Jason Cohen

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Jason Cohen
Born Austin, TX
Nationality American
Education M.S. Computer Science
Alma mater University of Texas at Austin
Occupation
  • Entrepreneur
  • Speaker
  • Investor
  • Writer
Years active 2000
Organization
  • WP Engine
  • Smart Bear
  • IT Watchdogs
Awards
  • Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award
  • CTO of the Year
Website
longform.asmartbear.com/jason-cohen

Jason Cohen is an serial tech entrepreneur, investor, writer, and business speaker. He is the founder and current Chief innovation officer of WP Engine.[1][2] Prior to this, Cohen founded Smart Bear and IT Watchdogs.[3] Additionally, he is a successful author of the book "Best Kept Secrets of Peer Code Review: Modern Approach. Practical Advice".[4]

Professional career

WP Engine

In 2010, Jason founded WP Engine and initially bootstrapped the company for two years.[5][6] Subsequently, he raised a series of small rounds, and alongside CEO Heather Brunner, WP Engine secured a few large rounds, accumulating over $300M in funding.[7] This financial support fueled rapid growth, transforming WP Engine into a unicorn with 1,200 employees spread across eight global offices.[8] The company now handles billions of web requests daily for 200,000 customers, solidifying its position as one of the top-ten largest web platforms globally.[9] The success is underscored by WP Engine's recognition, with their name proudly displayed on a building in downtown Austin.[10]

Smart Bear

Before WP Engine, Jason bootstrapped Smart Bear for seven years, successfully building it into a profitable venture.[11] He sold Smart Bear in 2007 and departed in 2009.[12] Smart Bear has since evolved into a conglomerate of beloved software quality products. Notably, Smart Bear pioneered the modern methodology and software for peer code reviews, a process where software developers review each other's work, akin to authors and editors at a newspaper.[13] Jason also authored a significant book on code reviews and conducted the largest in situ study of 2,500 code reviews at Cisco.[14]

IT Watchdogs

Before founding Smart Bear, Cohen was the co-founder of IT Watchdogs, a hardware and embedded software company specializing in server room climate and power monitors. The company was bootstrapped, became profitable, and was eventually sold in 2004. Notably, IT Watchdogs continues to produce its products under its parent company Vertive.

Investment career

Since 2009, Cohen has served as an investor and, when time permits, a mentor at Capital Factory.[15] He has invested in several companies, including AgentPronto, Alto, Apptronik, Armbrust Masks, Builder Prime, Cart, Cratejoy, Osano, Pingboard, Signup.com, SpareFoot, Stack Overflow, StormPulse, SureSwift, SwimTopia, and Vitag.[16][17]

Awards

  • In 2017, Cohen won the Ernst & Young Entrepreneur of the Year Award for Central Texas.[18]
  • He won CTO of the Year from Austin Business Journal.[19]

Books

  • Best Kept Secrets of Peer Code Review: Modern Approach. Practical Advice, ISBN 978-1-59916-067-2, Publisher:‎ Smart Bear Inc. (January 1, 2006)[4][14]

References

  1. Foyster, Robyn (2023-09-14). "Happy 20th Birthday WordPress: Interview with WP Engine Founder Jason Cohen". https://womenlovetech.com/happy-20th-birthday-wordpress-interview-with-wp-engine-founder-jason-cohen/. 
  2. "WP Engine DE{CODE}: the future is (headless) open source". https://www.computerweekly.com/blog/Open-Source-Insider/WP-Engine-DECODE-the-future-is-headless-open-source. 
  3. updated, Abigail Opiah last (2021-07-14). "Why the founder of WP Engine is knee-deep in headless products" (in en). https://www.techradar.com/news/why-the-founder-of-wp-engine-is-knee-deep-in-headless-products. 
  4. 4.0 4.1 Cohen, Jason (2006-01-01) (in English). Best Kept Secrets of Peer Code Review: Modern Approach. Practical Advice.. Austin, Tex: Smart Bear Inc.. ISBN 978-1-59916-067-2. https://www.amazon.com/Best-Kept-Secrets-Peer-Review/dp/1599160676. 
  5. Campbell, Starr (2022-05-11). "WP Engine Expands Its Headless Solution for WordPress" (in en-US). https://thenewstack.io/wp-engine-expands-its-headless-solution-for-wordpress/. 
  6. Kitson, Niall (2018-07-06). "WP Engine's Jason Cohen in conversation" (in en-GB). https://www.techcentral.ie/wp-engines-jason-cohen-putting-irish-roots/. 
  7. Cronin, Mike (2018-01-03). "WP Engine collects $250 million investment from the same team that helped Dell go private". https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/news/2018/01/04/wp-engine-collects-250-million-investment-from-the.html. 
  8. Kitson, Niall (2018-07-06). "WP Engine's Jason Cohen in conversation" (in en-GB). https://www.techcentral.ie/wp-engines-jason-cohen-putting-irish-roots/. 
  9. "Historical trends in the usage statistics of web hosting providers, January 2024". https://w3techs.com/technologies/history_overview/web_hosting?utm_source=longform.asmartbear.com&utm_campaign=longform.asmartbear.com&utm_medium=post. 
  10. Cohen, Jason (2007-04-20). "You’re a real company when…" (in en-us). https://longform.asmartbear.com/real-company/. 
  11. CNBC.com, Chris Morris, special to (2017-08-04). "10 influential business experts you should be following on Twitter" (in en). https://www.cnbc.com/2017/08/04/10-influential-business-experts-you-should-be-following-on-twitter.html. 
  12. Cohen, Jason (2009-10-19). "Rich vs. King in the Real World: Why I sold my company" (in en-us). https://longform.asmartbear.com/rich-vs-king-sold-company/. 
  13. Vinn, Milana (2020-10-22). "Vista Equity invests in Francisco’s SmartBear, pushing valuation to $1.8bn-plus" (in en-US). https://www.pehub.com/vista-equity-invests-in-franciscos-smartbear-pushing-valuation-to-1-8bn-plus/. 
  14. 14.0 14.1 "ISBN 9781599160672 - Best Kept Secrets of Peer Code Review: Modern Approach. Practical Advice. (Modern Approach. Practical Advice.)". https://isbnsearch.org/isbn/9781599160672. 
  15. Koetsier, John (2013-07-24). "The unprofitable SaaS business model trap" (in en-US). https://venturebeat.com/business/the-unprofitable-saas-business-model-trap/. 
  16. [email protected] (2023-06-04). "Corrily Wins Global Pitch Competition at SaaStock Austin, Showcasing Price Optimization Software" (in en-US). https://www.siliconhillsnews.com/2023/06/04/corrily-wins-global-pitch-competition-at-saastock-austin-showcasing-price-optimization-software/. 
  17. "WP Engine Launches Atlas, the Future of Headless WordPress" (in en). 2021-03-04. https://www.businesswire.com/news/home/20210304005267/en/WP-Engine-Launches-Atlas-the-Future-of-Headless-WordPress. 
  18. Engine, W. P. (2017-06-10). "Heather Brunner & Jason Cohen Win Entrepreneur Of The Year" (in en-US). https://wpengine.com/blog/heather-brunner-jason-cohen-win-entrepreneur-year/. 
  19. Calnan, Christopher (2014-10-10). "Meet Jason Cohen, founder of WP Engine Inc.". https://www.bizjournals.com/austin/print-edition/2014/10/10/meet-jason-cohen-founder-of-wp-engine-inc.html. 

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