Mike Lynch tells the story behind his $10.2bn company, Autonomy

Posted 19 Aug 2011 by Sue Keogh in Phenomenon news

One of the largest deals in software history was made today, with Hewlett Packard's $10.2bn buyout of Cambridge-based Autonomy. The sale has made its staff £30m in share options and its founder, Mike Lynch, around £500m.

At the 2010 Cambridge Phenomenon conference Lynch explained that the beauty of Autonomy is the way it's everywhere without us even knowing it - the code runs in laptops and websites and is a key piece of infrastructure everywhere. 'It's a fundamental piece of technology driving the next generation of products.'

He also talks about how Autonomy began. 'One of the reasons we started the company is becase we had no idea what we were doing...there was a naivety in some aspects – to get an idea to the point where it germinates and the seed grows is very important,' he explains. 'We try and develop a culture where the seeds germinate before getting immediately stamped on, which can happen in an environment where people know exactly what they’re doing.'

He also suggests the Cambridge Phenomenon is turned into a feature film – with his character played by Patrick Stewart. We can't promise that, Mike - but we hope the book will do instead!

Mike Lynch's presentation from Cambridge Phenomenon on Vimeo.

Watch Mike Lynch at Cambridge Phenomenon 2010 in full.

Read about the Autonomny takeover at Cabume.