Derrick is still traveling. So, Ben’s co-host for this episode is Honeybadger Co-founder Ben Curtis. Honeybadger offers an application health monitoring tool featuring an easy-to-use platform with exception, uptime, and check-in monitoring.
Since its creation about seven years ago, Honeybadger’s three founders - Curtis along with Starr Horne and Joshua Wood - cranked out all the work. However, the company added a marketing person a few months ago and recently hired its first developer.
Today’s Topics Include:
- Honeybadger has kept headcount low to optimize profit-per-employee; eventually needed help with marketing and other tasks
- Downside of contractors is they’re not committed to being around for very long; wanted someone who was dedicated to making Honeybadger more successful
- Bringing new people in is risky, but Curtis kind of wishes they would’ve done it sooner
- Documenting processes is essential to transfer knowledge to new team members and discover opportunities for improvement and automation
- Setting expectations regarding time; Curtis makes conscious choice to only work 20-30 hours per week in Honeybadger’s relaxed and asynchronous office environment
- Honeybadger took about three years to achieve a stable infrastructure, where things weren’t regularly blowing up and breaking
- Moment Honeybadger Made It: Able to offer health insurance and living the dream by getting paid well to do exactly what they want to do and exactly how they want to do it
- What can you afford to pay yourself when starting a business? Establish schedule and roadmap to set goal to pay yourself regularly, even if amount is meager
- Honeybadger’s biggest costs are for hosting, health insurance, and salaries; company has grown through word-of-mouth, not paid marketing and advertising
- Gorilla Marketing: Free marketing and fantastic response rate for Honeybadger’s T-shirt giveaway to get customers’ credit card numbers; Burger Bus was also a success
- Be authentic to create brand recognition; you’re your target audience - what do you like?
- Honeybadger’s mission is to give developers the best tools, so they can have a better day; customer service is one of the company’s core guiding principles
Links and resources:
Derrick Reimer Website
Derrick Reimer on Twitter
Ben Orenstein Website
Ben Orenstein on Twitter