The TEN7 Podcast – Episode 81

 

Tim Dearlove of DigitalOcean: Empowering Customers Through Simplicity, Transparency and Love

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Summary

When we decided to host our client sites on Kubernetes, we needed a strong hosting partner whose values aligned with our own, and who was as interested in empowering small companies as we were. We chose DigitalOcean, and their Senior Growth Marketing Manager, Tim Dearlove, is our guest in this podcast. Tim and Ivan discuss DigitalOcean’s values, practices, future plans, and their very special Shark Week.

Guest

Tim Dearlove, Senior Growth Marketing Manager at DigitalOcean

Highlights

  • Digital Ocean Solutions Partner Program
  • The value of transparency
  • Tim’s time at HubSpot
  • Empowering DO’s partners
  • DO’s very simple and predictable pricing
  • How love makes them great
  • Digital Ocean’s stance on security and privacy
  • Decision-making as a distributed company
  • Shark Week at Disney World (not what you think)
  • DigitalOcean’s origin story, and how they love empowering startups and small businesses
  • DO’s core offering: Droplets (virtual machines)
  • What’s coming in 2020

Links

Transcript

IVAN STEGIC: Hey everyone! You’re listening to the TEN7 podcast, where we get together every fortnight, and sometimes more often, to talk about technology, business and the humans in it. I’m your host Ivan Stegic. If you’ve been following TEN7 you’ll know that we’ve been working quite diligently on open sourcing all of the work we’ve done to host our clients websites. That includes not only the underlying infrastructure code and configuration, but the automation and local development work we’ve been doing as well.

Tess Flynn has spoken at Drupal camps across the nation about hosting Drupal on Kubernetes, and we continue to support and grow Flight Deck, our Docker containers that make all of this possible, even in live. For a more in-depth discussion about Drupal, Docker, Kubernetes and hosting it all yourself, have a listen to Episode 70 of the podcast, we go into all the gory details.

One of the very important ingredients in making our sites successful is the underlying cloud infrastructure. We need a strong hosting partner with values that match our own, that’s well priced, and also supports the little guy. We chose DigitalOcean for a variety of reasons, some of which I hope will become apparent from today's show. Joining me for the podcast is Tim Dearlove, a Senior Growth Marketing Manager at DigitalOcean in New York City. Hey Tim, welcome to the podcast.

TIM DEARLOVE: Hi Ivan. Thanks for having me.

IVAN: You are in New York City, right? You’re not in Boston? Cause I know you guys are scattered all along the East Coast.

TIM: Funny story. I’m in New York State, but actually in Buffalo, New York. I am one of our many remote employees. I just recently moved from Boston back to Buffalo where I’m from originally.

IVAN: So, you’re very close to the Canadian border then?

TIM: Yes, I grew up always within just a couple minutes’ drive of the border.

IVAN: So, do they pick on you to go out to the Toronto data center to check if things are going well? [laughing]

TIM: Oh no. But we have a couple folks who work in the Toronto area. They don’t pick on me, fortunately, I think they pick on folks a little bit closer to the Toronto area.

IVAN: I love the Buffalo area, it’s so great. It’s actually kind of similar to Minneapolis when you think about it. A little bigger, but they have the same kind of climate that we do have here.

TIM: There’s some midwestern vibes and midwestern brotherhood that come with it if you’ve grown up in this weather.

IVAN: I think you’re right. [laughing] I think you’re totally right. So, before we talk about DigitalOcean and how you guys are a value-driven organization, I want to talk a little bit about your role at DigitalOcean. So, your title is Senior Growth Marketing Manager, what does that even mean?

TIM: It’s funny. It sounds a little silly when you read it out loud and the word “growth,” I think means a lot of different things these days. Ultimately, I am responsible for growing DigitalOcean. My area is focusing on growing our presence and usage with small to medium-sized businesses, and the way that I’m tasked with doing that is growing our channel program which is called our Solutions Partner Program. So, ultimately, I’m responsible for the acquisition and enablement of small businesses that are using our platform and, again, my focus is more on agencies and resellers and managed service providers who are small businesses themselves, but also are usually working with small businesses.

