Open source web application framework, written in PHP
About SimonFounder and CEO of SnapShooter a backup company Links Referenced: SnapShooter.com: https://SnapShooter.com MrSimonBennett: https://twitter.com/MrSimonBennett TranscriptAnnouncer: Hello, and welcome to Screaming in the Cloud with your host, Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, Corey Quinn. This weekly show features conversations with people doing interesting work in the world of cloud, thoughtful commentary on the state of the technical world, and ridiculous titles for which Corey refuses to apologize. This is Screaming in the Cloud.Corey: Finding skilled DevOps engineers is a pain in the neck! And if you need to deploy a secure and compliant application to AWS, forgettaboutit! But that's where DuploCloud can help. Their comprehensive no-code/low-code software platform guarantees a secure and compliant infrastructure in as little as two weeks, while automating the full DevSecOps lifestyle. Get started with DevOps-as-a-Service from DuploCloud so that your cloud configurations are done right the first time. Tell them I sent you and your first two months are free. To learn more visit: snark.cloud/duplo. Thats's snark.cloud/D-U-P-L-O-C-L-O-U-D.Corey: What if there were a single place to get an inventory of what you're running in the cloud that wasn't "the monthly bill?" Further, what if there were a way to compare that inventory to what you were already managing via Terraform, Pulumi, or CloudFormation, but then automatically add the missing unmanaged or drifted parts to it? And what if there were a policy engine to immediately flag and remediate a wide variety of misconfigurations? Well, stop dreaming and start doing; visit snark.cloud/firefly to learn more.Corey: Welcome to Screaming in the Cloud. I'm Corey Quinn. One of the things that I learned early on in my career as a grumpy Unix systems administrator is that there are two kinds of people out there: those who care about backups an awful lot, and people who haven't lost data yet. I lost a bunch of data once upon a time and then I too fell on the side of backups are super important. Here to talk with me about them a bit today is Simon Bennett, founder and CEO of SnapShooter.com. Simon, thanks for joining me.Simon: Thanks for having me. Thank you very much.Corey: It's fun to be able to talk to people who are doing business in the cloud space—in this sense too—that is not venture-backed, that is not, “Well, we have 600 people here that are building this thing out.” And similar to the way that I handle things at The Duckbill Group, you are effectively one of those legacy things known as a profitable business that self-funds. What made you decide to pursue that model as opposed to, well, whatever the polite version of bilking venture capitalists out of enormous piles of money for [unintelligible 00:01:32]?Simon: I think I always liked the idea of being self-sufficient and running a business, so I always wanted to start a physical business when I was younger, but when I got into software, I realized that that's a really easy way, no capital needed, to get started. And I tried for years and years to build products, all of which failed until finally SnapShooter actually gained a customer. [laugh].Corey: “Oh, wait, someone finally is paying money for this, I guess I'm onto something.”Simon: Yeah.Corey: And it's sort of progressed from there. How long have you been in business?Simon: We started in 2017, as… it was an internal project for a company I was working at who had problems with DigitalOcean backups, or they had problems with their servers getting compromised. So, I looked at DigitalOcean API and realized I could build something. And it took less than a week to build a product [with billing 00:02:20]. And I put that online and people started using it. So, that was how it worked.Every other product I tried before, I'd spent months and months developing it and never getting a customer. And the one time I spent less than [laugh] less than a week's worth of evenings, someone started paying. I mean, admittedly, the first person was only paying a couple of dollars a month, but it was something.Corey: There's a huge turning point where you just validate the ability and willingness for someone to transfer one dollar from their bank account to yours. It speaks to validation in a way that social media nonsense generally doesn't. It's the oh, someone is actually willing to pay because I'm adding value to what they do. That's no small thing.Simon: Yeah. There's definitely a big difference between people saying they're going to and they'd love it, and actually doing it. So.Corey: I first heard about you when Patrick McKenzie—or @patio11, as he goes by on Twitter—wound up doing a mini-thread on you about, “I've now used SnapShooter.com for real, and it was such a joy, including making a server migration easier than it would otherwise have been. Now, I have automatically monitored backups to my own S3 account for a bunch of things, which already had a fairly remote risk of failure.” And he keeps talking about the awesome aspects of it. And okay, when Patrick says, “This is neat,” that usually means it's time for me to at least click the link and see what's going on.And the thing that jumped out at me was a few things about what it is that you offer. You talk about making sure that people can sleep well at night, that it's about why backups are important, about—you obviously check the boxes and talk about how you do things and why you do them the way that you do, but it resonates around the idea of helping people sleep well at night. Because no one wants to think about backups. Because no one cares about backups; they just care an awful lot about restores, usually right after they should have cared about the backups.Simon: Yeah. This is actually a big problem with getting customers because I don't think it's on a lot of people's minds, getting backups set up until, as you said in the intro, something's gone wrong. [laugh]. And then they're happy to be a customer for life.Corey: I started clicking around and looking at your testimonials, for example, on your website. And the first one I saw was from the CEO of Transistor.fm. For those who aren't familiar with what they do, they are the company that hosts this podcast. I pay them as a vendor for all the back issues and whatnot.Whenever you download the show. It's routing through their stuff. So yeah, I kind of want them to have backups of these things because I really don't want to have all these conversations [laugh] again with everyone. That's an important thing. But Transistor's business is not making sure that the data is safe and secure; it's making podcasts available, making it easy to publish to them.And in your case, you're handling the backup portion of it so they can pay their money and they set it up effectively once—set it and forget it—and then they can go back to doing the thing that they do, and not having to fuss with it constantly. I think a lot of companies get it wrong, where they seem to think that people are going to make sustained, engaged efforts in whatever platform or tool or service they build. People have bigger fish to fry; they just want the thing to work and not take up brain sweat.Simon: Yeah. Customers hardly ever log in. I think it's probably a good sign when they don't have to log in. So, they get their report emails, and that's that. And they obviously come back when they got new stuff to set up, but from a support point of view is pretty, pretty easy, really, people don't—[laugh] constantly on there.Corey: From where I sit, the large cloud providers—and some of the small ones, too—they all have backup functionality built into the offering that they've got. And some are great, some are terrible. I assume—perhaps naively—that all of them do what it says on the tin and actually back up the data. If that were sufficient, you wouldn't have any customers. You clearly have customers. What is it that makes those things not work super well?Simon: Some of them are inflexible. So, some of the providers have built-in server backups that only happen weekly, and six days of no backups can be a big problem when you've made a mistake. So, we offer a lot of flexibility around how often you backup your data. And then another key part is that we let you store your data where you want. A lot of the providers have either vendor lock-in, or they only store it in themselves. So… we let you take your data from one side of the globe to the other if you want.Corey: As anyone who has listened to the show is aware, I'm not a huge advocate for multi-cloud for a variety of excellent reasons. And I mean that on a per-workload basis, not, “Oh, we're going to go with one company called Amazon,” and you use everything that they do, including their WorkMail product. Yeah, even Amazon doesn't use WorkMail; they use Exchange like a real company would. And great, pick the thing that works best for you, but backups have always been one of those areas.I know that AWS has great region separation—most of the time. I know that it is unheard of for there to be a catastrophic data loss story that transcends multiple regions, so the story from their side is very often, oh, just back it up to a different region. Problem solved. Ignoring the data transfer aspect of that from a pricing perspective, okay. But there's also a risk element here where everyone talks about the single point of failure with the AWS account that it's there, people don't talk about as much: it's your payment instrument; if they suspend your account, you're not getting into any region.There's also the story of if someone gets access to your account, how do you back that up? If you're going to be doing backups, from my perspective, that is the perfect use case, to put it on a different provider. Because if I'm backing up from, I don't know, Amazon to Google Cloud or vice versa, I have a hard time envisioning a scenario in which both of those companies simultaneously have lost my data and I still care about computers. It is very hard for me to imagine that kind of failure mode, it's way out of scope for any disaster recovery or business continuity plan that I'm coming up with.Simon: Yeah, that's right. Yeah, I haven't—[laugh] I don't have that in my disaster recovery plan, to be honest about going to a different cloud, as in, we'll solve that problem when it happens. But the data is, as you say, in two different places, or more. But yeah, the security one is a key one because, you know, there's quite a lot of surface area on your AWS account for compromising, but if you're using either—even a separate AWS account or a different provider purely for storage, that can be very tightly controlled.Corey: I also appreciate the idea that when you're backing stuff up between different providers, the idea of owning both sides of it—I know you offer a solution where you wind up hosting the data as well, and that has its value, don't get me wrong, but there are also times, particularly for regulated industries, where yeah, I kind of don't want my backup data just hanging out with someone else's account with whatever they choose to do with it. There's also the verification question, which again, I'm not accusing you of in any way, shape, or form of being nefarious, but it's also one of those when I have to report to a board of directors of like, “Are you sure that they're doing what they say they're doing?” It's a, “Well, he seemed trustworthy,” is not the greatest answer. And the boards ask questions like that all the time. Netflix has talked about this where they backup a rehydrate-the-business level of data to Google Cloud from AWS, not because they think Amazon is going to disappear off the face of the earth, but because it's easier to do that and explain it