Preparing for the future, far in advance of when that day arrives, is something that we all tend to do when thinking about college for our young children or about 401Ks to fund our retirement years.
It’s a wonder that similar preparation for the inevitable rarely happens in the software startup world. Not that it doesn’t make sense…Startup teams are often heads-down running full-speed towards goals of building product, growing the team and constantly innovating, leaving little time for preparing for the time when success is found and ensuring that systems on which the company operates will be able to support the activity that the team has worked so hard to acquire.
The startup team that invests time and resources in the early days to consider issues like scalability, security, support processes and operational tools are the exception. Having been part of several startups throughout my career and having witnessed (and admittedly been part of cause for lack of preparation for eventual business success, instead favoring a focus on build, build, building the product), I can say that the results can be ugly when the team operates with a we’ll-deal-with-that-when-the-day-arrives cowboy attitude.
At clypd, we’ve taken the approach of building out a dev ops team early and putting processes and systems in place that allows us to (quickly) transition from a productless company to one with a platform and a very healthy customer base and pipeline. Between custom and open source build and deployment tools, disaster recovery solutions, support processes and removal of single points of failure, this toddler-aged company is acting like a seasoned adult.
As a product guy who has lived in the operational world in prior lives, it’s very satisfying to see the intelligent investments being made towards ensuring that when we are drowning in business, the boat will continue to float (even if it means that the speed at which the items on my roadmap are built happens at 90mph rather than 120mph).
The thinking is that if we’re not going to have an umbrella for the eventual downpour, then why should we spend anytime combing our hair?
Read part II of this article for a dive into the technical and operational details of this foundation that we’ve put in place in advance of the deluge of business.
Jason is Head of Product at clypd