Orbit Joins Heavybit
Orbit helps teams manage their developer community and connect with contributors, ambassadors, and influencers to build better APIs, features, and products.
Dana manages Heavybit’s team, accelerator, and designed the first program curriculum for Heavybit’s founders.
While Heavybit companies have celebrated many exits and acquisitions since 2013, PagerDuty is our first portfolio/member company to be listed on public markets and we cannot be happier. In this post we’ve collected some of the lessons PagerDuty has shared with our community over the years.
Developer, infrastructure and enterprise SaaS company founders have a great understanding of their initial users and are highly technical with a good network for engineering and product hires. But we’re often asked to help build descriptions, source, and define metrics for a first marketing hire. Read this post for answers to some of the common questions we hear.
As Faculty Chairs, Nicolas Draca and Trenton Truitt are adding to our formal curriculum that includes providing SaaS sales and marketing benchmarks, required reading, assigning guest instructors, and providing a framework for demand generation and customer discovery.
We’re thrilled to announce our newest Heavybit member Kloudless – a company that provides developers with a universal API enabling them to connect to over 30 file storage providers using a single integration. Supported services include Dropbox, Box, Evernote, Google Drive, SharePoint, OneDrive, and many more.
We’re excited to announce Nisha Ahluwalia and Cole Krumbholz as Heavybit’s Faculty Chairs. As Faculty Chairs they are building a formal marketing and product curriculum that includes SaaS benchmarks, required reading, assigned product and marketing instructors, and a framework for demand generation and product discovery
If you’re building a developer product, it’s not enough to simply be loved by individual users and contributors. Developer companies need to both scale their user base and their revenue in order to survive. One way to do that is to lean on network-effect.
Hiring is one of the biggest barriers to scaling and growing an early-stage company and unconscious bias is just one obstacle to hiring. We interviewed CEO and cofounder of Paradigm, Joelle Emerson, to discuss her work with companies like Slack, Airbnb and Pinterest. As a way to encourage diversity in teams, Joelle works alongside leaders in these orgs to build comprehensive diversity strategies in HR, recruiting, communications, and policy.
The most elegant solutions — in code and in writing — are often simple. If you’re a contractor, agency or potential employee interested in working with an early-stage developer company, here are some key snippets of info to include in a work proposal:
As Heavybit’s member companies grow, we remind everyone of our commitment to an inclusive community. This means Heavybit will be shaped by people with a diverse set of values, skills, knowledge, experience and histories. As part of this, we’re announcing a few new initiatives for the women of Heavybit.
At Heavybit, we aim to connect our member companies with mentors and advisors who understand developer startups. Perhaps one of the strongest examples of a great developer-focused organization is Twilio. Launched in 2007, the company has more than 560,000 active users with very little traditional marketing dollars spent.
A few months ago we introduced our two newest members to the Heavybit membership: LaunchDarkly and CitusData. In a recent Heavybit Show & Tell night, we had a chance to hear from founders at both companies to hear about some of their latest thinking and releases.
In this post, Nike’s CTO Chris Satchell discusses some of the work the organization has done around Nike’s Continuous Delivery Strategy including the move towards canary deployment, the move away from monolithic releases and the way they’ve changed the release management process.
Pivotal Labs’ Michael Coté (formerly 451 Group) offers his “State of the Industry” presentation to Heavybit’s Wheelhouse attendees including insights on where commercial enterprises are adopting continuous delivery tools and where they need to invest further in order to improve their CD/CI pipelines.
LaunchDarkly enables SaaS and eCommerce companies to take control of feature launches. Using feature flags as a service, product managers, marketers and developers can tune who sees how their features perform and measure how features increase signups, engagement, retention and revenue.
With the influx of new capital and tech startups, hiring and recruiting is more competitive than ever. Greylock’s Talent Partner Dan Portillo discusses his strategies for recruiting pipeline and the fact that compensation isn’t everything.
Inspired by unconferences and Ignite events, Heavybit’s DevGuild will gather developer evangelists and community builders for an afternoon discussion about the tactics and philosophies that inspire others to join a movement, rally for change, and breathe life into what otherwise might just be code.
In our last post we aimed to establish a shared “history of why” — leaning heavily on the philosophies behind shared code, team process and online businesses. This post explores the evolution of software development in relation to cloud computing including a look at the rise of some of today’s most successful communities.
Writer James Baldwin once said, “You’ve got to know where you came from, to know where you’re going.” This list is meant to offer a sense of history for some of the thinking we’ve come to generally accept and aims to inspire you to question the principles you use to build on a daily basis.
In our last post we released 3 Heavybit Show and Tell presentations focussed on developer traction and go-to-market strategy. The following presentations from Iron.io, Stripe and Librato offer a look at how companies are keeping pace with the ever-changing nature of software deployment and adapting their product roadmaps for success.
In November we hosted Heavybit’s first ever Show and Tell — an opportunity for our members to share recent releases, launches, partnerships, integrations and case studies. For the first in what we hope to be many more Show and Tell events, founders, evangelists, engineers and designers from a number of companies offered their latest thinking. These presentations from Runscope, Keen IO, and CircleCI offer a look at how each company thinks about community and adding value to reach new users.