than having to say, “Well, it's extremely unlikely and here's why,” and not get torn to pieces by auditors, shareholders, et cetera. It's the path of least resistance, and there is some validity to it.Simon: Yeah, when you see those big companies who've been with ransomware attacks and they've had to either pay the ransom or they've literally got to build the business from scratch, like, the cost associated with that is almost business-ending. So, just one backup for their data, off-site [laugh] they could have saved themselves millions and millions of pounds. So.Corey: It's one of those things where an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure. And we're still seeing that stuff continue to evolve and continue to exist out in the ecosystem. There's a whole host of things that I think about like, “Ooh, if I lost, that would be annoying but not disastrous.” When I was going through some contractual stuff when we were first setting up The Duckbill Group and talking to clients about this, they would periodically ask questions about, “Well, what's your DR policy for these things?” It's, “Well, we have a number of employees; no more than two are located in the same city anywhere, and we all work from laptops because it is the 21st century, so if someone's internet goes out, they'll go to a coffee shop. If everyone's internet goes out, do you really care about the AWS bill that month?”It's a very different use case and [unintelligible 00:11:02] with these things. Now, let's be clear, we are a consultancy that fixes AWS bills; we're not a hospital. There's a big difference in the use case and what is acceptable in different ways. But what I like is that you have really build something out that lets people choose their own adventure in how managed they want it to be, what the source is, what the target should be. And it gives people enough control but without having to worry about the finicky parts of aligning a bunch of scripts that wind up firing off in cron jobs.Simon: Yeah. I'd say a fair few people run into issues running scripts or, you know, they silently fail and then you realize you haven't actually been running backups for the last six months until you're trying to pull them, even if you were trying to—Corey: Bold of you to think that I would notice it that quickly.Simon: [laugh]. Yeah, right. True. Yeah, that's presuming you have a disaster recovery plan that you actually test. Lots of small businesses have never even heard of that as a thing. So, having as us, kind of, manage backups sort of enables us to very easily tell people that backups of, like—we couldn't take the backup. Like, you need to address this.Also, to your previous point about the control, you can decide completely where data flows between. So, when people ask us about what's GDPR policies around data and stuff, we can say, “Well, we don't actually handle your data in that sense. It goes directly from your source through almost a proxy that you control to your storage.” So.Corey: The best answer: GDPR is out of scope. Please come again. And [laugh] yeah, just pass that off to someone else.Simon: In a way, you've already approved those two: you've approved the person that you're managing servers with and you've already approved the people that are doing storage with. You kind of… you do need to approve us, but we're not handling the data. So, we're handling your data, like your actual customer; we're not handling your customer's customer's data.Corey: Oh, yeah. Now, it's a valuable thing. One of my famous personal backup issues was okay, “I'm going to back this up onto the shared drive,” and I sort of might have screwed up the backup script—in the better way, given the two possible directions this can go—but it was backing up all of its data and all the existing backup data, so you know, exponential growth of your backups. Now, my storage vendor was about to buy a boat and name it after me when I caught that. “Oh, yeah, let's go ahead and fix that.”But this stuff is finicky, it's annoying, and in most cases, it fails in silent ways that only show up as a giant bill in one form or another. And not having to think about that is valuable. I'm willing to spend a few hours setting up a backup strategy and the rest; I'm not willing to tend it on an ongoing basis, just because I have other things I care about and things I need to get done.Simon: Yeah. It's such a kind of simple and trivial thing that can quickly become a nightmare [laugh] when you've made a mistake. So, not doing it yourself is a good [laugh] solution.Corey: So, it wouldn't have been a @patio11 recommendation to look at what you do without having some insight into the rest of the nuts and bolts of the business and the rest. Your plans are interesting. You have a free tier of course, which is a single daily backup job and half a gig of storage—or bring your own to that it's unlimited storage—Simon: Yep. Yeah.Corey: Unlimited: the only limits are your budget. Yeah. Zombo.com got it slightly wrong. It's not your mind, it's your budget. And then it goes from Light to Startup to Business to Agency at the high end.A question I have for you is at the high end, what I've found has been sort of the SaaS approach. The top end is always been a ‘Contact Us' form where it's the enterprise scope of folks where they tend to have procurement departments looking at this, and they're going to have a whole bunch of custom contract stuff, but they're also not used to signing checks with fewer than two commas in them. So, it's the signaling and the messaging of, “Reach out and talk to us.” Have you experimented with that at all, yet? Is it something you haven't gotten to yet or do you not have interest in serving that particular market segment?Simon: I'd say we've been gearing the business from starting off very small with one solution to, you know, last—and two years ago, we added the ability to store data from one provider to a different provider. So, we're sort of stair-stepping our way up to enterprise. For example, at the end of last year, we went and got certificates for ISO 27001 and… one other one, I can't remember the name of them, and we're probably going to get SOC 2 at some point this year. And then yes, we will be pushing more towards enterprises. We add, like, APIs as well so people can set up backups on the fly, or so they can put it as part of their provisioning.That's hopefully where I'm seeing the business go, as in we'll become under-the-hood backup provider for, like, a managed hosting solution or something where their customers won't even realize it's us, but we're taking the backups away from—responsibility away from businesses.Corey: For those listeners who are fortunate enough to not have to have spent as long as I have in the woods of corporate governance, the correct answer to, “Well, how do we know that vendor is doing what they say that they're doing,” because the, “Well, he seemed like a nice guy,” is not going to carry water, well, here are the certifications that they have attested to. Here's copies under NDA, if their audit reports that call out what controls they claim to have and it validates that they are in fact doing what they say that they're doing. That is corporate-speak that attests that you're doing the right things. Now, you're going to, in most cases, find yourself spending all your time doing work for no real money if you start making those things available to every customer spending 50 cents a year with you. So generally, the, “Oh, we're going to go through the compliance, get you the reports,” is one of the higher, more expensive tiers where you must spend at least this much for us to start engaging down this rabbit hole of various nonsense.And I don't blame you in the least for not going down that path. One of these years, I'm going to wind up going through at least one of those certification approaches myself, but historically, we don't handle anything except your billing data, and here's how we do it has so far been sufficient for our contractual needs. But the world's evolving; sophistication of enterprise buyers is at varying places and at some point, it'll just be easier to go down that path.Simon: Yeah, to be honest, we haven't had many, many of those customers. Sometimes we have people who come in well over the plan limits, and that's where we do a custom plan for them, but we've not had too many requests for certification. But obviously, we have the certification now, so if anyone ever [laugh] did want to see it under NDA, we could add some commas to any price. [laugh].Corey: This episode is sponsored in parts by our friend EnterpriseDB. EnterpriseDB has been powering enterprise applications with PostgreSQL for 15 years. And now EnterpriseDB has you covered wherever you deploy PostgreSQL on premises, private cloud, and they just announced a fully managed service on AWS and Azure called BigAnimal, all one word.Don't leave managing your database to your cloud vendor because they're too busy launching another half dozen manage databases to focus on any one of them that they didn't build themselves. Instead, work with the experts over at EnterpriseDB. They can save you time and money, they can even help you migrate legacy applications, including Oracle, to the cloud.To learn more, try BigAnimal for free. Go to biganimal.com/snark, and tell them Corey sent you.Corey: What I like as well is that you offer backups for a bunch of different things. You can do snapshots from, effectively, every provider. I'm sorry, I'm just going to call out because I love this: AWS and Amazon LightSail are called out as two distinct things. And Amazonians will say, “Oh, well, under the hood, they're really the same thing, et cetera.” Yeah, the user experience is wildly different, so yeah, calling those things out as separate things make sense.But it goes beyond that because it's not just, “Well, I took a disk image. There we go. Come again.” You also offer backup recipes for specific things where you could, for example, back things up to a local file and external storage where someone is. Great, you also backup WordPress and MongoDB and MySQL and a whole bunch of other things.A unified cloud controller, which is something I have in my house, and I keep thinking I should find a way to back that up. Yeah, this is great. It's not just about the big server thing; it's about having data living in managed services. It's about making sure that the application data is backed up in a reasonable, responsible way. I really liked that approach. Was that an evolution or is that something you wound up focusing on almost from the beginning?Simon: It was an evolution. So, we started with the snapshots, which got the business quite far to be honest and it was very simple. It was just DigitalOcean to start with, actually, for the first two years. Pretty easy to market in a way because it's just focused on one thing. Then the other solutions came in, like the other providers and, you know, once you add one, it was easy to add many.And then came database backups and file backups. And I just had those two solutions because that was what people were asking for. Like, they wanted to make sure their whole server snapshot, if you have a whole server snapshot, the point in time data for MySQL could be corrupt. Like, there could be stuff in RAM that a MySQL dump would have pulled out, for example. Like… there's a possibility that the database could be corrupt from a snapshot, so people were asking for a bit of, more, peace of mind with doing proper backups of MySQL.So, that's what we added. And it soon became apparent when more customers were asking for more solutions that we really needed to, like, step back and think about what we're actually offering. So, we rebuilt this whole, kind of like, database engine, then that allowed us to consume