October 20, 2015
Ep. #5, Overcoming the Fear of Shipping Code
In this episode, Edith and Paul talk about the fear of shipping, and whether code is an asset.
Earlier this morning, PagerDuty began trading on the New York Stock Exchange. While Heavybit companies have celebrated many exits and acquisitions since 2013, this is our first portfolio/member company to be listed on public markets and we cannot be happier. Over the years we’ve had the pleasure of both working with, and learning from the team. For a look at some of the ways PagerDuty has operationalized its business for today’s success, here are some of the lessons they’ve taught our members.
Member companies frequently approach Heavybit Partners with questions about pricing. PagerDuty started with a single product, but has since developed multiple product lines, scaled to the enterprise, and expanded its reach. Like many fast growth companies, they were faced with a need to reassess their pricing and packaging and continue to do so to this day. At Heavybit’s DevGuild: Pricing Strategy, VP of Product Rachel Obstler offered some of the challenges of packaging and pricing a new line of products. Fellow panelist and then Senior Strategist at Atlassian Tugce Erten, went on to join Rachel’s team and came back to Heavybit to further discuss the team’s pricing and packaging methodology.
As PagerDuty scaled to the enterprise, there was a need to build enterprise-grade processes and support. Both PagerDuty Cofounder Alex Solomon and Director of Engineering Arup Chakrabarti have mentored fellow Heavybit companies on product design, incident response and designing scalable systems. In 2014, Chakrabarti delivered a presentation to members on common dev ops mistakes, and last year, Solomon joined a panel at our DevGuild: Enterprise-Ready Products conference on SLA and Support for enterprise companies. While there will always be something to keep founders up at night, notice how the challenges changed over time.
While it’s tempting to believe that a great product can sell and market itself, the truth is that to IPO, developer companies need to build a sales and marketing engine. Even with a broadly horizontal product like PagerDuty, there was a pragmatism to how the marketing and sales team grew revenue. Heavybit’s first Marketing Faculty Chair and PagerDuty’s then CMO, Nisha Ahluwalia spent hours in 1:1 advisor sessions with Heavybit members and spoke at length about finding product market fit and building an engine for go-to-market. Other PagerDuty marketing leaders who expanded on Nisha’s work include PagerDuty’s VP of Growth Kamal Thakarsey on scaling growth and hiring a marketing team, and former VP of Marketing (now VP Platform and Product Marketing at Zendesk) Astha Malik on persona development. On the sales side of the house, Heavybit’s first Sales Faculty Chair and PagerDuty’s former VP of Worldwide Sales Trenton Truitt, offered members hundreds of advisory sessions and an understanding of the MEDDICC process and early customer discovery.
Congratulations to the many brilliant people who’ve contributed to PagerDuty’s success and to the Heavybit community. We are so happy for the company’s successful IPO, and incredibly grateful that you’ve continued to share your learning with our community along the way.