Welcome to Giant Swarm

Sep 16, 2014

For our first post, we are cheating a bit. This has actually already gone out at a list of subscribers from our previous company. We thought an introductary post would be a good start though.

It was sent out as people wanted to know what Henning, Timo and me would be doing next. Obivously, you already know, but here is the story of how we got there.

Let's start with some history. After having left Adcloud in early 2013 and after a bit of time off, we set out to build something new. At the start, we actually thought a lot about the Accelerator / Incubator / Company Builder systems and learned a lot in the process. Thankfully, we have great friends and mentors, that swiftly told us: Don't do it.

The reason you are good at something is, among others, focus, and that is one of the main things you do not have in a Company Builder. You will be raising money every day, for different ideas, but will not be able to work on those ideas because all of them need your attention. Having calculated it through, we also figured it would need a good 8 digit investment to survive over the 7-10 years a good exit will take.

We are founders. We want focus. We burn for an idea. We needed that one idea to really burn for and to not hedge our bets with many. Commitment is the name of the game. Hence, we built big decision making tools to validate ideas, and had long discussions about what we would like to focus on. There was an undercurrent of general sentiment in terms like "Software will eat the world", "Developer Driven Enterprise", Hard and Valuable Technology, Importance of Big Markets, Love for Developers, ... and that guided out thinking.

As a side project, we built the backend for a non-profit project that might still see the light of day and with it, we built the hosting environment we always would have wanted to have. We had used everything under the sun, from bare metal, to PaaS and IaaS and different ones in each category. Deployment systems, Build Tools, and the like. But nothing clicked. So we built what we wanted.

When we showed it to people, they all either wanted to help or get it. We continued putting things in our decision matrix. After several weeks we could not longer ignore the signs. We had fun building the platform. We loved doing so for developers. We found it could work... we put the platform in our decision matrix and it went through in flying colors.

Next up, we talked to our old gang of investors because we were fortunate enough to have great ones in the last companies, and they were all on board. There were no more excuses.

Welcome Giant Swarm

We are building something between IaaS and PaaS, a Heroku for Grownups, a Google Scale Datacenter for Everyone. Built for developers. Most of the team are developers.

If you want to get an early invite once we are ready, sign up. Be warned, a small questionaire will come your way soon, allowing us to further qualify who to let in first. At the moment there is only one other site running on a Swarm, being Okolo, a new startup by one of our investors.

As for Catalyst Zero, all employees have been moved to Giant Swarm and our services have come to an end. One Startup. One Focus.

See you on the other side.


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