data from anywhere. So, we can easily add more backup types. So, the reason you can see all the ones you've listed there is because that's kind of what people have been asking for. And every time someone comes up with a new, [laugh], like, a new open-source project or database or whatever, we'll add support, even ones I've never heard of before. When people ask for some weird file—Corey: All it takes is just waiting for someone to reach out and say, hey, can you back this thing up, please?Simon: Yeah, exactly, some weird file-based database system that I've never ever heard of. Yeah, sure. Just give us [laugh] a test server to mess around with and we'll build, essentially, like, we use bash in the background for doing the backups; if you can stream the data from a command, we can then deal with the whole management process. So, that's the reason why. And then, I was seeing in, like, the Laravel space, for example, people were doing MySQL backups and they'd have a script, and then for whatever reason, someone rotated the passwords on the database and the backup script… was forgotten about.So, there it is, not working for months. So, we thought we could build a backup where you could just point it at where the Laravel project is. We can get all the config we need at the runtime because it's all there with the project anyway, and then thus, you never need to tell us the password for your database and that problem goes away. And it's the same with WordPress.Corey: I'm looking at this now just as you go through this, and I'm a big believer in disclaiming my biases, conflicts of interest, et cetera. And until this point, neither of us have traded a penny in either direction between us that I'm ever aware of—maybe you bought a t-shirt or something once upon a time—but great, I'm about to become a customer of this because I already have backup solutions for a lot of the things that you currently support, but again, when you're a grumpy admin who's lost data in the past, it's, “Huh, you know what I would really like? That's right, another backup.” And if that costs me a few hundred bucks a year for the peace of mind is money well spent because the failure mode is I get to rewrite a whole lot of blog posts and re-record all podcasts and pay for a whole bunch of custom development again. And it's just not something that I particularly want to have to deal with. There's something to be said for a holistic backup solution. I wish that more people thought about these things.Simon: Can you imagine having to pull all the blog posts off [unintelligible 00:22:19]? [laugh]—Corey: Oh, my got—Simon: —to try and rebuild it.Corey: That is called the crappiest summer internship someone has ever had.Simon: Yeah.Corey: And that is just painful. I can't quite fathom having to do that as a strategy. Every once in a while some big site will have a data loss incident or go out of business or something, and there's a frantic archiving endeavor that happens where people are trying to copy the content out of the Google Search Engine's cache before it expires at whatever timeline that is. And that looks like the worst possible situation for any sort of giant backup.Simon: At least that's one you can fix. I mean, if you were to lose all the payment information, then you've got to restitch all that together, or anything else. Like, that's a fixable solution, but a lot of these other ones, if you lose the data, yeah, there's no two ways around it, you're screwed. So.Corey: Yeah, it's a challenging thing. And it's also—the question also becomes one of, “Well, hang on. I know about backups on this because I have this data, but it's used to working in an AWS environment. What possible good would it do me sitting somewhere else?” It's, yeah, the point is, it's sitting somewhere else, at least in my experience. You can copy it back to that sort of environment.I'm not suggesting this is a way that you can run your AWS serverless environment on DigitalOcean, but it's a matter of if everything turns against you, you can rebuild from those backups. That's the approach that I've usually taken. Do you find that your customers understand that going in or is there an education process?Simon: I'd say people come for all sorts of reasons for why they want backup. So, having your data in two places for that is one of the reasons but, you know, I think there's a lot of reasons why people want peace of mind: for either developer mistakes or migration mistakes or hacking, all these things. So, I guess the big one we come up with a lot is people talking about databases and they don't need backups because they've got replication. And trying to explain that replication between two databases isn't the same as a backup. Like, you make a mistake you drop—[laugh] you run your delete query wrong on the first database, it's gone, replicated or not.Corey: Right, the odds of me fat-fingering an S3 bucket command are incredibly likelier than the odds of AWS losing an entire region's S3 data irretrievably. I make mistakes a lot more than they tend to architecturally, but let's also be clear, they're one of the best. My impression has always been the big three mostly do a decent job of this. The jury's still out, in my opinion, on other third-party clouds that are not, I guess, tier one. What's your take?Simon: I have to be careful. I've got quite good relationships with some of these. [laugh].Corey: Oh, of course. Of course. Of course.Simon: But yes, I would say most customers do end up using S3 as their storage option, and I think that is because it is, I think, the best. Like, is in terms of reliability and performance, some storage can be a little slow at times for pulling data in, which could or could not be a problem depending on what your use case is. But there are some trade-offs. Obviously, S3, if you're trying to get your data back out, is expensive. If you were to look at Backblaze, for example, as well, that's considerably cheaper than S3, especially, like, when you're talking in the petabyte-scale, there can be huge savings there. So… they all sort of bring their own thing to the table. Personally, I store the backups in S3 and in Backblaze, and in one other provider. [laugh].Corey: Oh, yeah. Like—Simon: I like to have them spread.Corey: Like, every once in a while in the industry, there's something that happens that's sort of a watershed moment where it reminds everyone, “Oh, right. That's why we do backups.” I think the most recent one—and again, love to them; this stuff is never fun—was when that OVH data center burned down. And OVH is a somewhat more traditional hosting provider, in some respects. Like, their pricing is great, but they wind up giving you what amounts to here as a server in a rack. You get to build all this stuff yourself.And that backup story is one of those. Oh, okay. Well, I just got two of them and I'll copy backups to each other. Yeah, but they're in the same building and that building just burned down. Now, what? And a lot of people learned a very painful lesson. And oh, right, that's why we have to do that.Simon: Yeah. The other big lesson from that was that even if the people with data in a different region—like, they'd had cross-regional backups—because of the demand at the time for accessing backups, if you wanted to get your data quickly, you're in a queue because so many other people were in the same boat as you're trying to restore stored backups. So, being off-site with a different provider would have made that a little easier. [laugh].Corey: It's a herd of elephants problem. You test your DR strategy on a scheduled basis; great, you're the only person doing it—give or take—at that time, as opposed to a large provider has lost a region and everyone is hitting their backup service simultaneously. It generally isn't built for that type of scale and provisioning. One other question I have for you is when I make mistakes, for better or worse, they're usually relatively small-scale. I want to restore a certain file or I will want to, “Ooh, that one item I just dropped out of that database really should not have been dropped.” Do you currently offer things that go beyond the entire restore everything or nothing? Or right now are you still approaching this from the perspective of this is for the catastrophic case where you're in some pain already?Simon: Mostly the catastrophic stage. So, we have MySQL [bin logs 00:27:57] as an option. So, if you wanted to do, like, a point-in-time of store, which… may be more applicable to what you're saying, but generally, its whole, whole website recovery. For example, like, we have a WordPress backup that'll go through all the WordPress websites on the server and we'll back them up individually so you can restore just one. There are ways that we have helped customers in the past just pull one table, for example, from a backup.But yeah, we geared towards, kind of, the set and the forget. And people don't often restore backups, to be honest. They don't. But when they do, it's obviously [laugh] very crucial that they work, so I prefer to back up the whole thing and then help people, like, if you need to extract ten megabytes out of an entire gig backup, that's a bit wasteful, but at least, you know, you've got the data there. So.Corey: Yeah. I'm a big believer in having backups in a variety of different levels. Because I don't really want to do a whole server restore when I remove a file. And let's be clear, I still have that grumpy old Unix admin of before I start making changes to a file, yeah, my editor can undo things and remembers that persistently and all. But I have a disturbing number of files and directories whose names end in ‘.bac' with then, like, a date or something on it, just because it's—you know, like, “Oh, I have to fix something in Git. How do I do this?”Step one, I'm going to copy the entire directory so when I make a pig's breakfast out of this and I lose things that I care about, rather than having to play Git surgeon for two more days, I can just copy it back over and try again. Disk space is cheap for those things. But that's also not a holistic backup strategy because I have to remember to do it every time and the whole point of what you're building and the value you're adding, from my perspective, is people don't have to think about it.Simon: Yes. Yeah yeah yeah. Once it's there, it's there. It's running. It's as you say, it's not the most efficient thing if you wanted to restore one file—not to say you couldn't—but at least you didn't have to think about doing the backup first.Corey: I really want to thank you for taking the time out of your day to talk to me about all this. If people want to learn more for themselves, where can they find you?Simon: So, SnapShooter.com is a great place, or on Twitter, if you want to follow me. I am @MrSimonBennett.Corey: And we will, of course, put links to that in the [show notes 00:30:11]. Thank you once again. I really appreciate it.Simon: Thank you. Thank you very much for having me.Corey: Simon Bennett, founder and CEO of SnapShooter.com. I'm Cloud Economist Corey Quinn and this is Screaming in the Cloud. If you've enjoyed this episode, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, whereas if you've hated this episode, please leave a five-star review on your podcast platform of choice, along with an angry insulting comment that, just like your backup strategy, you haven't put enough thought into.Corey: If your AWS bill keeps rising and your blood pressure is doing the same, then you need The Duckbill Group. We help companies fix their AWS bill by making it smaller and less horrifying. The Duckbill Group works for you, not AWS. We tailor recommendations to your business and we get to the point. Visit duckbillgroup.com to get started.Announcer: This has been a HumblePod production. Stay humble.
