OneLogin CEO Thomas Pedersen Interview - Sirius XM Channel 111 Business Radio

February 17th, 2016   /     /   company news

OneLogin CEO Thomas Pedersen was recently featured in a live interview on Bay Area Ventures on SiriusXM Channel 111 Business Radio Powered by the Wharton School.

Hosted by Don Landwirth, Bay Area Ventures is a weekly show that examines the San Francisco Bay area way of doing business. Co-host Landwirth covers aspects of what makes working and living in the Bay area unique. From startups to Fortune 500 companies, politics to public policy, and venture financing to M&As, Landwirth helps his listeners apply Bay Area best business practices to their ventures. Following are some key excerpts from Thomas’ recent interview.

On Building a Company

“I’ve always been a builder. I started my first company when I was 17 with a friend. It’s fun to build something that people use. That’s where I get my satisfaction.”

Thomas Pedersen
OneLogin CEO

“It’s basically the same here at OneLogin. It’s so much fun building, creating value for our customers, to see them love our product and keep buying more of it. That’s what’s really driving me.”

On Being an Entrepreneur

“I think that once you’ve been bitten by the startup bug you can’t let go. I always wanted to have my own company so that I could do it my way. You become more introspective as a CEO as time goes on because you have to learn new skills. Every year, it’s a company I’ve never run before. You have to learn new tricks. It becomes more of a journey I would say.”

On Working with a Sibling

(Thomas’ brother Christian Pedersen is a co-founder of OneLogin and currently serves as Chief Technology Officer.)

“We don’t have our parents anymore so we’re very, very close. We’ve always had a very clear agreement about our responsibilities. He is much more focused on the technical aspects of the company and I’m focused on the business side. We don’t really have any conflicts. We’re still very good friends. We hang out. We go out and eat and drink and have a good time.”

Why OneLogin Moved to the Bay Area

“If you want to create a blockbuster movie, you want to be where you can find people who do editing, special effects, sound effects, who know how to run a set, build props and all that stuff. It’s a bit like that with tech. You can definitely start a SaaS company in Santa Monica or Atlanta, or somewhere like that, but it’s such a leg up to do it in the Bay area because you have all the skills here. And especially once you start scaling beyond the initial engineers, when you need to find people who know marketing, customer success, sales, technical operations and other disciplines, it becomes really hard to find all those resources outside the Bay area. Plus, this is where you can build mindshare. Whenever I talked to VCs back then, they asked: ‘Why aren’t you here where everything is happening.’ Some of the customers we have today we never would have had if we had not moved to San Francisco.”

On Working with Other Tech Companies in the Bay Area

“We’ve definitely got a lot of referral business from IT teams that have moved from one tech company to another in the Bay area because they all talk to each other. It’s the best recommendation you can get. That has worked very well for us. San Francisco is a very small city. For some of these fast-growing tech companies, they also understand that they are an anomaly in the bigger business picture. They grow fast because they experiment and break things. And they’re willing to take a risk with another startup because they want someone who can innovate as fast as they can. If they sign up with someone like an Oracle or Microsoft, where things move slower, they don’t think that these companies can keep up with their speed.”

On OneLogin Customers

“When we started out in 2010 it was mainly just tech and media companies. They were the first to jump on it. But now it’s across the board. We have tech, media, finance, healthcare, manufacturing, transportation, education and insurance. It’s really horizontal at this point, which is very exciting.”

What’s in OneLogin’s Future

“I’m a product person. I’m deeply passionate about our space. What we see now is that there are more and more categories that fall into what we do. Once we have that solid identity foundation, there are so many other things we can do so much better than adjacent categories that are trying to back into identity. So we’re super excited about our product roadmap and we have lots of work to do for the next few years. Our customers are excited by that roadmap as well. We continue to acquire lots of new customers and our existing customer base continues to grow. We’re seeing a lot of great logos that even my kids know which is a lot of fun. So, we’re really focused on building a solid company.”

About the Author

Dan Rampe is OneLogin’s Director of Global Communications and PR. He has 20+ years hands-on and strategic expertise in public relations, analyst relations, corporate communications, social media, and digital and content marketing in Fortune 500 and start-up environments. Dan takes delight as a company builder and creative storyteller with a focus on SaaS, security, Identity and Access Management (IAM), mobile, authentication, single sign-on (SSO), Identity-as-a-Service (IDaaS) and Internet of Things. When not at work you can often find Dan rock climbing in Yosemite, the Sierra Nevada and points beyond.

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