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Highlights

 

Welcome to another episode of Category Visionaries — the show that explores GTM stories from tech’s most innovative B2B founders. In today’s episode, we’re speaking with Liam Randall, CEO and founder of Cosmonic, a cloud native WebAssembly platform that has raised $8.5 million in funding.

Here are the most interesting points from our conversation:

  • Liam’s entrepreneurial journey started early, working fairgrounds and selling fireworks as a child of immigrant parents before pursuing computer science and startups.
  • He’s had successful exits, including selling a Kubernetes company to Capital One, and has been an active angel investor, writing the first check for companies like Osquery.
  • Liam believes in constantly challenging himself to grow, from taking on physical feats like long-distance swimming to stretching his capabilities as an entrepreneur and investor.
  • Cosmonic is pioneering the use of WebAssembly, a portable format for executable code, to help developers build solutions that run across diverse environments with less friction.
  • The company sees WebAssembly as a foundational technology for the next era of computing, enabling compute to be positioned closer to data and enriching devices with deliberate autonomy.
  • Cosmonic has attracted interest from major enterprises like Adobe, BMW, and telecom providers, who are exploring WebAssembly for its portability and efficiency benefits.

Actionable
Takeaways

Embrace Discomfort as a Catalyst for Growth:

Liam's philosophy of constantly seeking out challenges that make him 20% uncomfortable resonates deeply. He views discomfort as essential for personal and professional growth. Founders can apply this by intentionally operating at the edge of their comfort zone, taking on projects and roles that stretch their abilities. Regularly embracing calculated discomfort builds resilience and adaptability.

Pursue Passion for Sustained Motivation:

A key insight from Liam is the importance of pursuing ideas and technologies that deeply excite you. He emphasizes how genuine passion fuels the motivation to persist through entrepreneurship's inevitable challenges. Founders should critically evaluate if they have a strong intrinsic drive for the problems they're tackling. Orienting around authentic passion creates the conditions for long-term resilience.

Align Strengths and Mitigate Weaknesses:

Liam is remarkably candid about his strengths and weaknesses. He leans into his aptitudes in communication, sales and patience while openly acknowledging areas like organization where he struggles. The takeaway is to build self-awareness of your unique attributes. Double down on natural strengths and find ways to mitigate weaknesses through partnerships, tools and delegation. Assembling teams is an exercise in balancing complementary skills.

Think Beyond the Technology to Jobs-to-be-Done:

In discussing WebAssembly's potential, Liam frames the technology in terms of the jobs-to-be-done it enables for developers. Rather than fixating on technical specs alone, he emphasizes WebAssembly's ability to let developers focus on core business logic by abstracting away common complexities. Founders can adopt a similar mindset - deeply understanding the actual jobs their solution helps customers accomplish and orienting their positioning around those.

Invest in Community Building for Nascent Categories:

Liam highlights how in the early days of WebAssembly, concerted community building was vital for driving adoption and accelerating the development of standards. In nascent technology spaces, investing time to convene key stakeholders, drive consensus on roadmaps, and evangelize can pay big dividends. Founders pioneering new categories should allocate resources to community efforts that create momentum beyond their individual startup.

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