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Why we started CoreOS

I'm often asked why we started CoreOS. I've written before about our mission to secure the internet. Recently, I was challenged further: Why do you care about securing the internet? This question gets at the heart of CoreOS, and deserves a well articulated answer. Securing the internet is key to preserving our privacy, and ultimately our freedoms.

Freedom, privacy and security

I believe in freedom. Founding fathers, Martin Luther King, Jr. – that kind of freedom. It’s the same kind of freedom that motivates my passion for free software. Yet I also believe we live in a time where our lives are being intertwined with technology in a way that is restricting freedom.

Technology has created radical advances in our lives, but it also has a tendency to be in conflict with privacy.

The U.S. Constitution, and particularly the Bill of Rights, establishes rights designed to protect privacy, because privacy is so foundational to freedom. Consider the voting booth: if you can’t make the choices you believe in because you’re afraid of being watched, you are no longer free.

As our lives become ever more digital – with everything from transportation services to food delivery and even thermostats and refrigerators going online – they are increasingly in the hands of companies that are building new products as cloud services. If these cloud services are not built correctly and not maintained with a sharp eye, they inevitably will get hacked. When they get hacked, we lose some of our privacy, compromising our freedom.

That's why we started CoreOS. That’s why we are on this path to secure the internet. After seeing, time and again, hundreds of millions of people’s data compromised in major data breaches, we forged a path we could all walk together to do something about it.

Stemming the data breach tide

The recent Equifax hack is a perfect example. Equifax is a credit reporting company that has been forced to become a cloud services company. Its systems were hacked because Equifax failed to install a security update in a piece of open source software. It was one of the largest breaches of privacy in the history of humanity, and therefore one of the largest blows to the free world. This troubles me deeply, and I believe CoreOS holds a major part of the solution.

At CoreOS, our aim is to arm these companies with the tools to build their cloud services – and run our digital lives – correctly. We’re also dedicated to making it so easy to run these highly complex systems that they take care of themselves. What if they’ll never miss an update again. They’ll have all the security features turned on by default and new versions of applications will ship quickly and safely.

As co-founder and CEO of CoreOS, I'm intensely proud of what we've achieved so far. We’re not close to done yet. But working with the CoreOS team on this mission is what gets me out of bed in the morning. There is nothing else to which I would rather dedicate my life.


If you're ready to see for yourself how CoreOS's enterprise-ready Kubernetes platform can help make your systems easier to manage, more reliable, and more secure, you can try Tectonic today.