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“Creating Stackify is really fun for all of us. We get to solve problems that we have all had before as software developers.”


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Stackify was founded in January 2012 by Matt Watson. Matt was previously the founder and CTO of VinSolutions which was sold to AutoTrader.com in 2011. As the leader of a rapidly growing software service provider, he learned a lot about the current challenges of supporting enterprise applications.

Matt noticed that agile development had caused his developers to be much more involved in day to day IT operations, but his team lacked the tools and server access to do it efficiently. He founded Stackify to create a suite of tools designed specifically for developers to improve their ability to support, manage, and monitor their enterprise applications. Stackify is expanding the definition of DevOps beyond application deployment to now include application support. Stackify is funded by the Watson Technology Group.

Gus: What were the key lessons that you learned at VinSolutions that you were able to apply when launching Stackify?

Matt: As the founder of VinSolutions, I learned a lot about business in general over the course of seven years. I learned about management, sales, marketing and a lot about what not to do. I think some of the best lessons are simply learning from your mistakes. All of that knowledge and experience as a business owner has really prepared me to start Stackify. The concept for Stackify came from my experience as VinSolutions’ chief technology officer. I was very frustrated that my team wasn’t fixing application bugs very quickly. One of the excuses was always their lack of access to the production server information needed to reproduce or troubleshoot the issues. Stackify solves that problem by giving visibility to everyone without giving them too much access.

Gus: How does Stackify work?

Matt: Stackify works by installing a lightweight application on each of our clients’ servers. Then they log in to our web application to see the health of their systems and use our system to do troubleshooting if something is wrong with their applications. We provide several tools that they need in one product. So they can do things like look at log files, config files, restart an application, and much more.

Gus: What were some of the challenges you faced when first developing the concept for Stackify and how did you overcome them?

Matt: The biggest challenge was trying to build a product that did several things really well all integrated together. It not only takes a lot of time to develop all the products but it can be very tricky making them all work together in an easy-to-use user interface. We have worked very hard to actually differentiate our product by its great user experience.

Gus: What are some of Stackify features that you’re most proud of?

Matt: Creating Stackify is really fun for all of us. We get to solve problems that we have all had before as software developers. We get to eat our own dog food, per say. A couple of my favorite features are remotely allowing developers to query databases and doing really advanced application monitoring. These are both really cool features that we have even filed patents on. We have filed for a total of five provisional patents. A couple of them could be extremely valuable if they are approved.

Gus: Congratulations on being recognized by Tech Cocktail as “Hottest Kansas City Startup” and being named a “Company to Watch” by Software Development Times. How have you managed to gain such impressive traction in such a short period of time and how do you plan to keep the momentum going?

Matt: We have worked really hard on promoting our product and have received nothing but positive feedback. We solve a really simple problem that lots of companies have and everyone can easily relate to. So, everyone is excited to try the product and recommend it to others. We aim to live up to and exceed those expectations next year.

Gus: What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you personally or professionally?

Matt: We are very excited for to launch our product and see how fast we grow in 2013. That is the biggest mystery for us right now. We have lots of customers lined up to use the product once we launch in December.

Gus: Where does your passion for entrepreneurship come from?

Matt: I enjoy solving problems. There is nothing more rewarding than solving problems for other people. Being an entrepreneur can be very stressful but it is very rewarding when your customers love what you do and depend on you.


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