Startups are all about iterating quickly, building MVPs, and finding that elusive product market fit, so how does Go fit into that picture? Is Go a good choice for startups, or is it exclusively for the larger corporations? In this episode Jon is joined by four startup founders to learn about their experience building a startup with Go.
Raj Dutt, CEO and co-founder of Grafana Labs:
Our company has always tried to balance the “value creation” of open source and community with the “value capture” of our monetization strategy. The choice of license is a key pillar of this strategy, and is something that we’ve deliberated on extensively since the company began.
Over the last few years, we’ve watched closely as almost every at-scale open source company that we admire (such as Elastic, Redis Labs, MongoDB, Timescale, Cockroach Labs, and many others) has evolved their license regime. In almost all of these cases, the result has been a move to a non-OSI-approved source-available license.
We have spent the first months of 2021 having sometimes contentious but always healthy internal debates over this topic, and today we are announcing a change of our own.
Ensuring we maintain these freedoms for our community is a big priority for us. While AGPL doesn’t “protect” us to the same degree as other licenses (such as the SSPL), we feel that it strikes the right balance. Being open source will always be at the core of who we are, and we believe that adopting AGPLv3 allows our community and users to by and large have the same freedoms that they have enjoyed since our inception.
Read the entire post for more details on what is being re-licensed, what isn’t, and what it all means. They also have a Q&A on their blog answering other common questions and concerns.
Jerod and Nick discuss the big Deno news, play a ridiculous new game in honor of April Fool’s Day, then give shout outs to some awesome software projects we love.
This is not one of those tech acquisitions where the company is bought to be shut down. Unsplash will continue to operate as a standalone brand and division of Getty Images. The entire Unsplash team will be staying and building Unsplash in the direction we have been. The main difference now is we have access to the resources and experience of Getty Images to help accelerate our plans to create the world’s most useful visual asset library.
I’m a huge fan of Unsplash, but I can’t help but be skeptical of how this plays out in the long term. I’ve heard it all so many times before. My fingers are crossed, though. If you haven’t listened to Mikael and Unsplash’s story on Founders Talk, now’s a good time. It was an excellent conversation.
Ryan Dahl and Bert Belder announcing the Deno Company:
In order to vigorously pursue these ideas, we have raised 4.9 million dollars of seed capital… This investment means we will have a staff of full-time expert engineers working to improving Deno. We will ensure that issues are addressed, bugs are fixed, timely releases are made; we will ensure Deno is a platform others can build on with trust.
Deno will remain MIT licensed: no open core. It appears they will commercialize through infrastructure and other offerings. Maybe deploy is the first of these?
This week Adam talks with Spencer Kimball, CEO and Co-founder of Cockroach Labs — makers of CockroachDB an open source cloud-native distributed SQL database. Cockroach Labs recently raised $160 million dollars on a $2 billion dollar valuation. In this episode, Spencer shares his journey in open source, startups and entrepreneurship, and what they’re doing to build CockroachCloud to meet the needs of applications that require massive scale and ultra-resilience.
In this episode we explore how Clever started using Go. What technologies did Clever start with, how did they transition to Go, and what were the motivations behind those changes? We then explore some of the OS tech written by the team at Clever.
Hiring, management, handbooks, technologies, and a whole lot more. I like this particular list because of the opinionated bit. In other words, it’s not overly stuffed with resources.
This week Adam talks with John-Daniel Trask, co-founder & CEO of Raygun. Raygun is an award-winning application monitoring company founded by John-Daniel Trask (better known as JD) and Jeremy Boyd in Wellington, New Zealand. They have revenues in the 8 digits annually, and have done it with very little funding (~1.7M USD). Today’s conversation with JD shares a ton of wisdom. Listen twice and take notes.
I’m not gonna lie, it does sound like a fantastic startup idea. But there are so many things that can go wrong when trying to start something new and Tom Cleveland does a super job of telling that story in this brutally honest post:
Things are going great. My friends and family all tell me they love the site. Even some strangers on the internet love it. “I know right,” I tell them. “So how much would you pay for this?”
“Hahahahahahah,” they say in unison. “Good one!”
Stick around to the end for lessons learned. Where did he go wrong?
