Jason Cohen’s Bio

I’ve started four companies, all profitable.
I still run one and write about startups.
Twitter: @asmartbear.

Street cred

I’ve started four companies, all surpassed $1m/yr in revenue, all got profitable, two exited (Smart Bear, IT WatchDogs), one I’m running now (WP Engine). I’ve bootstrapped and raised angel and institutional money, and have been co-founder and sole founder.


Current Job: Founder, CEO of WP Engine

I’m a year into my fourth company WPEngine the Premium WordPress Hosting Platform. We’re growing with a profitable model, and always hiring!

Partner: Capital Thought

Josh Baer and I are partners in Capital Thought, a combination consulting company and startup incubator. On the consulting side we do everything from business-level advice and strategy to software design and implementation. On the incubation side we have lots of ideas; the latest launch is WPEngine which got cash-flow-break-even in just 7 months and continues to grow.

I’m a blogger, you’re a blogger.

RSS50,000+ RSS subscribers can’t be wrong. Actually they can. But they’re generous enough with their time to keep coming back.

See the “Most Popular” sidebar to see why Evan Carmichael named it the #3 startup marketing blog.

Capital Factory

capital-factory-logoI’m a mentor and co-director at Capital Factory — a seed-stage mentoring program. Each year we select five companies to receive $20k in cash, $20k in services, and a ten-week intensive summer program. We get you profitable and/or funded in a few months.

Co-Creator of Answers OnStartups

answers-logoAlong with Dharmesh Shah, created and moderated Answers OnStartups, a Q&A community for startup founders. It’s now a StackExchange site.

Standard Timeline Résumé

linkedin-logoMy friend and mentor Gerry Cullen says my success with Smart Bear is the only résumé I need. He’s probably right, but just in case you like the usual timeline-style curriculum vitæ, see my LinkedIn profile.

Book — for real, not an eBook

codereviewbook-smI wrote Best Kept Secrets of Peer Code Review in 2005, a technical book about how to do lightweight peer review in software development.  70,000 copies in circulation; sample chapters and ordering here.

Selected Guest Posts

Magazine Articles

A lot of these magazines aren’t around anymore. Too bad, so sad. But back in the day, it was an honor to write for them.

  • 2009-12-01, Inc Magazine, “Act Like a Real Person.”
  • 2009-11-09, Better Software Magazine, “A Guide to Effective Code Review
  • 2009-11-01, Modern Steel, “Ignoring the Wisdom of Crowds.”
  • 2009-03-03, Dr. Dobbs Journal, “Crash Course in Lightweight Code Review”
  • 2008-09-20, Software Test & Performance, “Think you have a Team? You don’t.”How peer code review creates teams out of independant developers. Article not available online but similar one appears here.
  • 2008-07-09, Embedded.com, “Checklists for embedded software projects.”
  • 2007-10-02, CM Crossroads, “Checklists: You build me up just to knock me down”
  • 2006-06 … 2007-03, Monthly columnist at CM Crossroads

Live Audio/Video

Not much difference between radio and podcasts nowadays.

Other Interviews

50% of interviews are just for stroking the ego. Oh well, I’m not proud.

  • 2009-07-02, Austin Entrepreneur Network Blog, Interview: Smart Bear
  • 2008-09-24, GeekAustin Blog, Interview: code review
  • 2007-05-08, Dr. Dobbs Journal, Interview: code review


Tradeshows: The only industry beating print media in the race to the grave. Too bad, jumping around on stage is fun.

  • 2017-10, Business of Software, “Healthy, Wealthy, and Wise”  (Video) (Video from SaaStr Feb 2018 version)
  • 2017-02, LoopConf, “How to build a bootstrapped cash machine in WordPress” (Video)
  • 2013-04, MicroConf, “Designing the Ideal Bootstrapped Business” (Video)
  • 2012-10, Business of Software, “How data makes you do the wrong thing” (Video)
  • 2011-10-24, Business of Software, “Naked Business: How Honesty Makes Money” (Video)
  • 2011-02-13, WebStock, “A Geek Sifts Through the Bullshit.” (Video, 50m)
  • 2010-12-06, WordCamp Austin, “Optimizing WordPress.” (PowerPoint)
  • 2010-10-04, Joel Spolsky’s Business of Software 2010, “Geek to Entrepreneur.” (Video, 58m) (Slides)
  • 2010-01-13, Ignite Austin, “Style: The line between heeding the masters and cutting your own path.” (Video, 5m)
  • 2009-05-02, Perforce User Conference 2009, “Code Reviews with Perforce” (Video, 45m)
  • 2009-03-11, SD West 2009, “Code Reviews don’t have to Suck.”
  • 2008-09-03, Joel Spolsky’s Business of Software 2008, “Agile Marketing.”A pecha kucha talk. Story and video here.
  • 2008-06-24, SSQ San Diego, “Peer code review doesn’t have to suck.”
  • 2008-04-16, SD West 2008, “Best practices of peer code review”
  • 2007-10-26, StarWest 2007, “Best practices of lightweight peer code review”
  • 2007-09-19, SD Best Practices 2007, “How code review efficiently eliminates defects”
  • 2007-09-20, Embedded Systems Conference 2007, “Peer code review in embedded systems”
  • 2007-03-21, SD West 2007, “11 Best Practices of Peer Code Review”
  • 2006-09-23, IEEE Austin, “Lightweight Peer Code Review”
  • 2006-03-02, Better Software Conference & Expo, “Effective Peer Code Review”