Imagine being on a first-name basis with the leader of your country.
That's a threshold Scott Farquhar crossed a few weeks ago and it felt surreal, he told Business Insider.
Farquhar is the 32-year-old cofounder of Atlassian, a software company based in Australia.
Last month, the country's prime minister, Julia Gillard, invited him to a forum on the digital economy. When he showed up, she clearly knew who he was.
"This is kind of weird," he recalled thinking.
It reminded him of just how far he had come in the 10 years since he and his cofounder, Mike Cannon-Brookes, launched their company.
Today, Farquhar and Cannon-Brookes are the two wealthiest young Australians, according to BRW magazine, with an estimated net worth of $480 million.
Atlassian is a company that sells enterprise software for software developers. The flagship product is called Jira and it helps companies keep track of bugs in their software and other issues. Other tools help developers store code and collaborate.
In the early days, Atlassian was a tech-support company founded with the hope it would keep them in beer money.
"We basically didn't want to work for anyone else," Farquhar said. "The graduate salary at Pricewaterhouse was $47,500 so we said, if we could earn that kind of money, and we didn't have to put on a suit on, we'll enjoy it a whole lot more. That's the whole reason Atlassian got started."
But it wasn't fun, at first. Support turned out to be what Farquhar calls a "terrible business," with calls at 3 in the morning. They paid themselves $300 a week.
Flash-forward to today. Atlassian did "$100 million in sales last calendar year, and is growing north of 30% per annum," Farquhar says. It has 22,000 customers, 300 employees in Sydney and 150 in San Francisco. Next step: an IPO, which is rumored to be coming up maybe next year.
It also has a freakishly similar history to its biggest competitor, GitHub.
Earlier this year, GitHub nabbed a $100 million round from Andreessen Horowitz, also the largest single investment from that VC firm, also GitHub's first outside funding after years of self-funded growth.
Both companies have similarly wild, fun corporate cultures, too. While Atlassian is based in Sydney, Australia, it has a large office in a warehouse space in San Francisco, blocks away from GitHub's headquarters.
Farquhar says success hasn't changed him, much. Besides knowing heads of state, the big difference is having less time.
"I've always prided myself on helping people and being available," Farquhar says. "I always believed that if you can can help someone get started in business or get over life crises then it's your your job to help them. But now I get five emails a day from people asking for advice or help ... and unfortunately I have to say no."
He worries about that.
"I can see how people might say, 'When Scott was younger he was nice and now that he's a success he's a jerk,'" he laughs.
While Farquhar can't give as much personally, he makes sure the company makes up the difference. Atlassian donates one percent of its revenue, one percent of its employee, and one percent of its products to charity.
Oh, and he still doesn't wear a suit.
More From Business Insider