What Do Google Docs, Log Management, and Scalyr Have in Common?

Steve Newman and Team Create Essential Platform for DevOps

By Jason Pressman, Managing Director, Shasta Ventures

Engineering has changed.

For companies that deliver applications or websites that generate revenue directly (e-commerce, “gig” economy, online gaming, online payments, business services, and, well, pretty much every service we consume in life and work), the engineers responsible for delivering that software are on the hook more than ever.

Often called “DevOps,” this group of engineers is responsible for keeping the company’s application or website up-to-date and in peak performance. They often use cloud infrastructure and tools, deploy microservices in containers, deliver and consume APIs, and run a continuous software delivery process characterized by parallel development across distributed teams that deliver software frequently — even many times per day. Because their software is revenue-generating, those engineers have zero tolerance for outages, downtime, and performance issues. For them, operational visibility is everything, and they need to go fast. Deliver software fast. Find issues fast. And fix them fast. It’s a battlefield, and DevOps is on the front line.

Steve Newman, Scalyr CEO/Founder

The tools that DevOps teams use for operational visibility fall into four primary categories, including logging, metrics, application performance management, and alert management. Logging is foundational because it provides the broadest and deepest data source for application issues. Engineers may use other tools to know that an application problem is brewing, but it’s the logs that tell them definitively what that problem is. Still, virtually every log management solution in the market today is built not for fast-moving DevOps teams whose work directly drives revenue, but for IT cost centers whose teams monitor internal equipment and applications for corporate users — a very different set of requirements and pace of work.

Because virtually every service we consume at work and in life is sold or delivered through applications and websites, DevOps operational visibility — especially log management — is among the most critical and fastest-growing use cases. For this reason, we believe that the multi-billion dollar log management market is ripe for disruption. Moreover, there is a huge consolidation opportunity across the DevOps operational visibility stack.

When we came across Scalyr late last year, we found a startup that was delivering on this use case. After only about two years of operations with one salesperson and little marketing, the company had landed 140 customers including Business Insider, Baidu, and CareerBuilder, had no churn, and was boasting performance benchmarks orders of magnitude higher than the competition. It is focused on log management today, and has the potential to expand to broader operational visibility use cases. Its founder, Steve Newman, founded Writely, the company that became Google Docs. As the Google Docs Technical Lead, Steve used more than a dozen different tools to get his arms around application performance, but none adequately addressed his requirements. He built Scalyr in response.

Today, Scalyr has more than 200 customers, virtually all of them rapidly-growing companies with revenue-generating applications. Its customer satisfaction rating is upwards of 95% and it is the top-rated solution in its category in G2Crowd, with customer testimonials like, “The only three tools my team absolutely cannot live without are AWS, Slack, and Scalyr,” “Extremely fast log management service,” and “Scalyr makes you a log ninja.” We believe in the rapidly-growing DevOps category. We’re thrilled to partner with Steve and his exceptional team, and are excited about Scalyr’s bright prospects.