And, I do a bunch of different marketing-related activities. The thing when you have “growth” in your title, it gives you a little bit of flexibility in terms of your day to day, but generally that’s what I’m focused on. It’s acquiring new businesses and making sure people know who DigitalOcean is. And then once they’re in our ecosystem, once they’re using our platform, a lot of my job is trying to figure out how to make them successful as well.

IVAN: So, that makes a lot of sense why we know each other. You’re the guy I talk to at DigitalOcean if I ever need anything. You’re the guy I started talking to, I mean, this is starting to make sense to me now.

TIM: Well, I think, one of the things that we pride ourselves on at DigitalOcean—well, I think we’ll get into this a little bit down the line—is we try our best to make ourselves as transparent and open as possible, and one of the things that I’ve learned in my career is that you can go a long way, and you can learn a lot if you just talk to our customers.

So, one of the things we’ve really tried to do over the last couple years is talk to our customers. So I happen to be in the marketing department, but over every department I’ve interacted with at DigitalOcean, we try to do our best to talk to our customers. So, you were either lucky or unlucky enough to find me, get part of my day to day, but in general at DO we’re very committed to try to talk to our customers as much as possible.

IVAN: You know, I love that about you and about the company, and all the experience I’ve had with DigitalOcean. Let me ask you about where you were at before DigitalOcean and what attracted you to the company itself? I understand you were at HubSpot in a similar role. Why the change?

TIM: I was at a company called HubSpot before I joined DigitalOcean. So, when I joined HubSpot they had around 300 employees. At this point HubSpot is over—I think the last time I looked they were getting close to 10,000 employees globally.

IVAN: Yeah, they’re getting to be really large. We use them as well and I was surprised when I heard how large they were. 

TIM: It’s an incredible growth story and a fantastic company. I loved working there. I still have quite a few close friends that work for the company, and the reason I left is, I had started when they were a smaller company, and when I left they had about 1500 employees and I had started in their channel program, which is really hyper focused on working with agencies and service companies, and I had done everything from onboarding agencies to working on their own marketing campaigns, then working on growth and marketing for HubSpot, and at that point the channel program for HubSpot was a well-oiled machine. At that point it made up 40% of HubSpot’s revenue.

IVAN: Wow.

TIM: It was a really large program. We had thousands of agencies that were part of our channel program, and you know, no work is ever finished, but it really felt like the channel program at that point was in a really, really good spot, and I had started a conversation with several folks at DigitalOcean, and at that point they did not have a channel program. They had a bunch of agencies and service providers and managed service providers who were using DigitalOcean, they knew that, but they didn’t really have a plan or any type of process to work with those types of companies, whether to acquire more of them or to make sure that those companies stuck with DigitalOcean and kept using it.

So, what attracted me to DigitalOcean was the chance to build something from the ground up, which we’ve started to do with the Solutions Partner Program and then some other activities to hopefully make DigitalOcean the best cloud infrastructure for small businesses, and specifically service providers that are looking for cloud infrastructure.

IVAN: So, before I get on to asking about the values of the company, I kind of want to just talk about the solutions program that you just mentioned, that I think we’re a part of. Tell me a little bit about that program and what it does for DigitalOcean, but also what does it do for the partners that are a part of that program?

TIM: The Solutions Partner Program, you’ll find me using the word “channel.” I don’t love the word “channel” because I think sometimes when I’m talking, especially to smaller companies, the idea of a channel program conjures images of these really large ISV [independent software vendor] and reseller programs, and that’s not what we’re trying to do. But, for clarity, our Solutions Partner Program is a channel program in that we’re looking to work with folks that are on the front lines that have clients or customers that are looking to resell or provide their clients with DigitalOcean, and the program is really all about figuring out how we can empower them and make them more successful and make their experience using DigitalOcean as positive as can possibly be.

The program launched last year, it’s brand new. We’re still trying to figure out the types of things that we need to do and the benefits that we need to package together to make these types of companies as successful as possible, but starting right now we have a couple different things that we do that I think you’ve taken advantage of, and other partners have taken advantage of. At this point we have around 900 total partners in the program. So, we have a host of benefits, we have a community, and we’ll get into values, but community’s a big value of ours.

