It's the Crunchies after party and GitHub Co-Founder and CEO Tom Preston-Werner is sitting by the front door at Absinthe in San Francisco with the Crunchies statue he had just accepted for best overall startup. The first thing he says? GitHub won the Crunchies Bootstrap Award in 2009.
But this year, it's not about being a grassroots startup. It's about GitHub winning it all and making it clear: This enterprise movement is for real and that monkey on the table proves it.
But let's not be contrived here. GitHub won that monkey not just for its enterprise push. Preston-Werner said it's a huge market but the movement's earliest flickers started as a developer movement that dovetailed with the app boom and cloud computing, embodied in Amazon Web Services. Developers hack away to build the new things that make this new data age so different. Preston-Werner said every startup at the Crunchies uses GitHub in some way, and I am sure he is right.
But I am doubtful Tom would be sipping drinks and savoring his big night if he had walked away from the negotiating table and declined the $100 million from Andreessen Horowitz to pursue the trillion-dollar enterprise market.
Really, though, GitHub is a developer's tool and it's the developers who suddenly have access to the executive suite. Developers have toiled under IT - the recipients of those big-bucks budgets, eating at the buffet line, plump and happy, gulping down that enterprise software like it's prime rib and a fat ol' butter-drenched baked potato.
But now, here come these freaky developers, frigging vegan-like, cave-dwelling coders. Sharing for Christ sakes! Sharing? Control, fear, authority - that's how you run IT! But dang, look at all that processing power, that data that the king wants turned into golden eggs. Call in the developers - the coins are dropping and the counters in the royal chamber are taking notice, turning their buttocks on IT, now trying to figure out how they can cut that monster budget for that converged nonsense, those new-aged mainframes that the hardware vendors keep saying are the answer to world peace.
But it is not convergence or virtualization or whatever else that allows the software giants to keep selling seven-figure deals for their old-school tools. It's the developers that have the magic to turn data into gold, and GitHub is the place for coders to share their spells and potion recipes so those nuggets can get produced faster than ever before.
GitHub is about the rise of the enterprise, sure, but it's more so about the fact that we are all changing as data becomes the invisible glue for connecting the world. It is no longer just about using tools only for work or for some part of your personal life. It's about using Airbnb to find a place to stay for that business trip or Dropbox to share files.
And of course, the enterprise is a mongo-sized market. There's a transformation happening. And companies like GitHub serve as the foundation for that fundamental change that is all about getting the work done with tools that don't require 15 technicians and an army of consultants just to plug the network cables into the storage boxes. The new world is about arming developers and the new kings of the enterprise world.