FutureStack14 Video: Critical Lessons for Startups

FutureStack14 had something for everyone, from independent developers to the largest enterprises. But of course we could never forget the startup community.

Startup variety

To help inspire startups, Dan Scholnick, general partner at venture capital firm Trinity Ventures, moderated a New Kids on the Block panel featuring Three Startups at the Forefront of Disruption:

  • Kevin Klein, VP of engineering at BloomThat, which delivers “awesome flowers on demand.”
  • Tyler McMullen, CTO at Fastly, which calls itself the “smartest CDN (content delivery network) on the planet.”
  • Chris Gooley, founder of Preact, which crunches customer behavior data to enable data-driven customer outreach.

The three companies represent a range of stages in the startup lifecycle, and their experiences do a nice job illustrating how challenges change along with the growth process for many startups. For instance, their technology choices—ranging from fully cloud oriented to hybrid to buying and running their own equipment in data centers around the world—reveal the many options and obstacles facing modern startups.

Key quote: “We’ve spent weeks building a feature that was pulled out in a day, for something we built in 25 minutes, just because it worked better.”—Kevin Klein

Tracking the data lifecycle

Poornima Vijayashanker, meanwhile, talked about strategies for dealing with data life cycles and how to understand what stage your startup is at in order to guide product development. Her presentation, titled What Should Developers Do With Data, covered how early startups may struggle in stages from:

  • Not enough data
  • Noisy data
  • Too much data
  • Secure data

Poornima is the founder of Femgineer, an education startup that helps empower engineers, founders, and product leads to transform their ideas into tangible, high-impact products, and is the former founding engineer of Mint.com. She’s also an entrepreneur in residence at 500 Startups.

Key quote: “Take a step back and think about how we build trust with our users.”—Poornima Vijayashanker


Fredric Paul (aka The Freditor) is Editor in Chief for New Relic. He's an award-winning writer, editor, and content strategist who has held senior editorial positions at ReadWrite, AllBusiness.com, InformationWeek, CNET, Electronic Entertainment, PC World, and PC|Computing. His writing has appeared in MIT Technology Review, Omni, Conde Nast Traveler, and Newsweek, among other places. View posts by .

Interested in writing for New Relic Blog? Send us a pitch!