33, CEO and founder, Squarespace
It’s a tech-world cliche—the multimillion-dollar business that started in a dorm room. For Squarespace founder Anthony Casalena, the impetus wasn’t getting revenge on a girlfriend (a la Mark Zuckerberg), but rather his frustration at trying to build a website for himself. “At the time, you had to cobble together all these different software packages—blogging, page-building, hosting,” explains Casalena, who then was a student at the University of Maryland. “I was pissed off at how complicated it was, even for me, and I’m an engineer!”
So in 2004 Casalena built his own software from scratch, and after a friend asked to buy it, a business was born. Squarespace allows users to easily create and manage their own websites, whether it’s a novice who wants a simple Web presence or a sophisticated designer at an agency working for high-profile clients. (Squarespace platforms are used for Bottega Veneta, Lyft and HBO’s sites.)
After college, Casalena moved to NYC, which has been key for the company’s growth. Squarespace now has more than 400 employees, and more than 4 million sites have been created using its products.
Though New York has been great for Squarespace’s growth, “the personal reasons for moving here really came first,” he says. ”It’s a daily source of inspiration for me.” –AMO