Engine Yard Growth, Through the Eyes of a Child

**UPDATE: We’re happy to announce that as of May 13, 2011 all Engine Yard AppCloud customers now have access to Multi-Region and Collaboration. With Multi-Region you can deploy instances in any of the Amazon EC2 Regions, including US East, US West, Europe, Singapore, and Japan. With Collaboration, multiple individuals can use a single customer account with distinct logins, and each individual can login to more than one customer account. Additional details were emailed to customers today.

My son, John Presley, may be amongst the world’s most start-up savvy 13 year olds. Engine Yard was started when he was just 7. Being a precocious start-up, it quickly became a major influence on my family’s daily routine: I quickly became far less available for “family time” than I previously had been.

Children are very good at getting what they want, however, and John quickly discovered that if he talked to me about Engine Yard, I was far more talkative than if he started a conversation about a subject more to his liking, such as Sponge Bob or Mario Kart.

So it happened that part of his bedtime routine, after a bit of reading and some storytelling, was a brief discussion about Engine Yard. Believe me, as I write this, I find that every bit as weird as I suspect you do, yet it’s proof that truth is stranger than fiction. :-)

One of the points that we frequently visited was how many customers Engine Yard had. John loved to ask the question, because it always made me happy: Engine Yard grew very, very quickly, which made this a very happy subject for me, and by extension, for him as well.

I remember how surprised he was when we reached 100 customers. As a child, it seemed an impossibly large number! As he grew our routine changed. But once in a while he still asks. Knowing his reaction at 100, I should have predicted his surprise when I recently answered that we now have over 2,000 customers! After all, why shouldn’t he be surprised? It amazes me that we’re doubling our customer base yearly and growing monthly recurring revenue 125% per year!

While the raw growth makes me happy, our firm footing is even more exciting. Development pace is swift: we deliver product improvements more than once a day!

We were founded on the premise that Ruby on Rails deserved a world-class deployment environment. Clearly the community agrees! With last year’s migration away from our legacy hardware infrastructure to cloud infrastructure behind us, we are now 100% focused on the cloud based deployment needs of our customers, which will allow them to continue to focus on their applications, instead of their infrastructure, stack and 24x7 operations.

Today, I’m pleased to announce three important additions to our offering. These features are now available in Beta and will be fully rolled out over the next month: **See update above

  • Collaboration allows users to easily switch between multiple accounts. This is a big deal for our 200+ development partners who regularly access their customer accounts, but any customer with more than one account and/or more than one person deploying will enjoy the benefits of this feature.
  • Multi-Region allows applications to be deployed in the Amazon EC2 region of choice, delivering on our desire to provide low-latency application performance to the worldwide Rails community. This feature was also particularly well-timed, as it allowed our customers to re-deploy their applications into an alternate EC2 region during Amazon’s recent US-East service interruption.
  • All customers will also soon have a basic level of support which includes the ability to interact with our support team by submitting tickets to the same system that paid support customers use. This will quicken response time and issue resolution. As CTO, the technical features are a bulls-eye in sphere of interest. But as a co-founder, I know that each and every customer now has enough support to succeed, which is most important of all.

It’s difficult to express how proud I am of the Engine Yard team or how confident I am that I’ll again be able to surprise John next time he asks how many customers Engine Yard has! Surprising and delighting our children is, after all, one of life’s greatest pleasures.