In a recent Heavybit talk, Takipi Cofounder Iris Shoor shared her secrets on how she grew her company’s technical blog from zero to 70,000 unique visitors in just a few months. For a company who only released general availability over the summer, it’s a significant feat.
Last year an estimated $7.35 Billion was spent online during the Black Friday and Cyber Monday weekend. Coupled with the fact that engineering teams are often short staffed with many requesting the week off, the Thanksgiving weekend could be the makings of a perfect storm. We caught up with PagerDuty’s Dev Ops Lead Arup Chakrabarti to hear his tips for managers during this peak shopping season.
One of the most common mistakes for early startups is the failure to account for approvals when building your PR assets. While it’s easy to prep all your assets in one night, it’s not easy to get all your stakeholders to approve them. In many cases it takes several weeks and you need these stakeholders to solidify the value of your product, to tie you into a larger trend, and to legitimize you via interviews and quotes.
Your PR pitch doesn’t need to go out at the same time a release goes live. In fact, it’s better if it doesn’t. The best stories get written when a journalist has plenty of time to craft a thoughtful and well-researched piece. This article discusses the best time of day and lead time to pitch your latest product release.
Bad PR pitches aren’t just ignored, on slow days they’re reprimanded alongside screeds from some of the best and brightest technology journalists. For the past decade, publications like Wired, the Wall Street Journal and TechCrunch have outed PR’s worst offenders and in many cases, created PR blacklists.
Joe Chernov isn’t short on opinions when it comes to content marketing. Chernov’s first content position was as the Director of Content Marketing for Eloqua in 2010. Just two years later, the company was acquired by Oracle for a reported $871M dollars and Chernov was named the Content Marketer of the Year.
KISSMetrics cofounder Hiten Shah is known as a content marketer and growth hacker. At a recent Heavybit Speaker Series, Hiten offered some interesting insights into how entrepreneurs can best engage developers. Rather than creating more traditional assets like blog posts or white papers, Shah tells founders to let the type of product lead the tactics you choose. This post highlights a number of Github-centric tactics.
Written by activist Saul Alinsky, “Rules for Radicals” is a series of lessons aimed at the Seventies generation of activists. The book has since influenced groups across the political spectrum including Cesar Chavez and the National Farm Worker’s Movement, FreedomWorks (a lobbying group tied to the TeaParty) and the 2008 Obama Campaign. Ignition Ventures Principal and former 451 analyst Rachel Chalmers adapts five of Alinsky’s 13 rules to help companies empower their users to advocate within the enterprise.
Many entrepreneurs in the dev-tools space struggle with moving from the role of engineer to the role of sales person and sole business development employee. This week, CEO of Stormpath and former top sales leader at IBM Alex Salazar teaches founders how to run an effective customer sales call from start to finish.
Hot on the heels of Y-Combinator’s demo day, we’re releasing Cloudant co-founder Mike Miller’s talk about his company’s journey from Y-Combinator to its acquisition by IBM. Prior to Cloudant, Miller worked alongside other scientists, analyzing petabyte datasets on CERN’s Large Hadron Collider project. From a technical perspective it was no easy feat, but despite all his work, he admits that Cloudant was also a challenge.
Accompli Cofounder and VP Engineering Kevin Henrickson has built and managed some of the most affordable engineering teams (through oDesk and Amazon’s mTurk) as well as some of the most expensive ones (Zimbra, Yahoo and VMWare). In this Heavybit presentation, Henrickson shares some of his tips and tricks of outsourcing including when you should double down on hired guns vs. in-house recruitment.
With 17 years of experience, Todd Feinroth has mastered the art of building and leading sales teams. As CRO at Opscode, he successfully created and managed the multi-channel sales infrastructure for the creators of Chef. Today, he’s creating the sales roadmap for CFEngine using his multi-pronged framework of attack to do it.
Most founders in early stage companies have poured over their board packages only to find that one or two directors simply haven’t read them. In the eyes of Acompli CEO Javier Soltero, the reason isn’t that you aren’t important — it’s that you’re not treating them as partners in building your business.
Portland-based UX guru Samuel Hulick is best known as the author of The Elements of User Onboarding and the creator of UserOnboard.com– a site that offers UX teardowns of some of the web’s most popular services. Heavybit caught up with Hulick to interview him on how SaaS companies can improve their onboarding design:
Heavybit welcomes our newest member company, Gradleware, the company behind the Gradle open-source project. Gradle is the fastest growing solution for software build infrastructure – equally well suited for agile, lightweight projects as it is for the most complex enterprise workgroups.
Andrew Levy, CEO of Crittercism found out early on that enterprise sales is no cake walk. In 2013, his company’s flagship product had more than 800 million monthly active users tracking over 3 billion events per day. But the path to that success required hiring up from twelve to 50+ people including adding an exec team, outside sales force and second head of recruiting. What’s more, the CEO was also busy defining his user onboarding strategy, finding his pricing model, and crafting his core messaging.
