Atlassian’s Scott Farquhar explains how the software maker plans to gain market share in a recession

“When people say, ‘I have a bunch of people who aren’t productive, how do I use that time effectively… [the answer is] do all the projects we wanted to do internally to change the way we work”.

The low-cost nature of Atlassian’s collaboration tools, Mr. Farquhar said, meant that Atlassian was unlikely to be a top 50 vendor by spend for any of its customers, thereby protecting more business from cuts made by companies during downtime.

During the initial market uncertainty at the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, when many companies were laying off staff and saving money, Atlassian doubled down on hiring and rolled out free products to support customers.

Mr Farquhar said that strategy had now proven successful, with the company also hiring aggressively during the 2008 global financial crisis.

If technology sales continue and companies start laying off, Atlassian will adopt the same strategy again.

“In 2008 and 2009, we recruited a whole group of wonderful employees during this period. The person who led our entire on-premises to cloud migration that we hired during this time,” Mr. Farquhar said.

Mr. Farquhar said the underlying fundamentals supporting growth in the tech sector have not gone away.

“I left for three months last year and came back and thought ‘Wow, I should leave more often,'” Mr Farquhar said, reflecting on the company’s soaring share price. in 2021.

“I think the reason why this happened is that tech and software companies are the future of the economy. Either you’re a software company or you’re confused by a software company.

“No matter what the future looks like, there will be more technology and software than there is today, in almost every industry. That’s why this industry is so sought after.

Atlassian has set itself the goal of building an “iconic century-old company”. This, in part, would be made possible by the fact that they constantly have new ambitions, Mr. Farquhar said.

“We want to build something to survive us. In 100 years or 80 years someone else will be in charge and if we are still here and successful we have done something quite significant,” he said.

“We never had the end goal of making a certain amount of money or doing a certain thing. We want to have fun and impact the world, so we always think long term.

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