All companies have an origin story. Whether it was a problem they were trying to solve, or a revolutionary idea they had to make the world more equitable, there’s always a story. But like any story, there are highs and lows, challenges and successes that serve as defining moments for companies. For 1Password, this journey was no different.
Early on, their vision was to make consumers more secure through password security, but they quickly realized that there was a much bigger opportunity present—the idea of human-centric security. But to tackle this head on, they would first have to hire—a lot.
On our inaugural episode of our podcast, FinOps Today, we sat down with the CFO of 1Password, Jeannie De Guzman. In the episode, Guzman touched on various aspects of 1Password's day-to-day operation, her role within it, and the challenges associated with scaling such a large business with a small finance team.
If you weren’t able to listen to the episode, we’ve condensed some of the major themes discussed and summarized them below. But to get a full picture of 1Password’s approach to finance and how Guzman helped define it, be sure to check out Episode 1 of FinOps Today, available on all major podcast streaming platforms. Here’s some of what you’ll hear about in this episode:
1Password’s mantra of human-centric security
“[1Password’s] roots are [as] a consumer product. We started off as a password manager, and that's what a lot of consumers know us as. But we've evolved now into becoming a security company that serves both consumers and businesses. And so, about six years ago, we had actually noticed that a bunch of our customers were bringing our product to work. And then we thought, 'This could be a business product.'"
How Guzman grew 1Password’s finance team from 2 to 60
“There was a [finance] team. There was a founder and one other individual. They were the team. And not only were they finance, they were HR and basically everything. So really nimble and flexible people were who I was looking for. I built that team pretty quickly. I started talking to people before I even started here because I knew I needed them ASAP.”
How Guzman built 1Password's finance automation roadmap
"Something we're working on internally is to say, 'No, we want to automate. We want to make your lives easier. We don't want you to be doing that kind of work.' I think one of the first indicators of us committing to that was actually bringing on a systems person full-time and saying, 'This person knows how to automate everything, so give her the list [of to-do's] because they will do it over time.' And so, now we're building a roadmap for all of that."
How 1Password approaches FinOps and how it handles the challenges that come with it
"I think one of the things that frustrates people is just all of that manual work that somehow ends up piling onto your plate. This is true of almost any team that I've worked on. Today we're thinking about what we're going to automate so that people don't have to spend a weekend doing a V-LOOKUP in two giant spreadsheets."
Guzman’s role as CFO during 1Password’s latest fundraising round
"I would say that the painful part is not the selling, it's not the talking to investors and telling your story. That's all the fun stuff. But the painful part is the back office piece. Depending on who you get as legal counsel for the investors, they're going to ask some tough questions. They may go back and ask you questions about things that happened when you didn't exist at the company."
The full transcript is available here.
About Jeannie De Guzman
Prior to joining 1Password, Jeannie De Guzman worked at Canada’s largest software company, OpenText (NASDAQ/TSX: OTEX), as Senior Manager of Corporate Finance where she oversaw all Treasury functions. She then moved on to the software company BlueCat Networks, building the finance team from the ground up. BlueCat was acquired by private equity firm Madison Dearborn Partners in 2017 for $400M (Cad).
Jeannie joined 1Password in 2020 and has since nurtured the heart of 1Password’s business through finance, human resources, and operations. Previous to all her industry experience, Jeannie obtained her Chartered Accountant designation and worked with KPMG LLP in Toronto.