Daniel Kador is the co-founder of Keen IO, the API for custom analytics.
Leadership is communicating company vision and then getting out of the way. The best way to lead the best people is to trust that they’ll do the right thing given accurate inputs.
We’ve added a lot of engineering focus to monitoring. We’ve always been good at business-level analytics (users, revenue, etc.) and product-level analytics (number of API calls), but we haven’t been as good at component-level analytics (how are Storm, Cassandra, Nginx, etc. doing?). We’ve made a ton of improvements here.
Like above, it’s all about communicating vision. We tell people the truth about our company: we want to create a large, sustainable business solving really interesting problems while innovating on company and organizational structure.
We have lots of little things like meeting rules, no policies about working from home or PTO, etc. I’d say the more important things are around culture designed to create *sustainable* productivity. We don’t want folks working 80-90 hours a week. We want people working 40-50 and going home to do other things.
Our very first user came from the TechStars network. A local development shop agreed to give us a shot and had us integrated into their app within a morning. On the paying customer front, we had a number of friends at various startups who knew what we were working on and were very excited when we launched to them.
Outside of that, content marketing via Hacker News and Twitter got us our first word of mouth.
How much of an emotional roller coaster it is. We were warned that it was hard, and of course we academically knew that… but that still didn’t prepare us to deal with the *very* high moments and the *incredibly* low moments (often on the same day!).