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What's 🔥 in Enterprise IT/VC #210
Me first 💵 - closing that first customer and the importance of thinking ahead
While I didn’t sleep much this week and was on edge like most of you, I enjoyed working with a few of our portfolio companies on closing their first customers! There is no better feeling for founders when they earn their first 💵 after many months of coding and building and evangelizing. And while it’s important to pause and celebrate
I caution founders to choose that first customer carefully. In addition, two mistakes we often see are on the product side, as my partner Eliot Durbin tweeted
and pricing for the future.
Since we work so closely with founders from the ideation and whiteboard stage, product is usually founder-driven. Over time, however, as the company grows, it’s important for founders and teams to continue to focus on what’s next, to not end up in custom development, and think about developing for a market of users.
Second, on pricing, make sure to think about value based models which allow you to land with a certain dollar amount but also expand in the future based on some growing metric like usage, users, compute, etc. Pricing your first customer will always be wrong and same with the second and third, but if you agree to terms only for year 1, that will give you the flexibility to change in the future. Yes, I know, key is getting insane usage and referenceable customers for your next round, but if we are talking pricing, think about what’s next, what’s the repeatable expansion model vs. extracting every 💵 up front.
As always, 🙏🏼 for reading and please share with your friends and colleagues!
👇🏼 💪🏼 founders, never give up from @RobLoCascio whose stock at one point in time hit 8 cents, yes 8 cents and now back to a $3.6 billion market cap and record earnings. I was fortunate enough to lead Rob’s first round back in the day and still amazed to see him cranking as public CEO 20 years later!
👇🏼Thanks Ron Miller for sharing! It doesn't always work out the way you wished but sometimes pivots can actually work. Glad I got to share the Greenplum 👉🏼 EMC 👉🏼 Pivotal journey - link to my 2010 blog post here as well…
👇🏼💯 As I’ve written many times before, founders need true believers, esp. at the start!
Thoughtworks 23rd AnnualTech Radar (download here) - tracking software development, trends to watch include GraphQL, visualization of everything, and adolescence of infrastructure as code
AWS and true multicloud 😲 🤔?
How Salesforce operates Kubernetes multitenant clusters in public cloud at scale - covers challenges and then the various tools it uses to provision and manage, get visibility on clusters, and pod distribution. Solutions include Spinnaker, Terraform, Helm, Kafka, Grafana, Argo, Istio, Open Policy Agent (OPA), - for those not up on k8s this is a great 101 for you - 🎩 @DevOpsWeekly
5G not just for gaming - will be big in factories. Of course, will need edge servers, k8s to deploy to edge, data processing on edge, and more…
Inside a factory or warehouse, however, a private wireless network can guarantee coverage. The new standard also promises latencies as low as a millisecond, compared with around 50 milliseconds for current networks, as well as high reliability and the capacity for many thousands of devices to connect at once.
Gunther May, head of technology and innovation at the Automation and Electrification division of Bosch Rexroth, says adding high-speed wireless links to robots and other equipment allows them to be coordinated and calibrated more precisely, helps predict costly malfunctions and downtime, and allows sophisticated software, including artificial intelligence, to be piped in to make them more capable. The company’s 5G-enabled robots are prototypes, but Bosch Rexroth plans to roll them out to customers in 2021.
Cloud FinOps is the next upleveling of cloud cost optimization - McKinsey has more here and this is why I’m excited about Env0 (a portfolio co) as it helps shift cloud cost responsibility left as environments are created by devs
Enterprises estimate that around 30 percent of their cloud spend is wasted. Furthermore, around 80 percent of enterprises consider managing cloud spend a challenge. Thus, even though more than 70 percent of enterprises cite optimizing cloud spend as a major goal, realizing value remains elusive.
Can Docker build a big business at intersection of IDEs and Dev Ops platforms?
In total, usage of Docker platforms and tools has increased 77% year-over-year, Johnston says, noting there are now 7.9 million Docker Hub repositories that are being accessed at a rate of 13.6 billion pulls per month.
As a privately held company, it’s not clear how profitable Docker Inc. is in its attempts to create a platform niche between IDEs and DevOps platforms. In the last year, it has struck alliances with Amazon Web Services (AWS) as well as extended its relationship with both Microsoft and its GitHub subsidiary.
An API for communicating across many different protocols in blockchain infra - from BlockDaemon (a portfolio co) - more on the tech stack here from Cockroach to Ceph to RabbitMQ
At Blockdaemon, we understand that the need to communicate across multiple blockchain networks is pivotal for many network users and developers, that is why we launched Ubiquity earlier this year, an API tool that provides a unified syntax for communicating across many different protocols. Ubiquity eliminates the need for users of multiple networks to always switch contexts and re-learn a new set of commands and APIs.
🍕🍕 and ☁️ - 70% of sales from ecommerce with more investment in technology - “we’re making big investments in technology and technology will be a bigger part of the business moving forward”
For those readers who aren’t fully up to speed on what being “cloud native” means and the various tools enterprises use to become so, here’s a great primer - covers everything from CI/CD to microservices to logging to API gateways…
New Relic took a huge hit in Q3 - once upon a time was the leader in application monitoring and then along came Datadog…note New Relic open sourced its agents and trying to build a developer (vs devops) community from scratch so will take some time…
New Relic founder and Chief Executive Lew Cirne tried his best to put a positive spin on things, noting that early response to its new pricing model has been “encouraging” and that a new generation of individual developers are adopting its revamped free offering.
DOJ will try to block Visa acquisition of Plaid (API) - great thread here 🎩 @ShomikGhosh21 - and love this quote buried in thread from Visa VP Corp Dev “I don’t want to be IBM to their Microsoft.”