Jake and Michael discuss pool pumps, electric trucks, Doctor Strange (no spoilers), and when you might choose and use the TALL stack.This episode is sponsored by Workvivo.Show links Reactive Laravel apps with the TALL stack Nova Packages Alpine.js Livewire screencasts
Jake and Michael discuss all the latest Laravel releases, tutorials, and happenings in the community.This episode is sponsored by Honeybadger - combining error monitoring, uptime monitoring and check-in monitoring into a single, easy to use platform and making you a DevOps hero - and was streamed live.Show links Laravel 9.11 released Laravel 9.12 released Aloia - a flat-file CMS for Laravel 9 Fluent validation rules with Laravel Hyrule Laravel Log Fake 2.0 Nova log viewer package How to get a website's favicons in Laravel Laravel Jetstream: Add CRUD with Spatie Permission Laravel roles and permissions: Gates and policies explained 20 useful Laravel tips Laravel nested controllers and scope bindings for security Debug Laravel collections: dump step-by-step results
Justin and Jason discuss the TechZing Discord server, the rebirth of TaskFlow, why Justin loves Laravel, Jason's approach to designing UI, why he wants to grow Math Academy without hring a lot of people and the latest improvements to the software, the series WeCrashed and Severance, and the heatmap software HotJar.Episode Notes
Joseph Silber's Website - https://josephsilber.com/Joseph Silber's Twitter - https://twitter.com/joseph_silberJoseph Silber's GitHub - https://github.com/JosephSilberPage Cache - https://github.com/JosephSilber/page-cacheBouncer Article on Laravel - https://laravel-news.com/bouncer-authorization-packageBouncer GitHub - https://github.com/JosephSilber/bouncerLaravel Eloquent ORM - https://laravel.com/docs/4.2/eloquentAuthorization & Authentication, With Joseph Silber (Laravel Podcast Season 4, Ep. 12) - https://laravelpodcast.simplecast.com/episodes/authorization-and-authentication-with-joseph-silberTaylor Otwell's GitHub - https://github.com/taylorotwell Laravel Passport - https://laravel.com/docs/9.x/passportLaravel LiveWire - https://laravel-livewire.com/Inertia.js - https://inertiajs.com/React - https://reactjs.org/Vue.js - https://vuejs.org/Svelte - https://svelte.dev/Laravel Cashier (Stripe) - https://laravel.com/docs/9.x/billingStripe Checkout - https://stripe.com/payments/checkout
Links from the show:Laravel 9.12 Released | Laravel NewsPHP: rfc:readonly_classesXdebug Update: April 2022 — Derick RethansPHP: todo:php82San Diego PHPhttps://www.cnbc.com/2022/05/12/cryptocurrency-luna-now-almost-worthless-after-ust-falls-below-peg.htmlhttps://twitter.com/i/events/1524741169669943296This episode of PHPUgly was sponsored by:Honeybadger.io - https://www.honeybadger.io/PHPUgly streams the recording of this podcast live. Typically every Thursday night around 9 PM PT. Come and join us, and subscribe to our Youtube Channel, Twitch, or Periscope. Also, be sure to check out our Patreon Page.Twitter Account https://twitter.com/phpuglyHost:Eric Van JohnsonJohn CongdonTom RideoutStreams:Youtube ChannelTwitchPeriscopePowered by RestreamPatreon PagePHPUgly Anthem by Harry Mack / Harry Mack Youtube ChannelThanks to all of our Patreon Sponsors:Honeybadger ** This weeks Sponsor **ButteryCrumpetShawnDavid QKen FTony LFrank WJeff KShelby CS FergusonBoštjan OMatt LDmitri GKnut E BMarcusMikePageDevRodrigo CBillyDarryl HMike WHolly SPeter ABen RLuciano NElgimboWayneKevin YAlex BClayton SKenrick BR. C. S.ahinkleEnno RSeviMaciej PJeroen FRonny M NCharltonF'n SteveRobertThorstenEmilyJoe FAndrew WulrickJohn CJames HEric MLaravel MagazineEd GJackson WRirie
Jake and Michael discuss Australians pronouncing words, Matt Stauffer's glorious beard, with a treacherous detour into recent political discussion, before correcting course to migrating Bootstrap to Tailwind CSS.This episode is sponsored by Workvivo and Makeable.dk.Show links How Australians pronounce words James Smith Matt Stauffer's glorious beard Windy Laravel Jetstream's Blade components
[00:01:29] José tells us his background and what he does, and Seth explains how he found himself on a Ruby podcast with the Elixir creator.[00:03:47] We find out how José got started in Ruby and progress into being a Rails core team member.[00:07:40] We hear how José went from being a Rails core team member to creating Elixir, and he tells us about an influential paper called, “The Free Lunch Is Over.”[00:24:28] José talks about the story of Elixir, the story around putting it into the world, the features that have grown in it, and the adoption. [00:26:46] We learn more about if José considers himself a Web Developer before he got into writing Elixir.[00:32:34] Jose shares how long it took him to get from starting Elixir to where he felt confident in it with people running in production.[00:34:54] Where does Phoenix, a popular web framework for Elixir, come into play?[00:41:11] José shares a story about LiveView.[00:51:16] José goes in depth about distributed systems and the solution that most people would do and the really cool solution. [01:03:13] Jason brings up something José said which was, “Using Elixir and Phoenix, it's just a great developer experience,” and he expands more on this explaining the good cases outside of concurrency for using Elixir.[01:09:33] Chris wonders if there are any rough edges of Elixir that José still wants to put some polish on.[01:15:42] We hear about Laravel and how they are a great example of trying to be all encompassing.[01:16:09] José shares his thoughts on supporting authentication in a web application.[01:23:24] We learn what José is working on that's new and exciting with Elixir, and he also tells us about Nerves, FarmBot, Broadway, and Numerical Elixir.[01:31:32] Find out where you can follow José on the internet. Panelists:Jason CharnesChris OliverAndrew MasonGuest:José ValimSponsor:HoneybadgerLinks:Ruby Radar NewsletterRuby Radar TwitterJosé Valim TwitterJosé Valim LinkedInElixirThe Free Lunch is Over: A Fundamental Turn Toward Concurrency is Software LivebookMoz Developer BlogPhoenix FrameworkFarmBotNervesBroadwayNumerical Elixir (Nx)
Dan Sheetz & Matt Stauffer (Managing Director & Technical Director, respectively) join us this week for the last episode of season 3 to talk all about the Tighten Manifesto - how it was created, what it aims to achieve, how to live up to it, and more. Recorded live at Tighten's 2022 Onsite in Gatlinburg, TN.
Hoy hablamos de API de servicios REST o de aplicaciones que interactuan de forma transparente para el usuario final pero a decir verdad nos quedan muchas dudas de cómo funciona. En este episodio te comento fácil, al menos intentaré explicarlo como para que entienda la tía, a que nos referimos y porqué debemos conocer de su funcionamiento y su uso en nuestros desarrollos. Te invito a dejar comentarios o sugerencias de temas para tratar en el podcast. Si querés aprender a programar web o si buscas acompañamiento de proyectos principalmente con PHP, Laravel, Codeigniter, no dudes en consultarme. Y si este capitulo te gustó, nos ayudaría mucho que nos dejes un comentario o que lo compartas con tus amigos, es la mejor forma de colaborar con este proyecto. - https://www.facebook.com/codigotecno/ - https://www.instagram.com/codigotecno O envíame un email en: codigotecno (arroba) hotmail.com o en Telegram @soleralejandro me encantaría poder ayudarte con tu proyecto o sumarme a tu equipo de desarrollo. Dejanos tu comentario, like o sugerencia en las redes de podcast mas populares: * En Ivoox : https://bit.ly/2JoLotl * En Spotify : https://spoti.fi/31Dp4Sq * En Itunes: https://apple.co/2WNKWHV * En Youtube: https://bit.ly/2JLaKRj Te espero en los comentarios, animate y buen código para todos. ! Muy buen código para todos y hasta la próxima. !