So, we have a Slack community for all of our partners where every week we have product managers come on and answer questions from our partners, and try to give a little bit of insight into both why things are built the way they are, or what’s on the roadmap, so we have a lot of transparency and we try to create a lot of transparency between our partners and the folks that are actually building the product. There are financial benefits of joining the program depending on your spend level. So, I think we’re really attractive in terms of our cost already, but we try to make it even more efficient.

IVAN: Yeah, I don’t know how you guys do it, but you do. [laughing]

TIM: Well, that’s a whole other topic, we’ll talk about that later. But I think that is definitely part of our core mission, right, is everything that you’re building on top of us, we want to lower the barrier as much as possible, and price is part of that. It’s not the only thing and in many ways, it can sometimes be a race to the bottom, but in general the way you empower small businesses, the way you empower startups is, you try to remove costs as much as possible from the equation.

There are other benefits to the program as well, including exclusive content that we’re trying to create for our partners. We’re working on some changes to the experience of actually managing customers within DigitalOcean, to try and make that a little bit easier. And, a host of other benefits that we’re working on as well, including event and meetup support; all different kinds of things. And, we’re trying to listen to the community and learn from them and build things that they would want, but, the short story there is really it’s about empowering those service providers and companies that have clients and customers using DigitalOcean and try to make them as successful as possible.

IVAN: I have to admit the first experience we had with DigitalOcean was with the beta testing of the managed Kubernetes service that you have that’s no longer in beta, that we’ve been using in production for the longest time, and the way that DigitalOcean listened to us and worked with us, the way you guys just tried to collaborate with us was amazing. To have a vendor that actually is able to provide a service, we know that it’s in beta, to be able to listen to our feedback and answer our questions, that was great.

I think as soon as we were able to see that there were humans on the other side of this, this was even better than the very simple pricing that we absolutely loved on the website that kind of got us hooked. So, it’s not like AWS or Google Cloud where you’re not sure about the first month and then you get the bill. It’s like Oh, it’s going to cost $5 a month and that’s it, and I think that’s amazing.

TIM: I should take a recording of that and use it as a testimonial, because that is really what we’re trying to do; that combination of low pricing, but predictable pricing. So, pricing, even if it’s low, if it’s unpredictable, if you can’t get a feel for what it’s going to cost the next month, it’s not really valuable for you, mixed in with that human element. So, we’re never going to be able to compete on feature sets with Google or AWS, and frankly we don’t want to.

I talk to many different customers and partners daily and weekly and often, depending on how large they are or what kind of projects they’re working on, I often recommend that they use Google, AWS or one of the other hosting providers that are out there, and I’m glad to encourage folks to use it, especially if there are features and the things that they needed to build are not, sort of, in DigitalOceans wheelhouse. But for us, we have a certain type of customer, especially again, small businesses, startups, agencies, who are looking for something simple, are looking for managed Kubernetes, for example, and we think we serve them very well and we think we can do that by adding that element of humanity [laughing] and being able to talk to folks and taking their feedback, that they might not receive at other companies.

IVAN: So, at the top of the show I said that you were a value-driven organization. You have now 600 employees worldwide. I’d like to talk a little bit about what you believe in as an organization. If you go to your website and you look at your mission and you look, there are six values on that site, and I don’t want to put you on the spot, but do you know the six [laughing] values by heart or should I ask you about just one of them? [laughing]

TIM: It has been pretty drilled into us. I don’t know if I know them all verbatim, but I can give you a quick guess. I know we do elegant solutions, so we strive for simplicity, there is a value around listening and being able to listen to others, that’s really important for us at meetings. Not that you will or anyone on the podcast will, but if you listen to one of our company meetings there’s sort of an hour baked in at the end just for questions and ask me anything’s. We’re a very empowered and vocal organization. So, that’s a value.

IVAN: Wait a second. Your internal meetings are public?

TIM: No, I misspoke there, but, if you were to ever be a fly [laughing] on the wall for one of our company meetings, yeah. No, those are private, and our finance team would like to keep it that way as well.

