An avid life learner, David Moeller thrives in a challenging environment with all things tech. The team of nine at CodeGuard know how to hustle having over 75,000 customers since their start in 2010. Each day they work to help everyone from individuals and startups to enterprise level companies back up their web content. David has a wealth of experience and a knack for always wanting to learn something new, which helped him launch CodeGuard into the successful company it is today. Here’s his story:
What does a typical morning look like for you?
I like to spice it up, so there’s not really an average. Getting in exercise in the morning is a must for me, and I prefer to either go running or join my wife for spin class. Afterward, I’ll head into work with my dog. If it’s a conference month, I’ll be laser-focused on getting ready and prepared to kill it. Regardless of what’s going on, my team always has our planning meetings each Monday morning to get ready for the week ahead.
How was CodeGuard created? Was it all of a sudden or more organic?
I was actually building a website while completing an investment banking internship, and all of a sudden the hard drive crashed. I freaked out because we needed it for an upcoming spot on the reality show, American Inventor. As you can imagine, I panicked. But at the same time two thoughts came to mind during that chaos:
- There’s got to be a better solution.
- I wonder if there are any other boneheads like me that lose their website’s information.
I knew I wanted to solve this problem and make sure I never lost my hard work ever again.
Would you consider yourself a forerunner in this industry?
Yes — we were and are definitely establishing a new industry. At the time, website backup was not a widely discussed solution and most people didn’t even know companies like us existed as a vertical. Now we have a number of competitors in our space, but they all focus on different niches than CodeGuard. We are still paving the way.
How does CodeGuard work?
First, we connect to your server that powers your website, take in all the data, and store it in the cloud. We look at the servers once a day or more to monitor any changes or red flags that something has gone wrong. If anything changes, we back it up and store it in the cloud. If anything goes wrong, you can restore your site based off of the previous information that has already been backed up. It’s all completed through an open connection so there’s no need for installations or a large setup process. Basically, it’s exactly what I wish I had access to during my hard-drive-crash-freak-out.
Our customers rave about how fast and reliable our restoring ability is. Over half of the restores completed on CodeGuard have been initially caused by someone accidentally deleting a file or a file becoming infected with malware. We often like to give the example that if someone were to update their WordPress plugin and their site goes down (which is a common occurrence), they can use CodeGuard to restore it to the previous version instead of having to quickly troubleshoot a plugin problem that you may or may not know how to handle. Instead, you’re back up and running in no time.
We did our homework and your resume is one for the books. How has your past experience prepared you to create and run a company like CodeGuard?
At Harvard’s business school, they make sure you’re ready for traditional business. When I moved on to GE, we focused on risk mitigation for larger companies, which taught me many best practices and has been extremely helpful as I moved forward with my career. GE doesn’t pursue growth by the book. They actually help you to unlearn behaviors around risk mitigation, take more chances and then hedge your bets the right way. For CodeGuard, this experience is invaluable as we grow relationships with larger partners.
What made finding a financial partner so important to growing CodeGuard?
The number one reason we needed a financial partner was to navigate our cash to accrual accounting, which can be really difficult to calculate. On top of that, we have big partners who pay monthly, as well as lots of retail customers, so revenue recognition is not an easy thing to come by. The books were messy and hard to keep up with, and Acuity has been a great partner to grow with us from zero to over $100,000 in MRR. They keep us on track and we know we can trust them.
As any startup with investors knows, our books need to be accurate so our investor and board can see how the business is truly performing. Acuity knows this space really well and has strategically helped us navigate the numbers and ensure they are accurate. They’re really responsive, so when our partners or board members have questions I know I can get answers quickly. Their price is fair – to be able to depend on your books and know they are completely accurate at all times? That is invaluable to me.
Where would you like to see CodeGuard go in the next 5-10 years?
I’d love to see the company five to ten times the size we are now. There’s a big educational challenge that we must overcome and we want to partner with even more hosting providers and continue to innovate. As we are able to offer even more value to our customers, that’s how we are now and will continue to be able to completely penetrate the market.
Where’s your favorite place to travel?
My favorite vacation spot is Bali, but it takes a long time to get there. We frequently travel to Aspen and Blue Ridge for quick getaways.
Any secrets to a healthy work/life balance?
To be honest, I don’t know if I actually keep a healthy work/life balance. My best advice is to have hobbies to help you disconnect and force your mind to be occupied with something other than your core business. I’m mainly academic in nature, so I require something that involves a lot of concentration. Digging into a new subject matter that I haven’t been exposed to is thrilling for me. There’s just so much to learn!