from the Founders' Desk

From the Founder’s Desk

Hello Everyone!

I’d like to introduce myself, as I’ve often let Dave and Roustem take the lead. I’m Sara and I’ve been here since the start of AgileBits, in the background running the business side of things. As AgileBits has grown, my role has grown as well. My official title is Minister of Magic, and I oversee the Customer Service team. That’s the team that does a great job connecting with all of you: through Twitter, Facebook, our blog, forums, direct email, and any other way we can.

AgileBits has changed throughout the years, but the one thing we have always been sure of is our goal to make amazing software. As we grew, awesome customer service became a key piece of our philosophy. Being a self-funded, independent company means that we can keep our focus on building secure and convenient software, without having to raise funds to keep doing what we love.

AgileBits: the Early Days

When we started AgileBits 10 years ago, password management wasn’t even on our radar. We were working on other products and had plans to revolutionize the world of app sales. This was back before iTunes or the Mac App Store – It’s amazing to think of the changes we’ve seen!

As with any new business, there are always ups and downs: many ideas that you think are going to take off end up going nowhere. Somewhere along the way, Dave and Roustem found they were always testing new things, and that all of these new things required their own logins. It eventually became such a pain that they figured it was worth their time to spend a month and write a simple little program to manage their logins so they could get back to work. And that is how 1Password was born!

icon, v1Back in those days it was called 1Passwd and we placed it for sale in the app store we were building. Surprisingly enough, people started to buying it. I can remember the day, about 6 weeks after we made it available for sale, when I saw that 10 copies had sold!!! Double digits!!

Sales continued to increase. We received so much love from the Mac community, hearing from many people offering their feedback and suggestions. It was not long afterwards that we realized it was 1Password, not the store, where we should be focusing our efforts.

Growing the AgileBits Family

Along the way we realized we needed some help, and we started bringing people into the AgileBits family. In truth, expanding was scary. I was okay putting my family’s eggs entirely in the 1Password basket. But having other people rely on me for their income was something else entirely. It was a mental hurdle that I had to jump, because we just kept growing!

Hiring the right people has always been a top priority for us. Building a top-notch product requires a top-notch team. One of the most important things we look for when hiring here is personality fit. We are a (growing) family and it is critical that we work well together as a team. And, since most of our folks work remotely, remaining connected to each other is no easy feat. I think we’ve done a great job of collecting some incredible talent to help make 1Password all it can be.

Looking Forward

It’s great to have this opportunity to take a look back and see how far we’ve come. From a small, bootstrapped operation in our basement to a company built entirely on sales, growing the AgileBits family has been an amazing adventure.

I am so in awe of the response we have gotten from you all as we work towards our goal of making security convenient for everyone. With your support, AgileBits is now a company of over 60 fabulous people and I couldn’t love this team more! Being self-funded means that important decisions can be made quickly and we can pursue our passion taking 1Password to the next level.  We’re so proud that we’ve built AgileBits into the company it is, and we are looking forward to continuing to make awesome software to keep you and your loved ones safe.

We have great things in store for you all, and I’m looking forward to being able to share more with you all soon!! If there is ever anything we can help with, please be sure to comment below, reach out on Twitter or Facebook, or find us in the Forums. Our team is always here:)

Make it Magical!!

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  1. Willem
    Willem says:

    Sarah, what a nice story you told us. It tells us how dedicated and motivated your team is to build and expand a really most needed multi-platform application. There are many reasons to make a choice for 1password that makes the difference in this very concurring market. I mention some of them:
    1. Independent organization
    2. Interaction between teammembers and users on social media and forum
    3. Listening to idea’s of users
    4. Continious improving and maintain the software
    5. Investing in relationship between the Agily family and ther cutomers
    6. Independancy from US government and law
    7. Bêta testing through involving users
    8. Sharing your enthousiasm with the rest of the world

    Even if password management will become out of need, I still believe that all other features of 1Password wil remain of much importancy that it stays one of the best Apps in secure personal assistency.
    All these facts makes me a real fan of 1Password an Agile-bits.

    Nevertheless I remain still courious about other comparing products and ICT security in all its facets.

    Go on in the same way and keep the security up to date.

    • eva
      eva says:

      Hi Willem,

      Thank you so much for your kind words and appreciation of our organization and 1Password. Reading feedback like yours makes our days just a little bit brighter!

    • Sara Teare
      Sara Teare says:

      Hi Julia!

      Welcome to AgileBits:)

      We are a self-funded company located in Canada, and we are not affiliated with any governments or organizations.

      I hope this helps,

  2. Arun
    Arun says:

    I posted something similar in the comments section of another article; your great customer service and tech support makes me feel very good about my migration to 1Password.

    • Sara
      Sara says:

      Thank you so much Arun! We really appreciate hearing from our customers and we look forward to being here to help for a long time to come – glad to have you with us :)

  3. WK
    WK says:

    Let’s not forget where Agilebits really came from. It was Agile Web Solutions. :-) Hopefully, you will be around for a very long time to come, independently.

