Matthew Prince founded Cloudflare along with Lee Holloway and Michelle Zatlyn in 2010 to help other small businesses protect, fortify, and speed up their websites. Their not-so-humble goal: to help build a better internet.
Now, it's one of the major players in content-delivery and site security. Cloudflare has 1,500 global employees and nearly 200 data centers, and protects more than 25 million internet properties--some 15 percent of the internet. The company's annual revenue is more than $350 million.
This election year, in an effort to help ensure Americans had consistent access to information about registering, voting, and candidates, Cloudflare volunteered its services for free to local governments--whose systems are key to the integrity of the election. Prince told Inc.'s What I Know podcast that he's been monitoring closely for interference over recent months.
"During the 2020 election, the attacks that we have seen have been relatively small in size," he said. "They've been relatively unsophisticated in nature."
Amid its ridiculously fast growth over the past 10 years, Cloudflare hasn't been immune to hacks itself. An early attack that targeted the company taught Prince that because his company's backbone was trust, he'd need to respond to a failure with transparency about what went wrong.
"Unfortunately, in every company, you make mistakes. In most companies, you don't hear about them," Prince said. "At Cloudflare, we incessantly blog about them until people say, 'OK. We got it. You made a mistake. Shut up now!'"
He continued: "If you are in a business where trust is paramount, I think transparency and radical transparency is the best way--and maybe the only way--that you can earn that."