First of all, how are you and your Family doing in these COVID19 Times?
Matt Watson: Fortunately, my family and I are staying safe and healthy. We actually had a newborn during these crazy times. It’s certainly been a bit of a challenge at times managing the balance between kids, a newborn, and working from home, but I’ve enjoyed being able to be home with them.
Tell us about you, your Career, how you Founded or Joined Stackify
Matt Watson: Before Stackify, I was the founder and CTO of another SaaS company. As the CTO, I became increasingly frustrated with the lack of insight we had into how our code was performing. Our developers didn’t have access to tools that showed them how their code performs in non-production and production, and this resulted in teams spending more time troubleshooting and less time actually writing code.
I founded Stackify to create tools that could help developers, like myself, fix these issues.
For so long, all I wanted was a tool that could identify bottlenecks in my code and how to fix them to improve the customer experience. With Stackify, and our suite of tools, Prefix and Retrace, we were able to solve this issue and actively improve the lives of developers.
How does Stackify Innovate?
Matt Watson: Our users are continually innovating their applications with the latest technologies. At Stackify, it’s vital that we do the same. Our product roadmap is customer-driven, and we have a lot of very cutting-edge customers using brand new technologies like containers that we need to be able to support. Because our customers are always on the bleeding edge of technology, it forces us to be too. That makes it both fun and a huge headache for our team!
How the Coronavirus Pandemic affects your Business, and how are you coping? Did you have to make Difficult Choices, and what are the Lessons Learned? (Combined answer)
Matt Watson: Unfortunately, there is no “Pandemic 101” rule book to help navigate coronavirus. So like every other CEO, there were difficult decisions that needed to be made. Do we transition back to the office or continue working from home? How do we keep our customers when they are an impacted industry?
A big impact coronavirus had on Stackify was our transition to working from home. We decided early on into this pandemic that we would start working from home to ensure that we were protecting our people.
We had a few customers that had absolutely no revenue overnight. We also have customers that have really taken off during this time, especially in the healthcare and education industries.
The biggest impact we’ve seen from the coronavirus is the need for flexibility, whether that’s with our employees’ working environments or our customers’ financial situations.
Overall, we have been lucky that the pandemic has had minimal impact on our revenues. But it has definitely slowed down our growth. It broke our streak of 17 quarters in a row of growth.
How do you deal with Stress and Anxiety? How do you Project yourself and Stackify in the Future?
Matt Watson: As a founder and CEO, stress and anxiety are part of the job. Since the pandemic started, there have been many stressful days. Trying to figure out financial scenarios and dealing with all the unknowns.
One of the best ways to deal with the stress is to simply get organized. Instead of stressing about all the things to do, or potential financial problems, write them down. It feels so much better to make a spreadsheet and get the raw data and numbers in front of you.
In many ways, I feel like we simply have to decide to be happy. We have to focus on the things that make us happy, regardless if work is a giant dumpster fire. For me, that is my wife and four kids. Some days I have to step back and realize that in the worst-case scenario, I have them, and the rest really doesn’t matter.
Who are your Competitors? And how do you plan to stay in the Game?
Matt Watson: Our competitors are focused on selling to large enterprise companies and primarily IT operations teams. We focus more on smaller companies and software development teams. We cater to development managers looking for a simple tool to help them quickly understand how to improve their software. So many of our competitors build complex software that ends up being someone’s full-time job.
We also focus on helping developers improve their software throughout the entire development lifecycle, including during development and QA. Half of our clients install and use our products on their local machines and in the non-production environment for that exact reason. Another key differentiator is that we believe everyone should have access to a full lifecycle Application Performance Management tool. Pricing shouldn’t keep developers from having the tools they need.
Your Final Thoughts
Matt Watson: COVID-19 will have a lasting impact on the world in many different ways. At Stackify, we have figured out that working from home actually works really well for us. We are transitioning to being a primarily remote organization. It has forced us to get leaner and change our focus to retaining and expanding existing customers. In the long run, this terrible pandemic will likely cause us to become a better company in multiple ways.
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