What A Difference Six Months Makes!
It’s been just over six months since we came out of stealth and talked about our approach to Observability. Today we took another big step on our journey: delivering more key capabilities our early customers need to be successful. This includes metrics and alerting which seek to not overwhelm users — like current tools do — but use context to make them more intuitive. More on that later.
Speaking of customers, we’ve been busy there as well. We’ve added over twenty SaaS/technology-centric companies to our founding customer program. At this stage, it’s less about revenue and more about feedback. These early customers will help shape our roadmap for years to come.
New Board members
In other news, I’m delighted to be working again with a couple of people I met as a member of the Snowflake board:
“Soma” Somesgar — partner at Madrona Ventures — is now one of our investors! It’s great to not only draw on Madrona’s funding, which is always welcome, but also Soma’s deep experience and expertise working with developers. Back in the day — yes, when I was a developer — Soma worked at Microsoft. IMHO they set the high bar for how to engage developers.
John McMahon has been widely recognized as one of the key people who defined how to sell into the enterprise. He’s a five-time CRO and was involved in Snowflake before they sold a single deal. It has been a pleasure and a privilege to see him at work — hopefully he can help make us just half as successful as Snowflake!
At this stage, the most important thing is to get our product right. To establish market-fit we need a product we can sell to thousands of customers. When we first announced Observe, we knew we were missing at least a couple of important features necessary for our MVP — namely metrics and alerting. It’s no coincidence that many of our early customers started their journey to Observability by replacing their logging tools.
Observe has always been able to ingest metrics (time-series) data, but much of the functionality to manipulate metrics was not surfaced in either OPAL — our scripting language — or the user interface. That work is now done. Our metrics plug directly into the graph of related datasets that Observe manages behind the scenes – which we call GraphLink. This means we can surface relevant metrics to the user, and not only when they are looking at a highly curated dashboard. We call these “metrics with context.” It’s a far cry from incumbent tools that overwhelm the user with hundreds, if not thousands, of metrics and tags.
If you find yourself deeply interested in metrics, then you’ll want to hear Philipp’s comments on cardinality in the founder segment of our launch event. But I won’t steal his thunder!
We’ve also been hard at work on alerts, and the story on our implementation is remarkably similar to metrics. Users are often overwhelmed by alert noise — they trigger at a fairly granular level and there’s not much useful information in the alert itself. This makes it hard to know whether the alert is important and where to start investigating. In Observe, if a user defines an alert on error counts in logs, when it fires they can immediately pull in all related contextual information, for example, which customers were affected. We refer to this as “alerts with context.” Again, we can do all of this because of GraphLink.
Thank You Customers
Finally, a word on our customers. I want to give a huge thanks to all of our early customers who have bet on Observe at this stage — we wouldn’t be here without you! A big shout out to Andrey Budzar at Linedata and Ethan Lilly at TopGolf who took time out to tell their story for today’s launch event. I’ve got lots of favorite quotes, but maybe the best is Ethan describing Observe compared to their prior tooling:
“Before it was like a cat, it had its mind and wanted to do what it wanted to do. But now it’s like having a dog, he’s your buddy and will do what you ask… and is not too complicated.”
What a great way to wrap up. And because everyone loves a dog picture — now meet “Churchill!”
I hope you enjoy the launch!