    • Sara
      Sara says:

      Hi WK! Names are tricky – we actually started with a very different name, as we thought it should be product related – Palmsphere. It didn’t last long, as we realized we needed something that was more about who we were as a group. Along the way it morphed into AgileBits, and we really love that name!!

  4. Jim Milton
    Jim Milton says:

    Great post! Thanks for sharing some of the history. You write very well. Should do it as often as you can. Been a 1Password user almost from the start. I love your software. Without a doubt the best password management app for macs! Thanks to your “family”. Keep up the great work.

    • Sara Teare
      Sara Teare says:

      Thank you so much Jim! Dave has been encouraging me for a while to get my ‘voice’ on here more often, so I’m guessing you’ll be seeing more of me:) We appreciate all your support!!

  5. Ruth McClain
    Ruth McClain says:

    Great post Sara! And nice to know a little history. I love 1Password, and have used it for quite a while. I really like being able to share with my iPhone, laptop, iPad too. It is literally a lifesaver!

    • Sara Teare
      Sara Teare says:

      Thank you Ruth! I completely agree – when I’m on the run, it is so nice to be able to get access to things securely, so I don’t have to wait until I get to my main machine to cross something off the to-do list:)

  6. J Mueller
    J Mueller says:

    Hi Sara, thank for the recap of the old 1Passwd days! I remember when it first came out and we got it up on MacUpdate. It’s been a great run and I’m happy you ended up changing the name to 1Passwd to 1Password (users always searched for it spelled out on MacUpdate :).

    Great job building out your team too.

    • Sara Teare
      Sara Teare says:

      Hi J!

      I completely agree – it was wonderful finally adding those extra letters!! We have our original license plate with “1PASSWD” which always makes me smile. MacUpdate was one of the places that helped inspire 1Password to new levels, as we always get really great feedback from users on your site – thank you so much for having us there!!

      Looking forward to the future:)

  7. Denn
    Denn says:

    Happy 10th!
    Just wanted to say thanks for an amazing product that makes a difference in my digital life everyday!

    • Sara Teare
      Sara Teare says:

      Thank you Denn! Somedays it’s hard to believe we’ve been here for 10 years – we are so happy that we’ve been able to help so many people take control of their digital lives:)

  8. John
    John says:

    Hi Sara,

    Thank you for the complete story. I looking forward to your next blog.

    love from The Netherlands/ Amsterdam.

  9. Dennis Murphy
    Dennis Murphy says:

    Hi Sara, thanks for the fantastic back story to 1Password! I think I have been a user for about 5 years, it’s definitely been one of those ‘must have’ software programs that I install on any PC, Mac or Phone in my household to keep my passwords safe and for ease of use.

    It’s been a long time since I’ve every had to remember more than 1 password and now I can get on with focusing on actual productivity with other software without having to remember so many passwords (in which the size and complexity was growing every year, and the frequency of global scale hacks which required password changes on a regular basis)!

    I am also interested in your growth story, tech companies are fascinating, especially the bootstrapped ones that started in basements! You mentioned that you had to overcome distance issues when communicating, may I ask what sort of software do you guys use to collaborate?

    • Sara Teare
      Sara Teare says:

      Hi Dennis,

      It has definitely been a long time since I’ve remembered more than 1Password – it has been so helpful too for things like passport information and filling addresses online – Christmas shopping made easier!

      I think the ‘started in the basement’ story is especially true for us, since 1Password was born from our needs to share information as we developed our business;)

      Being remote has been an amazing experience and the tools of the trade are always evolving, as staying connected is so vital to making sure we not only have amazing product development, but also awesome customer service. Two of our favourite tools right now include Slack and Basecamp. You can find out more about these on our past blog posts below:

      Have a wonderful day!!

  10. Brian Bagley
    Brian Bagley says:

    Thank you for sharing Sara.

    You guys are the best! I can’t survive without my 1Password. I’ve got it on my Mac, iPad and iPhone. I use it every time I open one of my devices.


    • Sara Teare
      Sara Teare says:

      Thank you Brian! I know I’d be lost without 1Password too – and having TouchID enabled on iOS makes it even easier:) I’m glad to know we are making your life easier too!

      Have a great day,

  11. Erik Gjøe Geleff
    Erik Gjøe Geleff says:

    Hi Sara

    I may be one of your oldes 1Password-users and I have no idea how I would cope without this wonderful helper now that I am just one month from the age of 86. I used to have quite a good memory, but over the years it has deteriorated rather too much. So thank you very much for your great help –

    best regards,
    Erik Gjøe Geleff

    • Sara Teare
      Sara Teare says:

      Hi Erik,

      I’m glad you’ve been here with us for the journey! And, Happy Early Birthday!! We have heard from many folks who have celebrated lots of birthdays and I know that you are not alone – Octogenarians are one of our growing groups of users:)

      Have some cake for me!!

  12. David Thompson
    David Thompson says:

    One of two apps I have that I would be in real serious trouble if I lost access to. 1Password is just a tremendous & vital tool that keep me organized and secure. Great blog Sara!! Very interesting to read how this fantastic product first began. Thanks you for all your hard work on the customer service side and please thank Mr. Teare and his partner for developing such a strong and much needed password keeper.