IVAN: [laughing] I’m sure. I’m sure. Yeah, you were going through the values and I don’t want to put you on the spot anymore. Just go to www.digitalocean.com/about if you’re a listener. They are all listed there. The one that I would love to talk about is the last one of the six, “love is what makes us great.” What does that mean to you?

TIM: I think it touches on a little bit about what we’re talking about. Love is, I think, probably in the nature of talking about companies and corporations, I think it can sometimes be a little bit disingenuous. But for us, it’s figuring how we take this concept of loving your customer, or trying to empower your customer, and translate that into products and programs that we create.

So, if it’s a new product we try to figure out, Okay, what makes the most sense for us? but also like, What makes the most sense for our customers and developers from around the world? If we’re launching a new program, like the Solutions Partner Program, it’s not just about the bottom line, it’s not just about what’s going to make DigitalOcean successful, it’s really trying to figure out, Okay, what do we need to do to make the folks that are going to be part of this program successful, and what’s going to make their lives better? And then for the company specifically, it’s also a lot about making decisions that really aren’t about the company at all.

So, for example, we write thousands of tutorials that are product agnostic. You don’t need to be using DigitalOcean to use most of our tutorials. In fact, we have hundreds and thousands of readers who would never use DigitalOcean but would use our tutorials, and there’s value in that for us, absolutely, but the guiding principle for why we do that is general love for developers and trying to empower developers around the world.

We have other examples of that too. I think our commitment to open source, sponsoring different projects, and Hacktoberfest—which is our monthlong virtual hackathon to work on open source projects—is another example of that. But it’s just trying to figure out ways that we can empower developers and show them that we care about them, whether that impacts DigitalOcean or not.

IVAN: That’s a good general philosophy to have as a company, is to put good into the community, into the world, and not expect something for a one-to-one return. I know I’ve used tutorials on www.digitalocean.com myself to set up things like my own VPN server, for example. I ended up hosting that on DigitalOcean, of course, but there’s no reason why, like you say, it couldn’t be done on some other virtual host, or even on your own thing at home. So, I think that’s generally a really good approach.

I think you guys host Telegram Messenger if I’m not mistaken, and I know that’s been blocked in some countries across the world. What’s your stance towards privacy and how do you look at the companies that use DigitalOcean and whether or not they match the values that you have? 

TIM: Really complicated question.

IVAN: [laughing] Sorry, that wasn’t in the notes.

TIM: [laughing] Yeah, I know, honestly it is something we’ve talked about as a company. I think for any technology company these days, it’s something they need to think about. We have a Terms of Service obviously, and anyone can find that if you search DigitalOcean Terms Of Service, and what we do is our best to adhere to what is said in the Terms of Service. There are obviously always going to be gray areas, especially in the times we live in, but ultimately it is doing our best to create a process that’s outlined in the Terms of Service that everyone has access to and doing our best to fairly judge that.

But, it’s certainly a really complicated question and that is why we have a fairly extensive team that’s focused on security and privacy and making sure that we both pay attention to who is using our product, but we do that in a respectful way of customers without invading their privacy. But, let me tell you, it is a tricky thing to deal with and it is even trickier if you’re in the hosting and cloud infrastructure business. I don’t know if it was a couple months ago, but there was an article released with hate sites and a couple other really, really negative sites, and it went through sort of who was hosting those, and I’m not sure if it was on TechCrunch but it was another popular blog.

It is really complicated, and I do in some ways sympathize with the hosting companies because it is a never-ending battle to ensure that you are adhering to your Terms of Service and making sure that you’re both respecting the privacy of your customers with also keeping negative players off your platform.

IVAN: It’s definitely a balancing act for sure. So, earlier you mentioned that you were working remotely in Buffalo, and I noticed that there are numerous offices that DigitalOcean has across the globe. As a company we’re completely distributed, a remote-first company at TEN7. You guys are remote friendly. Can you tell me about how the 600 employees at DigitalOcean spend their time being remote friendly?