I love posts like these from startups/projects that share how they’re doing over time:
Excalidraw started as a way to procrastinate on January 1st, 2020, and ended up being a fully fledged whiteboard product only one year later! In this post, we’ll go over the most important features that made Excalidraw great at being a virtual whiteboard for sketching hand-drawn like diagrams.
They detail their open source tech stack, new features the team shipped last year, cool things people are doing with the tool, and more.
(The tool itself, btw, looks totally rad and is definitely something I’ll be toying with over the coming weeks.)
Once again, Sahil Lavingia shared proof that we can think differently about the future of work. Sure, not every company should operate the way Gumroad is operating, but there are plenty of insights to be drawn from their experience.
Recently, I pitched the whole company about going full-time, because it felt wrong to grow any larger without full-time staff.
I realized then that I was trying to copy the status quo–to try and fix something that wasn’t broken–so that I could feel better about doing things the “normal” way. But the deal we already had in place was better for what our people prioritize: freedom over growth, sustainability over speed, life over work.
I recently spoke with Sahil on Founders Talk #66 about failing to build a billion-dollar company. I highly recommend that episode.
Congrats to Guillermo and the entire team on this big vote of confidence!
When responding to investors, we told them the stories of our customers, from independent developers to Fortune 10 companies, and the lessons we learned this year about how Next.js and Vercel help teams collaborate and move faster with greater flexibility.
It’s fascinating how front-and-center Next is in Vercel’s story.
Something to look forward to. 😉
Until yesterday, I was still clinging to a few shreds of romantic optimism about open source software businesses. Mapbox is the protagonist of a story I’ve told myself and others countless times. It’s a seductive tale about the incredible, counterintuitive concept of the “open core” business model for software companies.
We’ve discussed the challenges with open core on many occasions (this episode of The Changelog on Nextcloud immediately comes to mind), but most of those conversations center around the tension of balancing commercial and open source interests. This Mapbox open core story, on the other hand, has a different villain:
Today, we’re gathered here on the internet to mourn the death of the open core business model. We’re here to tell stories of the before-times, to reminisce about how smart we thought we were. We went against consensus, and we were wrong. Because, open core is dead.
Cloud killed open core.
If you missed the news…Salesforce is buying Slack for $28 billion. To be clear, the deal is $27.7 billion in cold hard cash plus Salesforce stock. But who cares about money, amirite? Why does this deal even make sense?
Ina Fried for Axios:
[Salesforce] CEO Marc Benioff characterized the move as a bet that the pandemic-driven shift to remote work isn’t a temporary blip but rather a permanent transformation.
Slack has the lead in its still-nascent space, but was facing a challenge of its own — namely that Microsoft’s rival Teams was bundled into Office subscriptions. As a standalone company, Slack couldn’t easily manage such a move, nor could it afford to get into a price war.
I liked what Aaron Levie (Co-founder and CEO of Box) said about this deal and the future of work:
What’s amazing is that even though the current wave of enterprise software to power the future of work has been going strong for 10+ years, we’re still in the very earliest of stages in this market. The last decade has been about building the tools that power new ways to work from anywhere, collaborate with anyone, and automate workflows and business processes in the cloud. The next decade will be the era when organizations adopt these technologies en masse and transform their enterprises. While many of us in Silicon Valley and similar ecosystems have been using tools like Slack for years now (and even Microsoft Teams, more recently), 90%+ of the world’s digital workers are still not leveraging these modern platforms for the majority of their work. While it’s hard to imagine, we’re still in the early innings of this market.
Raj Dutt is the founder and CEO of Grafana Labs. Grafana has become the world’s most popular open source technology used to compose observability dashboards (we use Grafana here at Changelog). Raj and team are 100% focused on building a sustainable business around open source. They have this “big tent” open source ecosystem philosophy that’s driving every aspect of building their business around their open source, as well as other projects in the open source community. But, to understand the wisdom Raj is leading with today, we have to go back to where things got started. To do that we had to go back like Prince to 1999…
Jared Mauch was tired of waiting for high speed internet access to his very rural house in the outskirts of Ann Arbor, MI so he started a telco to get fiber to his town.
