81: Sane and Sustainable Growth with Ben Curtis from Honeybadger

March 25th, 2019

41 mins 50 secs

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About this Episode

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:

Honeybadger

Starting & Sustaining Podcast Episode with Ben Curtis, Co-founder of Honeybadger

Notion

Twitch

Tropical MBA Podcast

MicroConf

RailsConf

Postmark

Printfection

Art of Product on Twitter

Derrick Reimer Website

Derrick Reimer on Twitter

Ben Orenstein Website

Ben Orenstein on Twitter

Level

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