We’ve been doing some great things at Cog Systems and have an exciting vision for the future – our master plan – so I thought I’d share it with everyone in a couple of blog posts. It’ll be fun. Let’s see how it pans out over the next few years – I’ll probably be way off, because one of the things we are great at is being nimble and able to adapt quickly to where we see opportunity and need. Let’s see.
But first, before I tell you where we are heading, I wanted to share where we have come from and share some insights into our team and our performance.
The Past is Prologue
Cog Systems was formally incorporated in 2014. When we founded it, Open Kernel Labs (acquired by General Dynamics) was closing up – it turns out you can’t actually manage and grow an emerging commercial company inside a defence organization, even though that was the intent at the time. But in that process we managed to do a couple of great things to protect some amazing technology, and amazing people – the first was to open source seL4, a great piece of Aussie technology that uses formal methods to prove (in the maths sense) that your code is bug free. And it goes way beyond that. seL4 needed some nurturing and more maturity which the open community, Data61, and UNSW provide.
Secondly, we spun out Cog Systems (in the loose sense – no financial association). Like any startup, we started small (aka two men and a dog in a garage). The goal was simple: support customers using best-in-class products and technology to build better systems. From there we started to help companies build robust and secure systems using all sorts of technology including hypervisors like OKL4, but certainly not limited to that. Our customers included those in automotive, medical, defence, government, mobile (phones, tablets) that worked with us and our SDK to produce devices and solutions with technical elegance and simplicity. Unique to our philosophy is something simple – go modular – and with that we solved real problems and have demonstrated many world firsts.
And it turns out we were good at it. We did $50K AUD in our first year, and have quickly grown into a company delivering several million in revenue annually, with happy repeat customers scattered across the globe, and a solid pipeline. The team has achieved this to-date organically, with no investment, no marketing (just a crappy website), and a good profit that we sink right back into the company.
Perhaps if we were smart, we’d keep on this path and grow into a great solutions-consulting business, but our team isn’t really wired that way – that isn’t what excites us (well, not the only thing). In our hearts, we are product people. Our team has shipped software on billions of devices worldwide. We build great tech, we see great tech, then we drive to productize it. And perhaps more importantly, we care about making a meaningful, and scalable impact on how our industries architect, implement, build, and deploy connected devices.
Read on for the next chapter at Our master plan – part 2.