Drupal’s journey to being worth a billion dollars. Acquia and Drupal founder, Dries Buytaert, 20 years ago, was a student of University of Antwerp. He wanted to put his programming skills to the test and built a communications tool exclusively for his dorm. This idea later on evolved into something else—it became a web content management system, which was open source named “Drupal”. Later on, a commercial company called “Acquia” was created above it.
180 million dollars were raised by Buytaert, until the point where the company was acquired for 1 billion dollars by Vista Equity Partners. But the thing is it took almost 2 decades to reach this height.
Nowadays, every startup is an open source, only a few were open source back in the day when Drupal was created, Acquia was also open source. Buytaert with his co-founders thought of reducing the complexity that comes with configuration of a Drupal installation which was done by creating a hosted cloud service.
All of this is common sense now, not back then. In the year 2021, it is common to build a startup via an open-source project in SaaS—it is a good plan. Back in that day, no one knew this, but Acquia went the way no one else did and it worked out well.
This inspirational story of Buytaert of evolving from a dorm-room project to a billion dollar one all through a startup showcases his hard work and his bold strategies he took. The story of Buytaert is inspirational, it also helps other startups as to what they should be doing in order to do or replicate what Buytaert has done, most of all, the best lesson out of all of this is to stay patient and persevere.