That pretty much sums up most of Cogley’s business: password protection.
I wonder, as I walk around the slightly spooky headquarters, with its floor-to-ceiling windows, glowing terminals and wall clocks reading Sydney, Los Angeles and London, if one of the reasons they are profitable is their savings on the light bill.
Easier to see the screens, said Cogley, who is all business despite the relaxed atmosphere — which includes a lava lamp on his desk.
LogicBoost grossed about $3.3 million last year and expects to increase that to $4 million by the end of 2012. Cogley’s net — including his salary and the company’s profit — is well over $500,000 but less than $1 million. He is pouring a big chunk of that back into the business for more engineers and a bigger sales staff.
I was curious about why he was in the District. Why not Tysons Corner or in Bethesda?
“We are in the District so we can get the best programming talent in the area,” Cogley said. “We used to be in Virginia in Tysons Corner. We got a lot of superstars who interviewed with us from Maryland. But they wouldn’t take the job.”
I was surprised to learn that the District has become a hot spot for tech, but Cogley said it’s true.
His typical programmer lives in the District, is about 26 years old, doesn’t own a car and earns between $50,000 and $120,000 — depending on talent. Many of the 20 or so employees live in Adams Morgan or DuPont Circle like Cogley, who is married with two children.
There are exceptions, he says, but “by having the D.C. base, you get the best programmers because they want to live in the city or very close by. It’s very counter-intuitive. Most technology companies are in Alexandria or Reston, but they only attract a certain type of progammer. Suburban. Older. Family. Settled down.
“On the tech side, young people is really where it’s at. A lot of people don’t even want to do programming after they are 30. They want to go do management.”
These are good jobs. Cogley’s employees receive annual bonuses of up to 7 percent of their salary, 401k matches, four weeks vacation, full health care for the employee and family, and even catered lunches every Wednesday.
To get the pick of the litter, job candidates go through a day-long tryout and interviews on real software projects. Prospects sign a non-disclosure agreement and a one-day intellectual property agreement that says anything they make that day is owned by Cogley.
The business has two parts. One, called LogicBoost, offers services and training seminars for software development teams at client companies. The other, known by the jawbreaking name of Thycotic, makes software that protects corporate passwords from bad guys. Thycotic has become the more lucrative side of the business, responsible for about two-thirds of the revenue.