Scaling startups
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Scaling startups

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My talk at Etsy's SXSW Microconference, "Moving Fast at Scale." ...

My talk at Etsy's SXSW Microconference, "Moving Fast at Scale."

http://codeascraft.etsy.com/2011/03/01/moving-fast-at-scale-sxsw/

For companion talks (this was one of four), see http://codeascraft.etsy.com/2011/03/19/moving-fast-at-scale-slides-and-reprise/

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  • Slide 66 is awesome! More unique deployers per day than you have engineers! Really cool stuff...
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  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/28634332@N05/4787141853/\n\nhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/stuckincustoms/312261666/, http://www.flickr.com/photos/danorbit/2150296423/\n
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/yomanimus/102798907/\n
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/sercasey/514212348/\n
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/dorlino/2135206018/\n
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/jayscratch/4993673517/\n
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/cozymemories/4313895482/\n
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  • If you’re successful, you’ll grow, too\n
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/demetriusgonzalez/308776735/\n
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  • Don’t be that guy.\n
  • this is a big warning\n
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  • your team should smile about deployments.\n
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  • http://darrennegraeff.com/the-preservation-of-the-problem/\n
  • http://darrennegraeff.com/the-preservation-of-the-problem/\n
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  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/divine_harvester/2119060429/\n
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  • http://www.cgu.edu/images/drucker/peter_drucker/pages/peterdrucker017_jpg.htm\n
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  • our 11 biggest sales day ever at Etsy and 4th biggest page view day -- our approach has given us real confidence\n
  • our 11 biggest sales day ever at Etsy and 4th biggest page view day\n
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  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/mark_wilson/279145377/ (primary)\n\nhttp://www.flickr.com/photos/jeroenbennink/2355768494/ (backup)\n
  • http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilsphotoalbum/727616574/\n
  • NEED TO CHANGE COLORS OF LINES\n
  • our 11 biggest sales day ever at Etsy and 4th biggest page view day\n
  • our 11 biggest sales day ever at Etsy and 4th biggest page view day\n
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Scaling startups Scaling startups Presentation Transcript

  • Scaling startupsChad Dickerson, CTO / chad@etsy.com / @chaddickerson
  • What do we mean by being “at scale”?
  • The past 15 months were amajor growth period for Etsy
  • > 1 billion page views / month
  • $300+ million in sales in 2010$41.1 million in December alone
  • > $1000 / minute
  • 8.5 million items in the marketplace
  • 400,000+ active sellers
  • Business in over 150 countries
  • engineering team grew ~4x in 2010 (about 60 now)
  • success means growth
  • servers
  • people
  • legacy code and systems
  • But you want to stay a startup!
  • What makes a startup a startup?
  • moving fast
  • high impact per person
  • risk-taking
  • default: “yes, we can”
  • When startups become “successful”
  • they slow down
  • harder for individuals to have high impact
  • they become risk-averse
  • more: “maybe we can do that”
  • We didn’t want to be that way.
  • You shouldn’t either.
  • Here’s how we scaled
  • real, tangible mechanismsin place to stay a startup as we grew.
  • We’re growing but we still act like a startup! Really??!!
  • (Don’t talk. Do!)
  • Commit to frequent deploys,and the tooling to support it.
  • (Kellan, Erik, and Mike will talk about this)
  • Deploys shouldn’t be like this:
  • OMG! HOLD ONTOYOUR HATS! WE’RE DEPLOYING!!!!
  • . . . but more like this:
  • http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2011/02/continuous-deployment.html
  • (we deployed 721 times in November)
  • Question process at every turn.
  • Clay Shirky
  • “Process is an embedded reaction to prior stupidity.”
  • Once you add a process, it never goes away.
  • Bad process is about fear.
  • For startups:“fear is the biggest no-no” - Brad Feld http://www.avc.com/a_vc/2010/05/fear-is-a-nono.html
  • Practice: do blameless post-mortems. Do blameless post-mortems.
  • Freaking out doesn’tPractice: do blameless post-mortems. create helpful processes.
  • Peter Drucker
  • Drucker’s Five Deadly Business Sins (1993)
  • #5: “feeding problems and starving opportunities”
  • “All one can get by ‘problem-solving’ isdamage-containment. Only opportunities produce results and growth.”
  • Fight processes that feed problemsPractice: do blameless post-mortems. and starve opportunities.
  • Adjust your thinking about risk.
  • Peter Drucker again. . . .
  • “People who don’t take risks generally make about two big mistakes a year.”
  • “People who do take risks generallymake about two big mistakes a year.”
  • You make more mistakes when you’re tentative.
  • we had 6 change-related incidents on Etsy in all of 2010
  • Again, 721 deploys in one month.
  • And we deployed a major feature on December 1
  • (4th biggest traffic day in our history)
  • Hire for immediate impact.
  • New engineers deploy on first day.
  • . . . . before they’ve filled outtheir health insurance paperwork
  • developers / unique deployers Devs Deployers 70 62 PMs and Support started 57 58 54 55 deploying here52.5 50 49 47 42 35 35 32 30 26 26 23 22 2017.5 15 15 10 7 8 0 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov
  • Those who deploy early. . . .
  • . . . . also deploy often.
  • deploys800 721 682 589600400 359 184 177200 126 125 61 50 33 0 Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov
  • Kellan will go into the how and the why!
  • Photo credits• http://www.flickr.com/photos/28634332@N05/4787141853/• http://www.flickr.com/photos/yomanimus/102798907/• http://www.flickr.com/photos/sercasey/514212348/• http://www.flickr.com/photos/dorlino/2135206018/• http://www.flickr.com/photos/jayscratch/4993673517/• http://www.flickr.com/photos/cozymemories/4313895482/• http://www.flickr.com/photos/allspaw/5436215259/• http://www.flickr.com/photos/divine_harvester/2119060429/• http://www.flickr.com/photos/mark_wilson/279145377/• http://www.flickr.com/photos/neilsphotoalbum/727616574/• Other photos licensed from iStockphoto