We talked to Kaushik Thirthappa of Spike.sh on how to get incidents alerts via Phone call, SMS, Slack and Email and this is what he had to say.
First of all, how are you and your family doing in these COVID-19 times?
Kaushik Thirthappa: We have been keeping safe and have gone through this experience without any significant personal difficulties. We have been fortunate compared to others who have seen tough times due to Covid-19.
Tell us about you, your career, how you founded or joined Spike.sh
Kaushik Thirthappa: Early in my career, I worked at one of the largest sports websites in Asia and came face to face with the challenges of keeping a high traffic website up. I think many people don’t realize the efforts needed to keep these big media websites running smoothly. In my next job, I helped create a site for book lovers across the world and loved the process of building a new product from scratch. It also gave me more insight into the challenges faced by engineering teams to create products that can stay reliable as they grow fast.
I saw engineering teams struggle to understand what was going on in their systems and how those issues were affecting their business. It is why I built Spike.sh, which sends phone calls, SMS, Slack and email alerts whenever any issue affects your customers.
How does Spike.sh innovate?
Kaushik Thirthappa: We see that the companies in this category focus on enterprises, and the products are too complicated for growing teams.
We don’t do that.
We focus on simplicity by building features our customers will not just pay for but also use. We offer honest pricing, no hidden fees. Because we believe businesses of all sizes should be able to deliver reliable products to their customers.
How the coronavirus pandemic affects your business, and how are you coping?
Kaushik Thirthappa: The pandemic has helped our business because there is even more interest in products like ours, which helps engineering teams build better software. Interest is evident in our recent milestone of 1,000,000 incidents reported for our customers. Spike.sh helps businesses discover and resolve software issues. It also led us to rethink how this process would work in a small world where the team is not sitting in the same room.
Did you have to make difficult choices, and what are the lessons learned?
Kaushik Thirthappa: This is my first startup, and the journey has ups and downs. To get my first customer, I contacted the founder of a growing company in the fleet management space and pitched it to him three times before giving a demo. Which led to a 180-day trial where we understood the challenges they were facing and built the first version of the product. So it took us a few months to get the first paying customer. The lesson here is that you have to put your head down and work and stay in business for a certain amount of time before you are noticeable.
How do you deal with stress and anxiety?
Kaushik Thirthappa: To be honest, I find the process of building a company to be more exciting than stressful. But when I am feeling a bit down, I love going for a walk. I have also started paying more attention to my sleep because good sleep is an excellent indicator of mood and productivity.
Who are your competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the game?
Kaushik Thirthappa: The space we are operating in has some big players like Pagerduty. And there will be other competitors as we grow and build out product offerings. Instead of worrying too much about competition, we stay in the game by focusing on our customers.
Let me give you a few examples. Since Spike.sh gives you a phone call for any customer related issue, we have configured it, so I receive a phone call when a new customer contacts our support team, which sometimes is in the middle of the night. It helps me respond to new customer questions quickly and understand their needs. This focus on speed of response to questions has surprised our customers. One of them couldn’t believe it when we shipped a new software integration two days after she requested it, which is almost unheard of with other companies she dealt with prior. If we are not this focused, then we don’t stay in the game.
Your final thoughts?
Kaushik Thirthappa: I think when you decide to go on an entrepreneurial journey, you have to be willing to work on it for some time before you decide it’s a success or a failure.
Perseverance is key.