Today’s video releases provide an overview of what it’s like to position, ship and socialize your work with a team of less than 10 people. From Heroku and Heavybit advisor Geva Perry’s thoughts on go-to-market strategies, to SVPG founder Marty Cagan’s talk on MVPs, to Jade Wang’s presentation on community — this week’s videos will help you understand just how far you can go with a small but determined team of rockstars.
This week’s video releases come from a wide variety of speakers with one thing in common — every one of them has built an early business unit within one of today’s leading SaaS companies. From designing security strategies, to building demand generation processes, to solving the pricing and sales equation — these speakers will teach you how specialists hone their craft and approach over time.
Sauce Labs, Twilio, Heroku, New Relic and RackSpace — Geva Perry has advised each of these companies in developing their business models and go-to-market strategies. Part of his magic as an advisor is his understanding of an optimized sales model. The Thinking Out Cloud blogger and veteran advisor has helped shape some of today’s leading SaaS companies and Heavybit members had a chance to hear some of his insights.
This Friday video release is all about taking a common problem developer-facing companies experience and building a system to manage it. From Heroku’s new incident response framework, to Zendesk’s rise as a SaaS leader, to designing processes for designers and devs — this week’s videos will have you rethinking the way you’re scaling for change and growth.
PagerDuty’s Ops Engineering team lead Arup Chakrabarti knows how to scale complex architectures. During his time at PagerDuty, the company has moved from 20-200 servers. Meanwhile, his prior experience at Amazon and Netflix have taught him some of his toughest lessons. Namely, that change is a proxy for innovation, and that innovation and change are directly proportional to downtime.
Redpoint Ventures partner and former Google Product Manager, Tomasz Tunguz specializes in benchmarking software/platform-as-a-service companies. The celebrated investor and blogger once credited with Google’s social media monetization, including the Google-MySpace partnership, now works with Expensify, Axial, Looker and a slew of other startups, ensuring they’re on track for revenue growth.
The following videos were recorded during Heavybit’s members-only Speaker’s Series. These events take place every week over the course of our 9 month program and members can meet with speakers on the evening of the presentation in addition to joining office hours. The following HD videos are part of more than 50+ hours of Heavybit’s content catalogue.
In 2010, Kara Swisher dubbed Michael Dearing, “The Hottest Angel Investor You’ve Never Heard Of”. Fast forward to today and the Harrison Metal founder and former SVP at eBay has already celebrated a number of wins with AdStack (acquired by TellApart), Mixer Labs (acquired by Twitter) and Aardvark (acquired by Google).
The following videos were recorded during Heavybit’s members-only Speaker’s Series. These events take place every week over the course of our nine month program and members are invited to meet with speakers on the evening of the presentation in addition to the option of joining office hours. The following HD videos are part of more than 50+ hours of Heavybit’s content catalogue.
Today’s releases include talks from Ivan Kirigin and Adam Gross (both formerly at Dropbox) and Ilya Grigorik (Google’s web speed evangelist on HTTP 2.0). The videos were recorded during our Tuesday night members-only Speaker’s Series and are part of a growing a catalogue of resources for companies building developer-facing products.
Heavybit is committed to educating the next generation of cloud infrastructure & developer startups. As part of our commitment to you, we’re happy to launch our new blog. Now members can catch up on the latest news, check out our member spotlights, or even contribute to the growing body of resources we’re collecting as a group.
Since 2011, Heavybit member company Librato has built a resilient and scalable data analytics platform, solving a huge problem for developers and growing by leaps and bounds. In the past month alone, the team has launched a redesign of their new alerting platform and demoed their latest product offerings at Portland’s Monitorama Conference. We caught up with Librato CTO Joe Ruscio (pictured center) to see what makes him tick.
Former Jive Software CEO and Heavybit Advisor Dave Hersh discussed how tech startups can “bake sales into their DNA.” Says Hersh, “There’s a right and wrong time to hire different types of salespeople…The tough part is that every one of them interviews well.” We sit down with Dave to learn about finding the right people for each stage of building a sales team.
Gartner, a leader in IT research and an advisory firm, has selected Heavybit member Apiary among its list of innovative, impactful, and intriguing companies to watch in 2014. Apiary’s cloud-based service that allows developers to design, document, and deploy APIs sets the standard in cross-cloud management with its ease of use, broad range of cloud provider support, automation features and application integration.
In February we welcomed Takipi to the program and Tal moved into the clubhouse. Founded by Iris Shoor and Tal Weiss, Takipi is a group of veteran Israeli hackers solving one of the biggest problems in software today – empowering all engineers to diagnose and fix production code an order of magnitude faster, so that companies can ship new features with confidence. We sit down with the team and ask a few questions from the members.
Last month Iron.io proudly launched their IronMQ services in Europe. IronMQ EU provides the full suite of functionality IronMQ offers in the US. The launch is in response to increased demand from European customers who want to have message queues available in the same region as their applications to avoid the cost of transmitting messages to and from US regions.