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In the two years following its launch, Docker became one of the fastest growing open-source and enterprise products of all time.

Ben, Matt, and Bill describe the challenges of scaling an overnight phenomenon.

Matthew Miller
Sequoia

What Solomon built is really incredible. An increasingly heterogeneous infrastructure world needed a standard housing for applications to reduce complexity. Not only is Docker cheaper and faster than virtualization, as a new standard, it helps many unlock greater opportunities such as Microservices. It has taken off faster than anything we have ever seen in infrastructure.

Ben Golub
CEO, Docker

By June of 2015, Docker containers had been downloaded close to 500 million times. That number was 100 million in January, and 3 million a year before. So that gives you a sense of the growth.

Bill Coughran
Sequoia

The data around developer interest and developer adoption of the open-source project were phenomenal. And Matt, to his credit, got very excited about those metrics, and really energized Sequoia to look closely at the company.

Matthew Miller

We were talking to CIOs, people running DevOps inside these big companies, and they kept going, “Have you heard about this Docker thing? It’s just crazy.” And then our portfolio companies started telling us, “Hey, we're re-architecting our whole infrastructure on Docker.”

Ben Golub

So we’ve got massive growth and adoption by developers — but at the same time, we're not selling to developers. We're selling to CIOs and heads of operation. So very different development styles, timelines and customer demands, all of which we need to deliver.

Bill Coughran

That combination meant a huge scale-up in the team. They went from 25 or 30 employees to 120 very quickly, and needed more senior people on the engineering side.

Ben Golub

The challenge was to rapidly build up an engineering leadership team that was capable of scaling to handle consumer-style growth on the one hand, and deliver rock-solid enterprise products on the other.

Matthew Miller

Bill has been able to have a tremendous impact with the company. Having built massive engineering teams at Google, he has been able to be a great advisor to Solomon, Ben and the rest of the team.

Ben Golub

Bill is one of the few people in the venture community who’s really lived through hyperscaling as an engineering leader. He made a terrific complement to a board that already included people like Peter Fenton and Jerry Yang, and he and Matt have been instrumental in helping us build up and recruit key members of our development team here.

Matthew Miller

Bill was going up to Docker every other week to sit down with the leadership, interviewing people, helping think through how they were going to build out their organization with the right people at the right pace.

Ben Golub

Our head of engineering, for example — we were punching above our weight class in trying to recruit her, and Bill was instrumental in convincing her of the enormous potential at Docker and of the existing technical chops inside the company.

Bill Coughran

The opportunity now is to build a business around the open-source success that Solomon, Ben, and team have achieved. And that’s a real challenge. But if Docker succeeds it'll become the new standard for enterprise computing.

Matthew Miller

It’s becoming ubiquitous. We had a CIO day here at Sequoia with 30 of the top CIOs, and we asked, “How many of you have Docker somewhere in your organization?” Everybody raised their hand. To have that kind of mindshare, with that audience, 18 months in — it’s remarkable.

Ben Golub

We’re looking to be one of the most significant tech companies of this decade. This is my third time as a startup CEO, and the second time with Sequoia as a partner. I believe they were instrumental in the success of my first company, and I believe they’ll be instrumental in the success of Docker.

Docker continues to soar in popularity as an open-source project.By September 2015, Docker has seen 900 million container downloads, 2,000 open source contributors, and 175 employees. Its roster of organizational partners grew in 2015 to include every major OS, dev tool and cloud provider, and the Docker technology is now quickly penetrating mainstream enterprise.

Docker
Enables developers to build, ship, and run applications anywhere.
Milestones
  • Founded 2010
  • Partnered 2014
Team
  • Ben Golub
  • Solomon Hykes