    • Sara Teare
      Sara Teare says:

      Thank you David! It certainly has been an adventure:)

      Being able to develop awesome software only gets you so far – having great folks behind it answer questions is just as important! We are looking forward to many more years of development:)

  13. Timothy
    Timothy says:

    Great info on a company whose software I rely on every day. 60 people! Whoa.
    I work in IT at a large newspaper based in Toronto (Canada’s National Newspaper – wink) and many in IT here use 1Password. I show it to others in the company whenever I get the chance. This sort of evangelism happens only when a client feels compelled to do so because the product is so good. Thought you might like to know. : )

    • Sara Teare
      Sara Teare says:

      Hi Timothy!

      I know, right? You don’t realize how you’ve grown until you count it and realize 60 people – that’s pretty amazing:)

      Hopefully you found this blog through Dave’s newsletter and you’ve already been able to convince your team to register for 1Password for Teams – wouldn’t want anyone getting your name first;)

      Just in case –

      I appreciate all the support!!!

  14. Michelle
    Michelle says:

    Hi Sara,

    That was a great post and very inspiring. I love hearing your story and how it’s all unfolding for you. I love 1Password it’s been such a help in my life. It’s great to hear how your growing your company family in a conscious and positive way. Please continue to share and know you are making difference in people’s lives.

    All the best,

    • Sara Teare
      Sara Teare says:

      Hi Michelle,

      Thank you very much! It has been amazing watching things evolve – it’s not until you tell the story to someone else that you realize what a journey it has been. I’m glad I was able to share, and I’m glad that we are making a difference in people’s lives:)

      Enjoy your day,

  15. Joan Tennant
    Joan Tennant says:

    Ditto, all the above! I personally can’t live without 1PW… Have had it since 1Passwd (I think).

    I recommend it to all my clients (mostly smart but digitally overwhelmed seniors) and what a boon to their digital life and my sanity it is!

    When they ask why not just use Apple’s built in password management, my answer is, “Agilebits’ whole business is about 1Password, and security. Apple, well, while a focus, not their ONLY focus.” Out comes their credit card…

    There IS a challenging learning curve for them, and I have to spend time customizing the interface and training. I would love to be able to offer a pared down version for seniors.They just use logins, identities, and credit cards… The rest overwhelms them.
    Food for thought?

    Glad your voice has been given a venue, Sara. Women in tech need to be counted and heard.
    Frankly, where would the tech industry (or most business enterprises, actually) be without us?

    Happy 10th and thank you for great software!

    • Sara Teare
      Sara Teare says:

      Hi Joan!

      Thank you for your comments – I know from working with various folks that our growing senior population has been getting more technologically active, and I’m so happy to see so many people recommending 1Password. You are correct – there is a definite learning curve! We are always continuing to build our documentation and tutorials, and we have recently started looking at more ways to expand the user friendliness for getting started:)

      Having been here from the start, I am glad to be sharing my information and role a bit more vocally now, as I agree that we need more female voices being counted. I hope to share more soon!

      Thank you for your support,

  16. Jane Sprando
    Jane Sprando says:

    Sara,I might have been 1 of your first customers. I have been using 1Password for years and couldn’t do without it! Two reasons I have stead is because the App is easy to use and the quick customer service. Thank you for realizing how important passwords are. I enjoyed reading your blogM

    • Sara Teare
      Sara Teare says:

      Hi Jane!

      Thank you for being with us all these years – Building great technology with awesome customer support is two pieces to being successful, and we are glad that you’ve been able to be with us along the journey:)

      Have a great day,

  17. Robin DeMaio
    Robin DeMaio says:

    Hi Sara, so interesting to hear about the development of the company. Without a doubt I’d be lost without 1PW…in fact when I run into problems with it, I feel completely lost and have been known to freak out! I have always gotten the issues resolved, and appreciate the great customer support. It is absolutely one app I use everyday and many times each day. I do wish that I could speak with someone on the phone, since it is sometimes frustrating to go through the email support and then have to wait to get the issue resolved. I understand the limitations of doing that, maybe someday!

    • Sara Teare
      Sara Teare says:

      Hi Robin,

      I’m glad to hear that you’ve had great experiences with our customer support! I know that I’d be lost without my 1Password data too! If you are ever emailing us and want to work things out over the phone, just let our team know and we will do what we can – it does get busy here, but making sure you are up and running happily is important to us:)

      Thank you again!

  18. Larry
    Larry says:

    Hi Sara,

    Thanks for the story! I have been a user for a long time now and it’s amazing that it had started 10 years ago and grown so much in the past 10 years.

    I have been a user for around 4 years now and love the simplicity around the user interface, as well as one password mini.

    Happy 10 year anniversary and I look forward to new updates and continuing to use this product that has been so integral in managing my accounts over the past few years.


    • Sara Teare
      Sara Teare says:

      Hi Larry,

      I appreciate the kind words:) It was certainly something that gave me pause when I was doing paperwork a few months back – 10 years?!? Has it really been that long?!? I know many folks are looking forward to 1Password’s birthday too now – building software that lasts isn’t easy, but support from users like yourself keeps us going:)

      Looking forward to many more years to come,

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