An Interview with Atlassian Co-Founder and Co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes

On Mental Health, the Power of Believing in People, and Breaking Down Walls

n.b. Welcome to the fifty-four people who have tuned into White Noise since my last note!

White Noise is my humble, public attempt to make sense of the content I consume and thoughts that give me pause in today’s dizzying deluge of information.

If you are one of the many new arrivals and want to see what the fuss is about, I invite you dig into the archive of past issues here:

Peruse the Past

If you have yet to subscribe, join over a thousand smart, curious folks by doing so here:

Subscribe now

n.n.b. Today’s White Noise is brought to you by Bright Cellars. Built by two MIT grads to help you discover quality wines from around the world, Bright Cellars delivers personalized recommendations to your door each month based on your particular palate.

Wet your oenophilic whistle — take their wine quiz today and receive 50% off your first order. After all, in vino veritas!

Writing publicly leads to remarkable, extraordinary serendipity.

For yet another example, forge ahead, dear reader.

This very publication, White Noise, led me to connect with David Perell. David is a good podcaster, a better writer, and the best, most genuine super-connector that I have ever “met” (thanks COVID).

As he often does, David connected me with an incredible person: none other than Tech Optimist and self-described Trophy Husband, Sriram Krishnan. Sriram was in search of both editor and researcher for The Observer Effect, his online publication that “studies interesting people and institutions and tries to understand how they work.”

We chatted, got along well, and began to collaborate.

The rest, as they say, is history. Without further ado, the The Observer Effect’s fourth interview:

An Interview with Atlassian Co-Founder and Co-CEO Mike Cannon-Brookes

I strongly recommend reading it in full. However, if you don’t click the image or link above, I exhort you with this:

Write early, write often, and write publicly. It may well change the trajectory of your life.

If you’re tiptoeing around the edges of a project, passion, or possibility, make like Nike and just do it.

As is said, we either make ourselves miserable, or we make ourselves happy. The amount of work is the same.

Will your want into existence via a hefty dose of effort, output, and action. Perception influences reality and reality perception in a never-ending cycle of psychological reflexivity. To bastardize Descartes, it is not so much cogito, ergo sum—I think therefore I am—as facio, ergo ero—I do therefore I will be. Incremental action often leads to exponential results.

As Neil Stephenson once wrote, The world is full of power and energy and a person can go far by just skimming off a tiny bit of it.”

To skim, sail, or slide, however, you must be in the game itself. You must fight and toil and trouble and struggle just like Theodore Roosevelt's man in the arena. Regrets taste far more bitter and linger that much longer than mistakes or missed opportunities ever do.


Per my about pageWhite Noise is a work of experimentation. I view it as a sort of thinking aloud, a stress testing of my nascent ideas. Through it, I hope to sharpen my opinions against the whetstone of other people’s feedback, commentary, and input.

If you want to discuss any of the ideas or musings mentioned above or have any books, papers, or links that you think would be interesting to share on a future edition of White Noise, please reach out to me by replying to this email or following me on Twitter.

With sincere gratitude,