Raygun names Lana Vaughan as co-founder

| 3 min. (533 words)

Today I’m sharing the exciting news that we have named Lana Vaughan a co-founder of Raygun.

Raygun COO and co-founder Lana Vaughan

What does being a co-founder mean to me? I’ve always started with integrity. A co-founder needs to be somebody you can trust – really trust. When your back is to the wall, and everything feels like it’s not quite right, you need to know you can talk with your co-founder about it. This is a deep trust built over time, from shared challenges.

I’m also a believer in Warren Buffett’s thinking on this matter. You want people with Integrity, Intelligence and Energy. You need all three traits, or things go very wrong.

When Jeremy and I started our business careers, we had no idea where we would go. We’ve launched 14 products, created 3 joint ventures, invested in other startups, and delivered many more projects for customers in our boot-strapping early days. It’s been a long journey, and one I still feel I’m only just beginning.

As is often the case, I had no idea what a change it would make bringing Lana into the business. I thought I was hiring somebody to help manage our financial accounts. In the first few months, Lana changed the company name, and had already begun asserting changes that were necessary for the next stage of the business. Before long she’d taken over other parts of the business and started improving the processes around them. Today, about half of the Raygun organization reports through to Lana.

These changes all had a material future impact on our trajectory.

  • Strong culture and diversity. We all know that a winning business needs a winning culture. We don’t run quotas, but we do keep a strong eye out for talent. Every team at Raygun, with the usual exception of Engineering, has more women in it than men. That includes the Raygun Leadership Team. Lana dedicates significant time to the cultural elements of what makes a great business, and even without quotas, has created an environment where anyone who has drive will succeed.
  • Spend money like it’s your own. Jeremy & I have always been relatively financially conservative, and Lana is similar. Her excellent cash flow & financial management is why Raygun hasn’t needed to raise external capital in 5 years, and why we were a strong and safe employer for our team though worrying times like the onset of the COVID pandemic.
  • Strategic. There’s a lot of folks who are good at the big picture. There’s a lot of folks who are good at the details. There’s few that can navigate the two comfortably, and Lana is one of those people. Every major decision we make has Lana’s fingerprints on it, helping us make better choices.

All of this, and much more, is why the Raygun Board of Directors, Jeremy, and I are rightly recognizing Lana as a co-founder of Raygun. She will continue as Raygun’s Chief Operating Officer, now with the recognition of the true extent of her impact in taking Raygun from zero to one. I know I would not be the leader I am today without the generous support, insight, and advice that Lana has provided me over the years. Thank you.