I often hear about flat organizational structures and how they lead to more autonomy and better collaboration. That could be true! It sounds appealing. But my worry is: don't you lose the zoomed out perspective in the process? From my experiences, that multi-focus hierarchy is essential.
Jake and Michael discuss all the latest Laravel releases, tutorials, and happenings in the community.This episode is sponsored by Honeybadger - combining error monitoring, uptime monitoring and check-in monitoring into a single, easy to use platform and making you a DevOps hero - and was streamed live.Show links Laravel 9.9 released Ash Allen Design Laravel 9.10 released Manage application redirects with the Laravel Redirection package Handle SEO for your models with this Laravel package Generate documents in PHP with an Excel template Service providers in Laravel: What they are and how to use them Livewire or Inertia.js Livewire best practices Domain Driven Design with Laravel 9 Adding translations to Laravel Spark 3 plans Everything you need to know about Carbon with Laravel
In this episode, Jake and Michael discuss Michael taking his son to his first game of footy, approaches to handling variable message scheduling for Jake's Vestaboard, and a long overdue thenping.me update.Show links Vestaboard thenping.me - hands-free scheduled task monitoring for Laravel
Jake and Michael discuss all the latest Laravel releases, tutorials, and happenings in the community.This episode is sponsored by Scout APM - Laravel Monitoring and more that identifies slow database queries, memory leaks, and slow custom code - and Honeybadger - combining error monitoring, uptime monitoring and check-in monitoring into a single, easy to use platform and making you a DevOps hero.Show links Laravel 9.7 released Laravel 9.8 released BaseCode: A field guide for writing more readable code Laravel DynamoDB Eloquent models and query builder Add likes, bookmarks, favourites, and other marks in your application with Laravel Markable Style guide generator for Tailwind CSS Laravel Livewire: 14 tips & tricks Learn how to start testing in Laravel with simple examples using PHPUnit and Pest How to use soft deletes in Laravel Using `query()` in Laravel Eloquent queries Job queues and workers in Laravel apps
Taylor Otwell's Twitter - https://twitter.com/taylorotwellLaravel, Twitter - https://twitter.com/laravelphpLaravel, Website - https://laravel.com/Laravel Docs: Passport - https://laravel.com/docs/8.x/passport#main-contentGitHub: Passport - https://github.com/jaredhanson/passport-githubLaravel Docs: Sanctum - https://laravel.com/docs/9.x/sanctumGitHub: Sanctum - https://github.com/laravel/sanctumThe League of Extraordinary Packages - https://thephpleague.com/Laravel Docs: Tinker - https://laravel.com/docs/9.x/artisan#tinkerGitHub: Tinker - https://github.com/laravel/tinkerOAuth 1 - https://oauth.net/1/OAuth 2.0 - https://oauth.net/2/ Spark - https://spark.laravel.com/Forge - https://forge.autodesk.com/en/docs/Vapor - https://docs.vapor.codes/4.0/JWT - https://jwt.io/GitHub: node-fetch - https://github.com/node-fetch/node-fetchAxios - https://axios-http.com/docs/intro
Συζητάμε με την Αναστασία για τον ρόλο που παίζει η ηλικία στην εργασία και στην αναζήτηση. Δήλωσε συμμετοχή στο Laravel, React ή Docker #workshop: http://bit.ly/sn-workshops-y Ή πες μας τι workshop θες: bit.ly/WhatWorkshopSN Δες το video -> https://youtu.be/64o-sLb4QTw
In this episode, Jake and Michael are joined by Eric Van Johnson to talk more about Vim, using Vim bindings in other editors, similarities and differences between them, and opinionated starting points.This episode is sponsored by Workvivo and Makeable.dk and was streamed live.Show links IdeaVim LunarVim System76 Pop!_OS php[architect]
Jake and Michael discuss all the latest Laravel releases, tutorials, and happenings in the community.This episode is sponsored by Scout APM - Laravel Monitoring and more that identifies slow database queries, memory leaks, and slow custom code - and was streamed live.Show links Laravel 9.6 released Laravel Valet 3 released with multi-version PHP support Use Laravel Dusk to test JS-based applications Find missing translations with the Laravel translations checker Laravel Config Validator Visit is a beautiful HTTP CLI tool for humans Filament tables TALL stack component Laravel Facebook Graph API Given-When-Then plugin for Pest Glob-like file and pattern matching utilities for PHP Declare routes inside your Livewire components with Convoy Declare database migrations and factory definitions in your Laravel models with Lucid How to setup and scale the perfect websocket server for your Laravel project
Taylor Otwell, is the founder of Laravel, a programming framework for PHP. But he's also one of the most successful indie SaaS operators I know. In this episode we discuss: 0:30 – Taylor is changing how he hires and manages people at Laravel 6:01 – How Taylor is finding new employees to work on Forge, Vapor, and his other products 7:34 – The Laravel ecosystem has incubated incredible talent: Miguel Piedrafita, Caleb Porzio, Adam Wathan, Aaron Francis, Jack Ellis... 10:03 – More and more indie SaaS apps are being built in Laravel 10:48 – When is the next Laracon conference? 13:11 – Taylor Otwell has the classic bootstrap success story 14:28 – Laravel has been running too lean 17:00 – What's it like to work as a developer at Laravel? (pair programming) 18:33 – How Taylor does product development 22:08 – "I haven't told anyone this yet, but I actually considered selling Laravel this past year." Here's why Taylor decided not to sell. 26:30 – How do you deal with internet fame, and being a "known person?" 28:59 – Dealing with haters on Twitter 31:50 – What is the future of web development, and the full-stack developer? What is the future of Ruby on Rails and Laravel? 35:53 – Building excitement around PHP and Laravel with young people. 42:13 – What inspires kids to get into programming? When it's fun, easy, accessible. This is why so many people started with Hypercard, Microsoft Access, PHP, Adobe Flash... What should we talk about next? Twitter: @buildyoursaas, @mijustin, @jonbuda, @jsonpearl, and @helenryles Leave a review/comment on Podchaser; it's like Reddit, but for podcasts. Email us: firstname.lastname@example.org Thanks to our monthly supporters: Mitchell Davis from RecruitKit.com.au Marcel Fahle, wearebold.af Alex Payne Bill Condo Anton Zorin from ProdCamp.com Mitch Harris Kenny, Intro CRM podcast Oleg Kulyk Ethan Gunderson Chris Willow Ward Sandler, Memberspace Russell Brown, Photivo.com Noah Prail Colin Gray Austin Loveless Michael Sitver Paul Jarvis and Jack Ellis, Fathom Dan Buda Darby Frey Brad from Canada Adam DuVander Dave Giunta (JOOnta) Kyle Fox GetRewardful.com Want to start a podcast on Transistor? Justin has a special coupon for you: get 15% off your first year of hosting: transistor.fm/justin★ Support this podcast on Patreon ★
Barry's Twitter - https://twitter.com/barryvdhFruitcake - https://fruitcake.nl/GitHub - https://github.com/barryvdhLaravel Debugbar - https://github.com/barryvdh/laravel-debugbarAnbu - https://github.com/daylerees/anbuDayle Rees, Twitter - https://twitter.com/daylereesDayle Rees, website - https://daylerees.com/
In this episode, Jake and Michael are joined by Jess Archer to talk more about Vim, covering motions, text objects, managing projects, working with tmux, and more.This episode is sponsored by Workvivo and Makeable.dk and was streamed live.Show links Mastering the Vim language The Vim learning curve is a myth Learn Vim on Upcase by thoughtbot The Art of Vim ThePrimeagen TJ DeVries Painting motion with the right brush repeat.vim surround.vim commentary.vim tmux-continuum tmux-resurrect zsh cdpath and autocompletion kitty vim-tmux-navigator vim-test
Jake and Michael discuss all the latest Laravel releases, tutorials, and happenings in the community.This episode is sponsored by Hook Relay - gain visibility over your webhooks, guarantee delivery, watch your traffic, inspect each request; like x-ray vision - and was streamed live.Show links Laravel 9.4 released Laravel 9.5 released Cache chunks of your Blade markup with ease Create inline partials in your Blade templates with ease Run ray(), dump(), and dd() from any PHP script API token authentication with Laravel Sanctum Detect and change indentation with PHP Laravel Livewire form wizard NexoPOS is an open-source Point of Sale system built with Laravel Implement a custom driver for Laravel Socialite Socialite providers Generate PHPUnit test templates with PhpUnitIGen How to create a simple event streaming in Laravel Community links Work with Statamic job board Statamic 3.3 released Alfred Filament docs Laravel Captcha package laravel-breeze-react Showcode Laravel Husk HydePHP
We do a very good 40 minute Youtube recommendations segment.Devaslife: https://www.youtube.com/c/devaslifePrinces of the Yen: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=p5Ac7ap_MAYPrinciples for Dealing with the Changing World Order: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xguam0TKMw8