TIM: I think with companies that are remote, or encourage remote work, it’s not just about letting those folks work remotely, it’s also about empowering them to be able to work effectively, remotely. So, baked into the DNA of the company is both of those things. So, we’re completely distributed; about half of our employees are working remotely, and half of our employees work in one of our offices, whether that’s in Bangalore, India, Cambridge, Massachusetts or New York City.

And the day to day for a remote employee is really not that different from when I worked in an office. We use Slack heavily, probably too heavily, but we use Slack and Google Hangouts, so nothing too complicated there. But because it’s baked into the DNA, because people are ultimately respectful for the fact that many of their employees are going to be working remotely, conversations are not had exclusively in the office; most of our public decision-making is made in Slack or in Hangouts or over email. So, it’s really about making those decisions in places where everyone will have eyes on it.

Other than that, though, we are heavily Google users. We use Google Docs and Google Sheets, so at any time you’ll see me have a Google Doc open with about a billion different suggestions from folks around the company. So, we’re not doing anything that’s wildly different than other remote companies, it’s really about respecting each other and making sure that folks are respecting the fact that people are coming in from different areas.

We do try to do things as a company every once in a while, so we have a week every year where we all get together. We have a date coming up called Shark Day which happens on Valentine’s Day, where as a whole company we try to get to different offices, or at the very least, all join in on the Hangouts together. So, we try to do little things like that to make sure as a company we’re all getting together once in a while. But in general, the company just baked into their DNA, it’s built to support folks coming in from all different parts of the globe.

IVAN: You mentioned Shark Day and I saw a reference to Shark Week online. What is Shark Week? Because I think of Shark Week as something else, I think, than you do.

TIM: Actually, a little confusing. I’ll get into the answer in a second, but one of the things we do on DigitalOcean Shark Week is, they give out DigitalOcean-specific T-shirts and sweatshirts that say Shark Week on it, and I’ll be walking around, and someone will be like, “Oh, I love that shirt. I love Shark Week,” and I’m like, “Oh, do you work at DigitalOcean?” Then I have to realize that they’re actually just talking about the Shark Week on Discovery channel, the much more famous and well-known Shark Week. It leads to some awkward conversations at the grocery store.

DigitalOcean’s version of Shark Week is just a week where the company gets together to talk about our values, to talk about our missions, and really plan out what we’re going to do in the next year. This year in October we all got together for a week. It’s great, you get to see folks that you’ve only seen on Hangouts or in Slack. There’s always this tricky game of how up to date is their Slack profile and will you be able to recognize someone based off their Slack profile, which is always a fun little game.

But it’s great, you see teams that you weren’t able to see before, and it’s just a week of both large presentations with our leadership group, and also chances to catch up as smaller teams, like our marketing team or just our Solutions Partner Program team, and really plan out what did the last year tell us and what’s next year going to tell us. For a remote company it’s just that one time a year when you’re able to catch up and be in person with each other.

IVAN: Where was Shark Week in 2019?

TIM: We’re very blessed; this year it was in Disney World.

IVAN: Oh my gosh.

TIM: Yeah, it was great. They rented out one of the nights in the Animal Kingdom and we got to do the Avatar ride which was [laughing] fantastic and a lot of fun, and for someone who is based in Buffalo, the weather was just starting to turn, so it was a nice little change of pace for me. Now the year before that was in Atlantic City, which was also interesting in a slightly different vibe. Every year it’s somewhere different. We’re trying to make it both family friendly and also efficient for folks to get to. So, we were very lucky this year though, Disney World was obviously a very fun time.

IVAN: And do families attend as well or is it employees only?

TIM: Families will attend the weekend after. So, folks were given the option of extending their stay and inviting their families afterwards, but the actual week is fairly heavy in terms of being with your teammates.

IVAN: And is it the whole company that goes?

TIM: Yeah, most of the company. Obviously, there are some folks who can’t make it, whether you’re on maternity leave or sometimes travel is just impossible for folks, but we even brought in our India team who, like I said, is somewhat remote but also we have a Bangalore office and they were in. So, we do our best to bring everyone who wants to come and can make it.

IVAN: So that week there must be a whole lot of contingencies for what happens with the data centers with all the DevOps engineers at the location in one place, all doing the same thing at the same time.

