Sid Sijbrandij knows a circumstance or two about building, scaling, and even walking away from companies. His new venture, GitLab, is doing over $100 million in profits and is valued at over $1 billion.
Basically, from the Netherlands, Sid Sijbrandij is now the founder of one of Silicon Valley’s unicorns that is powering the web through developers worldwide. It’s not his first startup rodeo either.
Sid Sijbrandij recently appeared on the DealMakers podcast. During the exclusive interview, he shared his entrepreneurial journey, the process of finding cofounders, bootstrapping versus raising millions, his addiction to fast-growth startups, and many more topics.
Sid Sijbrandij seems to have forever had a present for spotting business alternatives.
During high school, he studied applied physics and management science. He chose a kind of program that blends the benefits of an M.B.A., with getting good at several engineering disciplines.
In his first year at college, he also started his first company.
The idea came from a fellow Ph.D. student that had made an infrared receiver you could use to skip to the next music on your computer (the only thing that played MP3 music at the time). He started purchasing these infrared receivers from him and selling them in the United States. You’d send him an envelope of dollar bills, and he would then send you a printed circuit board.
Ultimately, his two co-founders didn’t agree on growth plans concerning hiring more people. Sid wanted to hire faster, so he didn’t have to spend as much time on it, while his cofounders wanted to optimize for free cash flow. They ended up parting ways amicably.
Sid has experienced several startups and says his two big takeaways when it comes to cofounding a company is:
1) To be smart with the shares
2) To be sure you and your co-founders are aligned in vision