Development was happening in and around Ann Arbor putting new subdivisions nearby. I expected broadband would reach my new home eventually (Cable, DSL, FTTx), but…nothing came. I know…start a telco! – source slides
Jared covers everything in this video – the research, planning, finances, pre-builds, getting customers, internet access, construction, contractors, and running all the fiber.
In addition to everything else shared, I really appreciate what Tieshun has to say about failure and how it’s acceptable in this post.
My company ultimately didn’t succeed (we realized we needed to build a services business more than a technology business and that’s not what we set out to do), and that was entirely okay. Most YC companies fail and it’s baked into their business model — YC partners were even willing to fund my next business. This surprised me because school trained me to avoid failure at all costs — a single bad grade could tarnish my GPA permanently. The consensus goal was to get the right grades and internships to build a good resume, without any gaps that could tarnish the record.
Silicon Valley’s willingness to embrace failure is unintuitive but entirely logical. Startups aren’t like school because there’s no guaranteed playbook for starting a successful company — you need good execution but also experimentation and luck.
They’ve split the dataset up into two bundles:
- Lite, which you can download w/ a click, but is limited to 25K image
- Full, which you have to request access to and is limited to non-commercial use
This is interesting for a couple of reasons. First, it’s a great resource for anyone training models for image classification, etc. Second, it’s a nice business model for Unsplash as a startup.
Jeff Sheldon is the founder and creator of Ugmonk. Jeff is a designer by trade, and an entrepreneur by accident. I been following Jeff’s journey for the better part of Ugmonk’s existence. I’m also a customer. Jeff and I hold several similar values near and dear to our hearts. In addition to my appreciation for Jeff’s product design abilities, and how he leads his business, I also appreciate Jeff’s awareness and focus on the long hard path.
Adam Wathan shares the backstory of Tailwind CSS, from humble beginnings to a multi-million dollar business. Thankfully, if you read the story, Nathan hated Sass enough to do something about it. Sometimes changes to our tools force us to change as well, and that change JUST MIGHT lead to scratching a multi-million dollar itch.
We’re also about to cross $2 million in revenue from Tailwind UI, our first commercial Tailwind CSS product which was released about 5 months ago — a bit under two years after the very first Tailwind CSS release.
Here’s the story from the beginning, while it’s still fresh enough to remember…
Edward Wible, Nubank’s CTO, shares his perspective on the future of Clojure and Datomic, and how the powerful ideas that guide these technologies helped shape Nubank’s culture and business.
Funny timing. Just the other day José Valim was telling us how Nubank is big on Clojure:
Come to think about it, they are one of the biggest cases of large companies using Clojure at a really large scale… So it’s actually interesting to hear about everything they are doing with Clojure, and the interesting cases, and how they are using the Clojure stack… And they write about it, they give talks, so it’s very interesting to check that out.
So in that sense, if they brought me, maybe they would be bringing Michael Jordan to play soccer… 😆 That’s not going to be a good fit, right?
If you’re wondering if José is audacious enough to compare himself to Michael Jordan… he didn’t. I did.
Here’s what worked for Vlad Mihalcea…
I started a blog first. This allows you to practice your writing and build an audience.
I self-published my book because publishers only wanted to give me just 10% from the profit. I used Leanpub to write and sell the book while I was still writing it and Teachable to sell it when it was done. Leanpub gives you 80% royalties. Teachable gives you around 95%.
Check his Twitter thread for the other twelve (12) things he did to make money with his book idea.
We’re joined again by José Valim talking about the recent acquihire of Plataformatec and what that means for the Elixir language, as well as José. We also talk about Dashbit a new 3 person company he helped form from work done while at Plataformatec to help startups and enterprises adopt and run Elixir in production. Lastly we talk about a new idea José has called Bytepack that aims to help developers package and deliver software products to developers and enterprises.
Guy Podjarny is the Founder of Snyk, a security platform that empowers software-driven businesses to develop fast and stay secure. Prior to Snyk, Guy founded Blaze which was acquired by Akamai and became CTO. We talked through the topic of acquisition — the sale, the merge, the learnings, and why Guy might not be planning for Snyk to be acquired anytime soon. We started the conversation with Snyk’s recent raise of $150 million dollars.