This post was originally published by Keshav Murthy.
6 months ago when my contract was about to finish, I started looking around. Met startups, NBN, RedBubble.. you name it. NBN wanted me, but didn’t have budget. RedBubble guy felt that I was not desperate enough in the first meeting (WTF, you looking for desperate guys!!!). Looking at my frustration, my wife said lets move to California, I am sure you will get a job that will make you happy. I started pondering about the idea of moving again (fuck i hate it…).
I put up my profile on Hired. I was notified that my profile will go live in weeks time. Around this time a colleague from MYOB heard about elev.io through hired. He was apprehensive to join a young startup as he himself had a young family. He referred me to Elevio through hired. I met the CTO at a pizza place, we had good conversation. I met one of the founders (CEO was holidaying in US. Who with a startup goes on holidays!!!), had good vibe about the company. After discussions with wify, decided to join. Friend that referred me, was willing to join knowing I had accepted the offer. He joined Elevio. Hired made money for 2 hires with the effort of 1 (Awesome for them, not so for Elevio).
Things we have put out in the last 6 months;
- New Elevio platform with Sophisticated search
- New widget
- Analytics platform
Things that are in beta;
- Elevio chat (in app chat)
- Basic ML (black magic that I don’t understand)
All of this is built using various technologies. Main programming languages are;
Our entire infrastructure runs on Amazon. We deploy docker containers on AWS ECS. Git push and voila its in production!!!! (hahahaha not yet). We have deliberately not done that yet. Push and its in staging. Once we are happy, we promote that container to production. We made this choice to get a feeling of how we work as a team. Nothing stopping us from directly putting it in production. Since the infrastructure is setup for no down time deployments, we can deploy at any time of the day with out having to worry about load. I know we are not the first ones to do this. If you have worked in Melbourne companies, you will know why that is worth mentioning.
How can a team of 5 devs accomplish so much in 6 months, when it takes an army of people at IBM to produce census website that
had epic failure!!! I am sure if you work in big corps, you would be going oh yea, I know a place like that. Well, that is an easy question to answer. We are an agile organisation. We have iteration planning, stand-ups, retros etc.
We have hired an agile coach to help us with the process. Booo yea, I got you on that one.
Fuck NO. Our process is SUB (Shut up & Build). Thumb rules of our process
- No Meetings (Lots of ad hoc discussions)
- Each person is responsible for their own shit. All you get is what needs to be built. Obviously you can make it better with your ideas.
- No Viagra until absolutely necessary (http://idiotsden.blogspot.com.au/2016/05/yagni-distilled-i-strongly-believe-in.html)
- Ship it. If it breaks, fix it
I am sure lot of you would be going, oh this is all fun and games until you are small. I have been around for 20 years. I know growth is like cancer. I guess we will try and stay small as long as possible. Honestly, when we are huge, I am smoking pot every day and spending my surplus cash to help under privileged kids, should I worry about the culture at Elevio!!!! (You be the judge)
AFAIK, some of the reasons why we have been good at getting shit done are;
- Founders are NOT dick heads.
- Trust people we hire (unless they are soccer fans). If they break the trust, fire them (hasn’t happened yet. we have one soccer guy, but he has established trust now.)
- Technology choices based on needs.(Not, I know how to use hammer so hammer for everything)
- Melbourne’s award winning Parma and beer on Fridays
- Dom Perignon for every major launch (joking!!!)
After a long time, I look forward to weekdays. Thats a good start.
Now for the secret sauce;
- Hire unhappy bastards (ones that are unhappy with their own code, take it personally when their shit doesn’t work etc.)
- No managers
All of this fun, might soon end for me. My probation is up for review.