TIM: Yeah, we do have some fairly complex redundancy planning including folks that are obviously 24/7, so we have rooms set up so that we constantly have folks both working in support and monitoring the data centers, because we also have 24/7 support and that’s important to us.

IVAN: Right.

TIM: We’re flying folks that give us coverage around the globe to one time zone, so, it is a little tricky. And, actually I think sometimes we don’t realize this but at companies—especially when they’re 24/7, I think everything just needs to be 24/7 at this point— especially in our business, but I think for other businesses as well, sort of appreciating the folks that sacrifice to make that possible. And, certainly our support and the infrastructure folks at the company sacrifice a lot to make sure that everything keeps running.

IVAN: What’s the origin story of DigitalOcean? When was it founded? Whose brainchild was this?

TIM: So, our co-founders are two brothers, Ben and Moisey Uretsky, who founded the company. DigitalOcean as we know it was founded in 2012. They had founded ServerStack, a managed hosting business back actually in the early 2000s, and DigitalOcean was part of the Techstars ecosystem. So, we have a really close relationship with Techstars Hatch which is our startup program, which works for Techstars and works with other venture capitalists and incubators across the globe to try to empower startups, that is a really core tenet, just like the Solutions Partner Program, it’s a program we’re super passionate about just because we’ve lived that exact life.

 So, in 2012 the brothers, Ben and Moisey, were accepted into the Techstars Accelerator Program, they moved to Colorado for a year and then relocated to DigitalOcean. At that time, everything that the company did was about our Droplet, or virtual machines. So, it was all just sort of about infrastructure as a service and renting out affordable virtual machines for folks. So, that’s how we started back in 2012, and Ben and Moisey were the founders and grew the company from there.

IVAN: So, you’ve been around for about eight years, coming up on eight years. The fact that you went through Techstars, does that mean that you were VC-backed back then? Are you still VC-backed now if that’s true? How does that work?

TIM: We were V-backed. We’re still a private company, we haven’t raised in a while, nor do I think we need to raise anything in the immediate future, but yeah, I think what that has done is, obviously we’re focused on growth. I think any VC-backed company will be focused on that. So, that is something that drives us, is, sort of, how can we grow our business while also keeping our customers as happy as possible? And I think we’ve been very deliberate in launching new products to help us grow, like the managed Kubernetes service you’ve brought up a couple times, but also careful not to, sort of, try to over expand and do too much, because like I said, it’s a balance of serving our customers, but making sure we serve our core customers, our target audience, and not try to be too much to everyone because at that point we’re just going to be competing with the AWSes, the Googles, the Azures out there, and that’s not where we want to be.

I think going through venture capitalists and going through the Techstars ecosystem has also just really made us want to work with startups. So, we tend to say we focus on SMBs [small and mid-sized businesses] and startups. The idea of working with startups and trying to figure out how we can make their lives easier and make it easier for them to launch and build their products and their startups, is very core to the heart of what DigitalOcean is trying to do.

So, I would say that’s the other aspect of this is that our startup program has always been something very important to us, just because that’s how we got our start as well.

IVAN: You talked about how Droplets were the core offering when those brothers first started in 2012, and we use a number of your services, and I was looking at your products page in preparation for the podcast, and I didn’t realize the vast amount of things that you provide as a service. But I still feel like you’re providing the support and the detailed attention in all those services.

So, we use Droplets, we use Spaces, we use the managed Kubernetes service. Can you talk a little bit about what you think the core offering and the core business offering is for DigitalOcean right now?

TIM: I think for us our core offering is still our virtual machines and our Droplets. Right now, we have four different types of Droplets. We have our Standard Droplets, we have our CPU-Optimized Droplets, we have our General Purpose Droplets and we have our Memory-Optimized Droplets. The whole idea there is no matter what sort of infrastructure you need support in, whatever type of project you need, we hopefully have the right Droplet type with the right power at the right price to power whatever you’re trying to build, whether that’s big data or whether that’s your blog that’s getting a couple hundred visits per month.