Spartner, website - https://spartner.software/Spartner, Twitter- https://twitter.com/spartnerNLArne Schoenmakers, Twitter - https://twitter.com/arneschoenmakerPatrick Brouwers, Twitter - https://twitter.com/patrickbrouwersPatrick Brouwers, Website - https://patrickbrouwers.nl/Laravel Excel - https://laravel-excel.com/
Links from the show:PHP: rfc:sealed_classesCVE-2021-45040 - CyberSecThreat Corporation Limited.GitHub - marijnvanwezel/try: Simple CLI tool to try Composer packagesThe Spatie media-library-pro library through 1.17.10 & 2.1.6 for Laravel allows remote attackers to upload executable files via the uploads route. : laravelGitHub - josezenem/php-enums-extended: PHP 8.1 Enums Extended, gives you the ability to use additional methods to work with PHP 8.1 Enums.Speed boost achievement unlocked on Docker Desktop 4.6 for Mac - DockermacOS Monterey 12.3 Update Bricking Macs That Have Had Logic Board Replacements - MacRumorsTime ZoneU.S. Senate approves bill to make daylight saving time permanent | ReutersUS Critical Infrastructure Companies Will Have to Report When They Are Hacked - Schneier on SecurityThis episode of PHPUgly was sponsored by:Honeybadger.io - https://www.honeybadger.io/PHPUgly streams the recording of this podcast live. Typically every Thursday night around 9 PM PT. Come and join us, and subscribe to our Youtube Channel, Twitch, or Periscope. Also, be sure to check out our Patreon Page.Twitter Account https://twitter.com/phpuglyHost:Eric Van JohnsonJohn CongdonTom RideoutStreams:Youtube ChannelTwitchPeriscopePowered by RestreamPatreon PagePHPUgly Anthem by Harry Mack / Harry Mack Youtube ChannelThanks to all of our Patreon Sponsors:Honeybadger ** This weeks Sponsor **ButteryCrumpetShawnDavid QKen FTony LFrank WJeff KShelby CS FergusonBoštjan OMatt LDmitri GKnut E BMarcusMikePageDevRodrigo CBillyDarryl HMike WHolly SPeter ABen RLuciano NElgimboWayneKevin YAlex BClayton SKenrick BR. C. S.ahinkleEnno RSeviMaciej PJeroen FRonny M NCharltonF'n SteveRobertThorstenEmilyJoe FAndrew WulrickJohn CJames HEric MLaravel MagazineEd GJackson W
In this episode, Jake and Michael continue their journey down the Vim rabbit hole, and cover thrilling topics such as the leader key, custom bindings, vim-test, and Git worktrees.This episode is sponsored by Workvivo and Makeable.dk and was streamed live.Show links What is the leader key? What's the difference between set and let? What's the meaning of inoremap in Vim? tee(1) manpage vim-sourcery vim-test tmux Vim Support Group on Discord
Kristin Collins (a Lead Programmer at Tighten) joins us for her second time on the show, and this time she's talking about conference talks: why you should consider doing them, how to get started, and a lot more.
Links from the show:Event sourcing for PHP - EventSaucehttps://twitter.com/taylorotwell/status/1499898481795809281https://twitter.com/dhh/status/1501190869768187909?s=28Elon Musk says SpaceX's Starlink asked to block Russian news sources by some governments | Spacehttps://twitter.com/elonmusk/status/1499976967105433600PSR-2: Coding Style Guide - PHP-FIGThis episode of PHPUgly was sponsored by:Honeybadger.io - https://www.honeybadger.io/PHPUgly streams the recording of this podcast live. Typically every Thursday night around 9 PM PT. Come and join us, and subscribe to our Youtube Channel, Twitch, or Periscope. Also, be sure to check out our Patreon Page.Twitter Account https://twitter.com/phpuglyHost:Eric Van JohnsonJohn CongdonTom RideoutStreams:Youtube ChannelTwitchPeriscopePowered by RestreamPatreon PagePHPUgly Anthem by Harry Mack / Harry Mack Youtube ChannelThanks to all of our Patreon Sponsors:Honeybadger ** This weeks Sponsor **ButteryCrumpetShawnDavid QKen FTony LFrank WJeff KShelby CS FergusonBoštjan OMatt LDmitri GKnut E BMarcusMikePageDevRodrigo CBillyDarryl HMike WHolly SPeter ABen RLuciano NElgimboWayneKevin YAlex BClayton SKenrick BR. C. S.ahinkleEnno RSeviMaciej PJeroen FRonny M NCharltonF'n SteveRobertThorstenEmilyJoe FAndrew WulrickJohn CJames HEric MLaravel MagazineEd GJackson W
Jake and Michael discuss all the latest Laravel releases, tutorials, and happenings in the community.This episode is sponsored by Hook Relay - gain visibility over your webhooks, guarantee delivery, watch your traffic, inspect each request; like x-ray vision - and was streamed live.Show links Laravel 9.2 released Laravel Origins: The Documentary Taylor Otwell on the Laravel documentary Enum helpers in PHP Interact with Telegram bots in Laravel with Telegraph Use Emmet-style abbreviations in Blade components Forward Laravel logs to Amazon Kinesis Enhanced Laravel integrations for ZSH Why you should never trust your users Plaid for Laravel Alpine.js vs jQuery vs Vanilla JS
Taylor Otwell - https://twitter.com/taylorotwell Laravel, Twitter - https://twitter.com/laravelphpLaravel, Website - https://laravel.com/Laravel Docs: Fortify - https://laravel.com/docs/8.x/fortifyGitHub: Fortify - https://github.com/laravel/fortifyLaravel Docs: Breeze - https://laravel.com/docs/8.x/starter-kitsGitHub: Breeze - https://github.com/laravel/breezeJetstream - https://jetstream.laravel.com/2.x/introduction.htmlGitHub: Jetstream - https://github.com/laravel/jetstreamSpark - https://spark.laravel.com/GitHub: Spark - https://github.com/laravel/spark-installer
Links from the show:Laravel Origins: The Documentary - YouTubeNo RailsConfReddit - Dive into anythingFree Raspberry Pi Zero KitReddit - Dive into anythingWorld Backup Day | php[architect]Pair Programming: Does It Really Work? | Agile Allianceperformance - How slow is too slow for unit tests? - Stack OverflowThis episode of PHPUgly was sponsored by:hookrelay (https://phpa.me/hookrelay) from our friends at Honeybadger.ioPHPUgly streams the recording of this podcast live. Typically every Thursday night around 9 PM PT. Come and join us, and subscribe to our Youtube Channel, Twitch, or Periscope. Also, be sure to check out our Patreon Page.Twitter Account https://twitter.com/phpuglyHost:Eric Van JohnsonJohn CongdonTom RideoutStreams:Youtube ChannelTwitchPeriscopePowered by RestreamPatreon PagePHPUgly Anthem by Harry Mack / Harry Mack Youtube ChannelThanks to all of our Patreon Sponsors:Honeybadger ** This weeks Sponsor **ButteryCrumpetShawnDavid QKen FTony LFrank WJeff KShelby CS FergusonBoštjan OMatt LDmitri GKnut E BMarcusMikePageDevRodrigo CBillyDarryl HMike WHolly SPeter ABen RLuciano NElgimboWayneKevin YAlex BClayton SKenrick BR. C. S.ahinkleEnno RSeviMaciej PJeroen FRonny M NCharltonF'n SteveRobertThorstenEmilyJoe FAndrew WulrickJohn CJames HEric MLaravel MagazineEd GJackson W
Links from the show:Upgrade to Laravel 9 in less than 5 minutes with Shift, Tests, and CI. : laravelGitHub - jessarcher/zsh-artisan: Laravel artisan plugin for zsh to help you to run artisan from anywhere in the project tree, with auto-completion, and it can automatically open files created by artisan!Free Raspberry Pi Zero KitKinesis Advantage2 Ergonomic Keyboard | Kinesis Keyboards and MiceLive Shows — HARRY MACKSoap (TV series) - WikipediaThis episode of PHPUgly was sponsored by:hookrelay (https://phpa.me/hookrelay) from our friends at Honeybadger.ioPHPUgly streams the recording of this podcast live. Typically every Thursday night around 9 PM PT. Come and join us, and subscribe to our Youtube Channel, Twitch, or Periscope. Also, be sure to check out our Patreon Page.Twitter Account https://twitter.com/phpuglyHost:Eric Van JohnsonJohn CongdonTom RideoutStreams:Youtube ChannelTwitchPeriscopePowered by RestreamPatreon PagePHPUgly Anthem by Harry Mack / Harry Mack Youtube ChannelThanks to all of our Patreon Sponsors:Honeybadger ** This weeks Sponsor **ButteryCrumpetShawnDavid QKen FTony LFrank WJeff KShelby CS FergusonBoštjan OMatt LDmitri GKnut E BMarcusMikePageDevRodrigo CBillyDarryl HBlaž OMike WHolly SPeter ABen RLuciano NElgimboWayneKevin YAlex BClayton SKenrick BR. C. S.ahinkleEnno RSeviMaciej PJeroen FRonny M NCharltonF'n SteveRobertThorstenEmilyJoe FAndrew WulrickJohn CJames HEric MLaravel MagazineEd GJackson W
Show Notes Example Pull Request for Laravel 9.x Compatibility Can I upgrade Laravel Laravel 9.x Shift Programming by wishful thinking Arrange, Act, Assert Snapshot Testing Test Fixtures Tweet about InteractsWithProject trait
Links from the show:Instant Dev Environments For Every Project | LandoFree Raspberry Pi Zero Kithttps://twitter.com/taylorotwell/status/1491834866295525389Argus CRON Job MonitorLemur Pro - System76Laravel 9 is Now Released! | Laravel NewsLaravel 9 - Everything You Need to Know (In 45 Minutes) - YouTubeLaracon Online - YouTubeThis episode of PHPUgly was sponsored by:hookrelay (https://phpa.me/hookrelay) from our friends at Honeybadger.ioPHPUgly streams the recording of this podcast live. Typically every Thursday night around 9 PM PT. Come and join us, and subscribe to our Youtube Channel, Twitch, or Periscope. Also, be sure to check out our Patreon Page.Twitter Account https://twitter.com/phpuglyHost:Eric Van JohnsonJohn CongdonTom RideoutStreams:Youtube ChannelTwitchPeriscopePowered by RestreamPatreon PagePHPUgly Anthem by Harry Mack / Harry Mack Youtube ChannelThanks to all of our Patreon Sponsors:Honeybadger ** This weeks Sponsor **ButteryCrumpetShawnDavid QKen FTony LFrank WJeff KShelby CS FergusonBoštjan OMatt LDmitri GKnut E BMarcusMikePageDevRodrigo CBillyDarryl HBlaž OMike WHolly SPeter ABen RLuciano NElgimboWayneKevin YAlex BClayton SKenrick BR. C. S.ahinkleEnno RSeviMaciej PJeroen FRonny M NCharltonF'n SteveRobertThorstenEmilyJoe FAndrew WulrickJohn CJames HEric MLaravel MagazineEd GJackson W
