SLL Conference: Andy Wiggins, Heroku

The second part of our Startup Lessons Learned series covers the interesting story of Heroku’s “Epic Pivot” told by Andy Wiggins.

photo credit: Morgan Linton

6 weeks to build initial prototype

Idea: Filemaker Pro for the web (but with real programming tools)

Accepted to Y-Combinator

Soft-Launched with Ruby Inside community
Closed $3M VC round in Feb 2008
Still hadn’t found product/market fit
Had around 10-15k enthusiastic users at this time which represented a limited market

Product market fit is not adoration of users, peers, or adoption.
Development apps - can edit on the web, can’t scale up
Production apps- can’t edit on the web but can be used with git and scale up

Cutting out the Heroku Garden web editor which was initially the key user facing feature
O’Reilly Learning Rails told users to use the web editor at the same time they were cutting it out

Early success was distracting them from long-term vision

For them, cutting the web editor was the Epic Pivot. Cutting it out was an emotional heartache but eventually made life easier. Hard to recognize pivot because they were successful.

Turned past product into Heroku Garden and led users to use new Heroku product. Eventually killed off Heroku Garden

Ultimately led to an acquisition by Salesforce for $212 Million

Post a Comment

Your email is never shared. Required fields are marked *