So, that is our core offering. What we’re trying to do, and as you just mentioned, we made a lot of steps within the last two years to do this, but we’re trying to be a more comprehensive solution to developer teams at startups and small businesses by creating—in addition to our core Droplet and virtual machine product—several PaaS offerings that are hopefully filling the gaps for development teams that need a little bit more than just core infrastructure. And that’s where our Managed Databases, Managed Kubernetes really comes in.

And, obviously, we launched both of those over the last few years and we’re continuing to beef those products up, listen to our customers, listen to [laughing] power users like yourselves who give us a bunch of really valuable feedback and incorporate that into those offerings, while also looking again, to figuring out, Okay, let’s look at the small development teams working at small to medium-sized businesses or startups. Let’s figure out from a day to day what they’re struggling with in terms of development, and try to figure out if there are things that we can build to help solve for them.

So, that’s where we’re at right now. Our virtual machines are still our core business. They’re still I think what we’re known for, and we’re trying to on top of that, build in these PaaS offerings, to hopefully bring us to new and expanding development teams and make their lives a little bit easier if we can.

IVAN: And by PaaS you mean Platform as a Service, right?

TIM: That’s correct. And then again, there are Managed Kubernetes, Managed Databases fall into that and we have a couple more plans in 2020 and beyond to continue to solve for that space.

IVAN: And before we wrap up, I would like to talk about what’s in the pipeline for 2020. You just alluded to something. Can you tell us what we should be keeping an eye on?

TIM: Well they don’t usually keep me in the know because I’m in marketing and I tend to blab, and, I get so excited [laughing] about telling our customers about what’s coming that they’re very careful. But I would say there are a couple things. One is, last year we acquired a company called Nanobox. At that point we brought their development team into DigitalOcean and behind the scenes we’ve been working on incorporating Nanobox’s core offerings and baking that into DigitalOcean.

And Nanobox is software that’s really all about empowering developers to deploy applications easier, with less code and more reliability. So, there’s going to be some interesting things that we build into DigitalOcean based off of Nanobox technology and based off of the developers that worked at Nanobox that are going to make it hopefully easier for folks to take their code and deploy it into production. So, that’s one thing I would keep an eye on. We don’t have an ETA on that yet, but if you follow that or want more information you can still visit the Nanobox site, and that is something that’s currently planned for 2020.

I think this is a boring answer but, we’ve released so many different things between the years 2018 and 2020 that we want to make sure this year that we make those different products as successful as they could possibly be, and make sure that we listen to feedback from customers and improve those. So, we’re going to spend a lot of time trying to figure out how we get those products as high functioning as possible and make sure they’re as reliable as possible in serving the needs of our customers.

And the last thing I would say is, we talked about missions and values, and one of our core missions is empowering developers across the world, so not just in North America, not just in Europe, not just in Asia, but all across the world. So, I think another thing that we’ll be looking into this year is just seeing if it makes sense for us to expand data centers and maybe expand our reach a little bit into regions that are potentially underserved, and that’s another area that we’re looking at as well.

IVAN: Thank you so much for spending your time with me today talking about DigitalOcean, your products, your values, and what your responsibility is there. I’m looking forward to 2020 with you. There are big things to come from TEN7 with DigitalOcean and I really appreciated you being with me, it’s been a great pleasure talking with you.

TIM: Thank you so much. I had a blast.

IVAN: Tim Dearlove is Senior Growth Marketing Manager at DigitalOcean, and you can find them online at www.digitalocean.com. You’ve been listening to the TEN7 podcast. Find us online at ten7.com/podcast. And if you have a second, do send us a message. We love hearing from you. Our email address is podcast@ten7.com. Until next time, this is Ivan Stegic. Thank you for listening.

Ivan Stegic

Founder and President
 
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Ivan Stegic

Words that describe Ivan: Relentlessly optimistic. Kind. Equally concerned with client and employee happiness. Bowtie lover. Physicist. Ethical. Lighthearted and cheerful. Finds joy in the technical stuff. Inspiring. Loyal. Hires smart, curious and kind employees who want to create more good in the world. His favorite things right now: the TEN7 podcast and becoming the next Björn Borg.