Links from the show:Honeypot - YouTubeParallelize Your Code | php[architect]Apache KafkaWhat is Apache Kafka? | AWSGitHub - lando/lando: A development tool for all your projects that is fast, easy, powerful and liberatingdevilbox.orgWeb3 is going just greatMySQL :: MySQL 8.0 Reference Manual :: 22.214.171.124 Subqueries with EXISTS or NOT EXISTSPercona Monitoring and ManagementThis episode of PHPUgly was sponsored by:hookrelay (https://phpa.me/hookrelay) from our friends at Honeybadger.ioPHPUgly streams the recording of this podcast live. Typically every Thursday night around 9 PM PT. Come and join us, and subscribe to our Youtube Channel, Twitch, or Periscope. Also, be sure to check out our Patreon Page.Twitter Account https://twitter.com/phpuglyHost:Eric Van JohnsonJohn CongdonTom RideoutStreams:Youtube ChannelTwitchPeriscopePowered by RestreamPatreon PagePHPUgly Anthem by Harry Mack / Harry Mack Youtube ChannelThanks to all of our Patreon Sponsors:Honeybadger ** This weeks Sponsor **ButteryCrumpetShawnDavid QKen FTony LFrank WJeff KShelby CS FergusonBoštjan OMatt LDmitri GKnut E BMarcusMikePageDevRodrigo CBillyDarryl HBlaž OMike WHolly SPeter ABen RLuciano NElgimboWayneKevin YAlex BClayton SKenrick BR. C. S.ahinkleEnno RSeviMaciej PJeroen FRonny M NCharltonF'n SteveRobertThorstenEmilyJoe FAndrew WulrickJohn CJames HEric MLaravel MagazineEd G
Neal Amrhein is the founder and CEO and Matt Erickson is the CTO of My Goat. My Goat is a subscription mowing service for commercial properties. They use robotic mowers and elegant software tools to make turf care easy, convenient, and affordable. Follow Neal on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/neil-amrhein-9398969/). Follow Erik on LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/in/matt-erickson-153fish/). My Goat (https://mygoat.co/) Follow MyGoat on Twitter (https://twitter.com/MyGoatCo), Facebook (https://www.facebook.com/MyGoatCo), LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/my-goat-inc), YouTube (https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCjV3ITbDvfqhQGIImFL5T7g/featured), or Instagram (https://www.instagram.com/mygoatco/). Follow thoughtbot on Twitter (https://twitter.com/thoughtbot), or LinkedIn (https://www.linkedin.com/company/150727/). Become a Sponsor (https://thoughtbot.com/sponsorship) of Giant Robots! Transcript: CHAD: This is the Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots Podcast, where we explore the design, development, and business of great products. I'm your host, Chad Pytel. And with me today is a couple of people from a company with actual robots. It's Neal Amrhein, the founder and CEO, and Matt Erickson, the CTO of My Goat. Gentlemen, thanks for joining me. So tell me more about this idea that you are robot-agnostic? Are you helping people choose the solution that's right for them? Or do you have go-to vendors? NEIL: We do. So my philosophy, having spent a number of years in technology selling hardware and even software solutions, is that one thing that my experience has held is that hardware gets better, faster, and cheaper. And for us to invest in a hardware platform or have customers invest in a hardware platform, I liken it to my early adoption of high-definition televisions where in 2003, I was one of those guys that spent $2,400 on a 42-inch Sony Wega TV. And now you can get a 70-inch with a lot more technology and so forth for about $300 at Costco. So my feeling about hardware is it gets better, faster, cheaper. It's really the software that makes the difference in terms of how you leverage it. So we engage about 6 to 12 different hardware manufacturers that make autonomous robots from robots that are 27 to 35 pounds up to 1,200 pounds and all different variations in between. And then, we extract the communication tools so that we can help our users who are formerly the groundskeepers become technology groundskeepers. And they are now interfacing with the concept of autonomous robots that are mowing commercial properties 24/7, which we would actually call maintaining versus mowing. So we use nighttime, you know, day, night, rain or shine. So that's why we're robot-agnostic and welcome the latest and greatest designers and developers of hardware. We've got some folks that are just totally focused on designing, and developing, and building awesome autonomous robotic mowers with solar panels or great things that are going out there. And we're the software platform that brings it all together. CHAD: I totally get what you're saying about the progress of hardware and wanting to be in the business of creating value on top of that. How do you make sure that you don't take on the business risk of one of the manufacturers just providing the solution that you're providing? NEIL: Chad, we don't look at a business risk if there's a manufacturer that's going and selling autonomous robotic mowers. We welcome that, in fact, because that helps us with the adoption process. The idea of having, you know, Roomba is the de facto vacuum cleaner that goes randomly in your house. But there are half a dozen other hardware devices and opportunities, and they're all selling it. It's really how are you managing that Roomba? Which is also the subscription component of the Netflix part of our business, which is that Roomba may be a shark next year. It may be something else the following year. For our customers, we select the best hardware for their particular property, whether it's a golf course. They may have an autonomous robot that's manufactured by XYZ for the tee box and another one for the fairway, and another one for the greens. They just pay a monthly subscription for access to the software to manage those particular hardware pieces and optimize that hardware. And that's something that Matt will talk a little bit about. But we really have taken the approach that robots are just like cars. They'll sit in your garage 20 hours out of the week, but they're actually effectively useful 168 hours a week. So how do we maximize that and utilize the hardware itself? And that's what our software does. And of course, with that, we share that information with our customers and our users to continue to make it more efficient. CHAD: Thanks, Neil. Matt, what does the software stack actually look like that you're all putting together? MATT: So we got to talk about the technology so Laravel, PHP, MySQL. We host in DigitalOcean. And we have a WordPress front end, but the back end is all Laravel PHP. CHAD: And so it's in the cloud for all the customers? MATT: Yes. CHAD: And then how do you communicate with the fleet? MATT: So we connect through APIs. The hardware generally has an API that can give us status updates at various intervals. So we aggregate that information back. And then, we present a web-based solution dashboard that includes different views. We can get into the different users and how we've tried to meet their needs and drive workflow for them. But at a high level, we've got some graphical dashboards. And we also have some very tactical workflows for the guys. We call them shepherds taking care of our goats on the ground. CHAD: I know that you said it's autonomous, but how do you communicate with the robots when you need to? Is it radio frequency locally, or is it cell phones? MATT: So the robots actually come with…they have both GPS and cellular connectivity. So we have pretty good real-time connectivity with the robots. So we can remotely control them. We can park them, or we can send them back to their charging stations, different features like that. You can adjust cutting height, things like that, remotely. We also use just text messaging, SMS for communicating with shepherds. It's kind of real-time feedback. So yeah, let me dig in a little bit, the autonomous idea of the robot. Yeah, we want them to be autonomous. And we work with our shepherds, groundskeepers so that each of the goats works in a pen, an area defined by that in the ground kind of like an invisible fence dog wire type thing. But basically, we work with the shepherds, and we have this training certification process. But basically, they can get that pen to an area where really what we shoot for about 72 hours of the robot should be able to operate autonomously within that pen for about three and a half days. And then shepherds will be instructed to move that robot to another pen for about three and a half days. Usually, one robot is taking care of…it ends up being about two and a half days. And that's kind of the way the software solution is driving that efficiency of people time as well as robot time. The robots can mow 24/7. They take care of the grass. They maintain it, as Neil mentioned earlier. So it's not throw the robot out once a week kind of thing. You have to change your thinking. A lot of what we deal with when we go to a robot solution over that