hire me. Therefore, I started a business on my own. I originally started selling to small businesses directly. And I actually started working on the first few products out of my father’s office basement in Connecticut. We now have nine offices around the world,” McChord reveals.
“Our first product was a mediocre success. We received feedback from our customers on how we could make it better. Later, we received attention from the MSP channel. Over time, we transitioned to selling 100 percent of our products through channel partners,” McChord said.
Develop a strong game plan: Austin McChord
Talking on the subject of criticism, McChord said that he firmly believes that the most valuable feedback one receives is negative. When faced with opposition, he was determined to go down swinging even when others said it was a long shot. “Initially, people suggested to me to give up as they believed that the idea behind my company was not constructive. Over time, I was able to prove them wrong. Your most unhappy customers are your greatest source of learning,” the CEO said. “I faced severe challenges in the beginning. From running out of money multiple times, to the occasional lawsuit. I feel like, in many ways, I have made almost every mistake in the book. It takes serious passion and perseverance to keep the wheel turning,” McChord said.
A good number of people working at Datto are operating at the apex of their careers, taking on new challenges that they have never faced before. McChord adds that there is an energy that comes with every experience. And that energy makes Datto incomparable.
Datto is adding employees at a faster clip: Austin McChord
McChord reveals the number of full-time employees Datto has placed so far. And it is believed that the company is planning to hire more in the coming months. “Currently we have approximately 900 employees. We have changed the organization a few times, and I imagine that we will do it again sometime soon. Currently, the organization is divided into functional groups by departments and each department has a three tier hierarchy,” McChord said.
Move from direct sales to channel was a seismic shift: Austin McChord
The switch from ARM to x86 enabled Datto to take up ZFS and Virtualization and allowed it to get into business continuity. “In 2012, Hurricane Sandy caused massive devastation to many businesses across the east coast. We spent many days working to restore hundreds of businesses using our technology. That was an eye-opener and convinced me of the incredible value Datto could provide to every SMB out there,” McChord claims. Moreover, buying Backupify really changed his thinking in how to manage a business.
Raising the bar
Datto enables small businesses to have enterprise grade BCDR and manages networking solutions. “Although I never believed that I would become a successful businessman, today I am very grateful to be surrounded by a team of experts who help me continue to move the company forward and help other businesses to grow along,” McChord claims.
About the CEO – Austin McChord
Since Austin started the company in 2007 from a basement in Norwalk, CT Datto has experienced unprecedented growth. Largely self-funded and profitable, the company has grown to more than 800 employees in 9 countries. Datto has also received numerous industry awards, for company growth, product excellence and technical support.
Austin’s vision to bring enterprise grade data protection solutions to small and midsized businesses is the driving force of the company. Today, hundreds of thousands of businesses are protected with Datto technology, delivered exclusively through Managed Service Providers.
Austin is a frequently recognized entrepreneur who was named an Ernst & Young Technology Entrepreneur of the Year in 2016 and to the Forbes 30 under 30 in 2015. He has a degree in Bioinformatics from Rochester Institute of Technology, and holds several patents.