He also founded Brightwork, a pioneering developer of network management applications, in 1986. With 75 employees and software installed on more than 150,000 Novell systems worldwide, Gianforte sold the company to McAfee Associates in 1994. He was retained by McAfee to run its North American operation.
An industry leader and speaker, Gianforte has been a guest lecturer at Harvard Business School, University of California, Berkeley, Stanford University, Cornell University, London School of Business, Manchester School of Business, and Warwick School of Business. He also delivered a commencement speech to the 2007 Montana State University graduating class.
A serial entrepreneur, Gianforte is the author of "Bootstrapping Your Business: Start and Grow a Successful Company with Almost No Money." He founded Bootstrap Montana, a program to help entrepreneurs learn the principles of bootstrapping and provide micro-loans to rural Montana entrepreneurs.