Lessons I’ve learned from working with hundreds of developer SaaS businesses while building and managing developer-focused marketplaces at Heroku and Manifold


During my time working on developer marketplaces, I’ve been exposed to hundreds of developer-focused businesses of all shapes and sizes, ranging from solo API operators working from their basements, to goliaths like IBM and their cloud division.

I’ve had the opportunity to dive in deep on problems ranging from pricing optimization, converting tens of thousands of freemium users to paid accounts, co-sales agreements between large enterprise organizations, and the tangled maze of complexity that is known as HIPAA compliance.

The one big thing that I’ve taken away from my experience is that

As developers, we have lots of choices when it comes to orchestration, deployment, and composing our services. One would argue.. we have choices. Sometimes, it can get overwhelming. From the start, one of our core principles has been making independent services as convenient to use as an integrated big box cloud like AWS or Azure. In that spirit, we’re excited to release our first(!) integrations to our users:

We’re releasing a Manifold Terraform provider, so you can expose the configuration for your Manifold projects or resources directly to your Terraform resources.

Jeff Andersen previewing Manifold’s Terraform Integration


After four months in beta, we’re officially ready to say 👋

What’s happened since May?

Just four months ago we launched Manifold in beta, as an easy way to find, buy and manage developer services.

Since then, we’ve been heads down building product and soliciting feedback from developers and service providers alike about their needs.

So, what’s new?

There’s a lot to cover, so we’ll touch briefly on each feature. If you have any questions about any of it, don’t hesitate to reach out.

Teams: Share your stack with your teammates

Whether you’re two friends in a garage or a large multinational engineering team spread across multiple time zones, Teams lets you share services like transactional email, logging, or PostgreSQL with just a few…

Share resources with Manifold Teams and get a sneak peek of our new command line tool

Two of the most common pieces of feedback we’ve received since launch are “we want to be able to share resources” and “we want more integration options”. For those following us on social media, you’ve known this has been in the works but I’m excited to announce we’ve started inviting people to try Manifold Teams and the Manifold CLI!

Share your stack with your team

Since the beginning, we’ve had teams on our mind. Funny enough, one of the biggest reasons we tackled teams is because we wanted to dogfood our own product. Though a unified dashboard with consolidated billing makes life easier for individual developers…

At Manifold, we think a lot about how we can make a positive impact in our community. We’re a small startup, so it’s easy to procrastinate on a social responsibility program, waiting until we’ve “made it” or until we’re in a convenient position to support others. But we believe that the only way we’ll be successful as an industry is if we bake social responsibility into our culture on Day 1.

Feed what you need

If you pulled the open-source rug out from under your product, how would it fare? We rely on the people in open source to solve meaningful problems without having…

Did you know that a group of rabbits is referred to as a colony? Did you also know that CloudAMQP, a beloved RabbitMQ as a service provider used by developers at SoundCloud, Mozilla, Sony, and AuthØ, is now available on Manifold?

Highly available message queues for developers of all sizes

Starting today, you can use Manifold to create fully managed, highly scalable, RabbitMQ clusters for everything from hobby to production applications with just a few clicks. Whether you’re developing in Ruby, Node.js, Go, or one of the dozen languages with client libraries, you can get started with a million messages a month for free with your Manifold account.

Improving the way you create resources


Organize resources by application to streamline exporting credentials.

When you’re buying a database or monitoring service, you usually have an application in mind. Previously, you’d have to name your Manifold resource something like My Project — Logging to remember what each resource belonged to. No longer! Now you can define an app name for each resource, making grouping fast and simple.

But the fun doesn’t stop there. You can also export credentials by application, making it much easier to get your beloved services into an application.

Ready to start grouping resources? Here’s how.

It’s been a busy two weeks since our launch. We’ve been getting some great feedback and were featured in the Product Hunt newsletter! 🎉

So, what have we been working on?

Websolr enters the ring

We’re excited to welcome Websolr to the Manifold family! Websolr is built on Apache Solr, making one of the most popular and powerful enterprise search engines insanely easy to use. Add Websolr to Drupal, Wordpress or use one of their many clients including Ruby on Rails, Django, and PHP.

The best part? You get 1GB and 10,000 documents for free with your Manifold account.

Speaking of Free 🙅 💳

As of today, you can…

One of the great things about development today is that we can leverage cloud services to quickly build and scale applications that might have previously taken months, dozens of developers, and racks of servers. It is now the norm for us to trust experts with services like databases, email, and monitoring, enabling us to focus on our products instead of ops.

We shouldn’t have to decide between convenience and quality

However, agility comes with trade-offs. We end up captive to the cloud we choose, confined to the options they’ve built in-house or whoever they’ve established partnerships with. …

Peter Cho

VP Product at LogDNA.com. Previously Manifold.co, Heroku/Salesforce.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store