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Learnings from building Codeship over the last 7 years

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H O W T O B U I L D A ( D E V E L O P E R T O O L )
C O M PA N Y
@ M O R I T Z P L A S S N I G

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Q U I C K I N T R O
• Founder/CEO of Codeship
• Biz+Tech Background
• Living in Boston/USA
• Always learning
• @moritzplas...

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H O W T H I S I S G O I N G T O W O R K
• I’m not here because I like talking
• I’m here to share some learnings & help YO...

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Learnings from building Codeship over the last 7 years

Codeship is a developer tool company offering Continuous Integration & Delivery as a Service. It got started in 2010 and is used by 10.000's of developers around the world. Codeship started in Austria but is headquarter in Boston/MA and employs 30+ people around the world with a remote first culture.

Codeship is a developer tool company offering Continuous Integration & Delivery as a Service. It got started in 2010 and is used by 10.000's of developers around the world. Codeship started in Austria but is headquarter in Boston/MA and employs 30+ people around the world with a remote first culture.

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Learnings from building Codeship over the last 7 years

  1. 1. H O W T O B U I L D A ( D E V E L O P E R T O O L ) C O M PA N Y @ M O R I T Z P L A S S N I G
  2. 2. Q U I C K I N T R O • Founder/CEO of Codeship • Biz+Tech Background • Living in Boston/USA • Always learning • @moritzplassnig on Twitter
  3. 3. H O W T H I S I S G O I N G T O W O R K • I’m not here because I like talking • I’m here to share some learnings & help YOU • You need to ask questions • A lot of questions :)
  4. 4. C O D E S H I P
  5. 5. B U I L D F O R T H E B U I L D E R S • CI / CD as SaaS • Automated software testing & release management • Cloud-based • Customers = Software engineers • Codeship enables software development teams to deliver better software faster
  6. 6. S O M E M O R E FA C T S • Founded in 2011 • Started in Vienna, now based in Boston/USA • 30+ employees across the world • 50% of the team working out of our Boston office, 50% remote • 10,000’s of developers using & paying for the product • $11M+ funding
  7. 7. H O W W E G O T T H E R E
  8. 8. T H AT ’ S W H AT O T H E R P E O P L E T H I N K ( H I N T: I T I S B U L L S H I T )
  9. 9. A M A Z I N G C U S T O M E R S A R E A L L T H AT M AT T E R S W H AT W E T H I N K
  10. 10. T H E R E ’ S N O S U C H T H I N G A S A N “ O V E R N I G H T S U C C E S S ” 2010 2017
  11. 11. S T E P 1 : I D E A • Context • Back in 2010, automated software testing wasn’t as common • If companies were doing it, they did it locally but not with a SaaS product • Built their own solutions, hired dedicated engineers/teams • Pains/Problems • Companies needed to spend lots of money to do that • And still didn’t get a product that allowed them to ship better software faster • Major trends in the market • Cloud software • Software as a Service
  12. 12. S T E P 1 : I D E A • Don’t start a company just because you want to build a startup, be your own boss and look “cool” • Identify a problem you care about that isn’t solved well • The hard truth: It’s more likely that you find that while working than while being in school/university • Whatever your initial idea is, it will likely change
  13. 13. O U R I N I T I A L N A M E • Focus on a sub-segment of the market first (Ruby on Rails applications on GitHub deploying to Heroku in our case) • But don’t reflect that focus in your company name as we did
  14. 14. S T E P 2 : F O U N D E R S • Find co-founders • They shouldn’t be like you • Your weaknesses should be their strengths • Diverse team > non-diverse teams • Multi-disciplinary teams are more likely to succeed • Define your roles early on
  15. 15. S T E P 3 : VA L I D AT E Y O U R I D E A • Talk to potential customers before writing a single line of code • Build a MVP • Talk to potential customers • Repeat it over and over again
  16. 16. I T T O O K U S 2 Y E A R S T O G E T O U R F I R S T C U S T O M E R 2010 2017 2012 August 2012: First Customer
  17. 17. S T E P 4 : B U I L D S O M E T H I N G C U S T O M E R S T R U LY L O V E
  18. 18. S T E P 5 : F O C U S • The only thing that matters is building something customers love • You don’t need a fancy office • Don’t go from startup event to startup event • Ignore media/press • Don’t worry too much about scaling • 10 customers that truly love you are better than 100 that don’t really care
  19. 19. S T E P 6 : C U LT U R E + T E A M
  20. 20. P E O P L E A R E Y O U R M O S T VA L U A B L E A S S E T 2010 2017 2012 July 2013: 3 Founders + 3 Employees 2013 Jan 2017: 30+ Employees
  21. 21. S T E P 6 : C U LT U R E + T E A M • Vision & Product = What you do • Culture & Values = How you do it • Define your culture early on • Remote vs. office • Diversity (there’s no choice) • etc. • Culture is not about fancy perks, the office or other bs • It’s about how you decide to work together as a team
  22. 22. S T E P 6 : C O R E VA L U E S M AT T E R A L O T • In Codeship’s case: • Continuous Improvement • Customer Focus • Drive • Integrity • Leadership • Open-mindedness • Respect • Transparency
  23. 23. S T E P 6 : T E A M & H I R I N G • Hire people, not skills • You as a founder have to get extremely good with hiring • Fire fast if somebody is not a good fit
  24. 24. S T E P 7 : S C A L I N G • You have customers & a small team => awesome • Biggest decision regarding scaling: • Bootstrapping = no funding • External capital = funding • Both are good & valid options; none is better per se • Define what type of company YOU want to build
  25. 25. T O O M U C H M O N E Y T O O E A R LY I S V E RY D A N G E R O U S 2010 2017 2012 February 2013: First small investment 2013 Jan 2014: First major VC round 2014
  26. 26. F U N D R A I S I N G I S O V E R H Y P E D • Fundraising is NOT a success indicator • It’s a tool or necessity to grow and survive • It doesn’t come for free and it creates a lot of work • But most importantly, it only raises the bar for what you have to achieve (as an exit)
  27. 27. I T N E V E R E N D S • Continue talking to customers all the time • Keep hiring great people • Make sure they can work well together • Don’t forget to have fun :)
  28. 28. Q U E S T I O N S ? P I N G M E O N T W I T T E R : @ M O R I T Z P L A S S N I G

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