In the beginning: How ServiceNow was born

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January 28, 2022

When we work, the world works.

“It was November 5th, 2003. I knew that we had to start a company before I became 50, because a 50-year-old can't start a company. So, at 49—November 24th is my birthday—we started,” says Fred Luddy, ServiceNow founder.

He began the company with a single laptop at a desk in his house. Although he founded the company alone, he couldn’t build it alone. In fact, a handful of people believed so strongly in what Fred was doing that they volunteered their time to work with him, even though he couldn’t pay them. Some of those people are still here, which speaks volumes to the kind of employees who have set the precedent for who we are today.

[We’re hiring. Explore careers at ServiceNow.]

A collaborative culture

To Jay B., employee No. 28 after contracting for the company, working at ServiceNow was all about teamwork and communication. “When we started, it was about how do we get together, have a good time, and do something meaningful. Those early days were amazing because there were only 10 of us, and we were a group of people who understood each other, who knew how to communicate, and who fed off of each other.”

About 19 years later, ServiceNow has quadrupled in size from its humble beginnings. But one thing has remained the same: our commitment to putting customers first. 

“Our culture was that we were going to be humble, that we were to absolutely have integrity. We were going to be confident but never arrogant. And we were going to always listen to the customer,” Fred explains.

“It was November 5th, 2003. I knew that we had to start a company before I became 50, because a 50-year-old can't start a company. So, at 49—November 24th is my birthday—we started.” Fred Luddy, Founder, ServiceNow

A caring community

His former assistant, Carla G., employee No. 8—or the “OG” as she refers to herself—blazed a trail of her own at ServiceNow. “When I first started working here, I was the only female and Mexican. I was also part of a group of kids who were building this company with great comradery”—a comradery that has kept her at ServiceNow to this very day. “This is a community where we care a lot for each other, and I’m very proud of it.”

“I look back on my time at ServiceNow and, career aside, I’ve met some of the most amazing people in my life,” adds Mark O., employee No. 37. "I’m not just talking co-workers—the customers, partners from all around the world. I can't believe the level of integrity, intelligence, and talent that I’ve been exposed to.”

Wally M., employee No. 177, will never forget the advice he received on his first day at ServiceNow on April 26, 2010. “I tell new employees what I was told on my first day, ‘I hope this is the highlight of your career, and I hope you get everything you ever wished for at ServiceNow,’ because that’s what it’s been for me, the highlight of my career.”

Hear more from Fred and several early employees as they reminisce about the good old days, sharing their stories, aspirations, and pride for what ServiceNow has become today:


CEO Bill McDermott couldn’t be prouder of the lasting impact each of these people has made on ServiceNow. “The original founders of the company, beginning with Fred, always had the customer as the first, second, and third priority. It’s that passion, it’s that differentiation around not only delivering around the promise, but continuously innovating. I believe that their cause will always endure.”

Join us in continuing that cause. Explore job opportunities at ServiceNow. 

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