traditional status quo mowing we really have to help people through that thought process of this is not how it used to be. It works differently. But yep, that's kind of the solution. CHAD: I feel like I need to ask, even though it's going to be a little bit of a tangent. MATT: [laughs] CHAD: How did you arrive at the name of My Goat and take the leap on a quirky name like that? NEIL: Yeah, it's a great question. [laughs] First of all, I think that I first saw one of these robots through a YouTube video about three and a half or four years ago. And you may or may not know this, Chad, but there are about 3 million of these things that have been sold since 1995. So this is not bleeding edge technology in any way, shape, or form. When I saw it on a YouTube video, it just kind of hit me that wow, these things are out there doing their thing day or night, rain or shine. And interestingly enough, the market, I guess the landscape market, the residential side, was somewhere in the neighborhood of $65 to $80 billion that we were targeting and looking at. And as far as the goats, I had talked to some early folks who were marketing folks, and we just settled on Goat. And then we put my on the front end of it. And before we knew it, we had My Goat. And as we've evolved from just a cool robot-centric organization that's using software, we've evolved into an organization that's really teaching shepherds how to become interactive with the goats. And it's taken a life of its own. The blades are called teeth. CHAD: [laughs] NEIL: And those are some of our…of course, the goats need to be brushed. They don't get washed, or they don't get sprayed down with water, but they get brushed. And there's the whole the operating system is the heart and all kinds of stuff that's been going on. CHAD: Well, I feel like with a name like My Goat, if you're not going to commit and carry that branding through to everything, what's the point? [laughter] NEIL: Right. Yes, it has taken a life of its own. And it's interesting. I don't know that it's the most catchy name for a software technology company. But it's certainly gotten some folks' attention, and it's helped. Let's put it this way: our marketing team really enjoys everything about what they can do with it. CHAD: Well, and there's something to having a brand and carrying that through in the naming that causes ideas to resonate with people and makes them special. At the end of the day, you're mowing lawns. And so making it special and communicating that you have something special, I think, is something that people can do regardless of what their product is thinking of ways of doing that. NEIL: Yeah. And I would add that I think the only pushback we've received on the name is probably from some of our high-end golf course users and prospects who don't want to turn their golf course into a goat track, so to speak. CHAD: [laughs] NEIL: But that's probably the extent of it. But overall, it's been well received without a doubt. And as we're focused on the software component of interacting with autonomous robots, our software development mentality and our vision is that it may be the same thing applied to 500 Roombas inside of a million square feet at a fulfillment center for Under Armour. And instead of having 50 people cleaning the floors, you may have five people managing 500. And how do they do that effectively and efficiently? So there's really a business-focused component of the vision that I've had for the business. And that's helped me, along with many others, to get us to where we are. MATT: I'm just going to jump in. You're right; the name sticks and people really adopt to the shepherd mentality. We get a lot of requests for shepherd crooks. [laughs] They all want a shepherd staff. CHAD: So along those lines, when people are considering working with you, what are some of the questions or concerns that they have about a solution? NEIL: Sure. So it's disruptive, Chad. I think I could probably start by saying the traditional way of maintaining or mowing commercial properties is that you have a big guy and a big machine, and how fast does it go? How much noise does it make? How many grass clippings get blown all over the place? You get in, and you get out. And then you start over. So in the state of Tennessee, where we are here, it's about 34 to 36 weeks of mowing a year. In Michigan, it's 17 to 22 weeks, depending on where you are. In South Florida, believe it or not, I know there are only 52 weeks, but they're mowing 56 to 58 times a year. So it's the frequency of going and mowing and blowing, right? CHAD: Mm-hmm. NEIL: We're changing that by saying, why be worried about the weather? Why would you be worried about darkness? Why would you be worried about noise regulations when you can have the grass maintained all the time? So that mentality of maintaining essentially two football fields a week up to three football fields a week with less than 35 minutes of labor. There is nothing in comparison. There's nothing you can compare with the traditional what we call the status quo to make that happen. So the labor efficiency and improvement in labor productivity is just the tip of the iceberg in terms of the cost savings and the financial payback. So because we are so disruptive, a lot of what we do, and a lot of the time we spend, and one of our core values is being educators. So back to your question about manufacturers selling their own proprietary hardware; absolutely, the more the merrier. We welcome. To me, the sign of success and progress is not the small city block that has one gas station but has four gas stations on the corner. It just now means there are cars that are driving around. And so, I embrace that level of competition. I believe iron sharpens iron. And folks who are traditionally in the landscape space who have made trimmers and blowers and chainsaws are now finding a little bit of competition with folks who are now solely focused on making unbelievably efficient autonomous robotic mowers, or cleaners, or robots in general, which is, again, we're not crashing giant robots although that's the name of your podcast. [laughter] We're not trying to crash them or break them. But it is certainly the foundation for where we are. MATT: Hey, Neil, you've got a good analogy. I think analogies help explain concepts. So you want to run through your airport analogy with the runways and the different airlines? NEIL: Yeah, I could share that with you. Thanks for reminding me. So my philosophy about…we sell subscriptions that are based upon a geography, Chad. CHAD: Size of geography, you mean? NEIL: Yeah, the size of the geography. So it's about a football field, give or take. Based upon some limitations with technology, we put invisible dog fences in the ground, and we charge our users, our subscribers by the particular pen or the number of pens, and then there's a ratio. So much like in an airport, we're not selling flights; we're selling runways. And those runways are accessible by all kinds of…you may have 30 terminals at the gates, and you may have five different airlines. And each of those airlines has a different brand and name, but they're using multiple hardware components. Those jets are maybe McDonnell Douglas, or maybe they're a Boeing or whatever it may be. All of that is fine by us. What we do is we have the software that runs the gates, the terminals. So you have Southwest in terminal two and Delta in terminal 32. And they're using our software to figure out how to get the baggage on the planes and get those planes off the ground so they can make money for their businesses. So we look at it that way. And that's kind of where our IP rests is in that spot in that place. And, again, there'll be other airlines, whether it's Allegiant or whomever buying more Boeing planes. But ultimately, they'll all need a runway, and the software that manages the process and the workflow is what we're focused on. CHAD: So, is the total cost of ownership of autonomous solution typically lower than what they are doing today? NEIL: It is, specifically, the labor improvement is generally about 3x in terms of improving the efficiency of the labor. So if you talk about an average groundskeeper who may be responsible for mowing, if it's a perfect day outside mowing nine acres a day and they are out there five days a week, they may have efficiencies of maybe up to 40 or 45 acres a week. With our solution, that is increased to about 135 to 145 acres a week where they can maintain about 70 mowers, 70 autonomous robotic mowers, or 70 goats as we call them. They'll herd 70 goats with the same full-time employee. So that's one aspect. With that, the immediate reaction is, well, you're eliminating jobs. We're actually redeploying jobs. I'm a builder. I'm a job creator. I've had 4,800 folks work for me in my home care business over the last 12 years. And so, I'm a big believer in improving and deploying folks in areas that we don't have robots. So, for example, there's no robot right now that's pruning trees or making up a sand trap, robots that are planting flowers or putting mulch in a flower bed. So those kinds of jobs are still out there. We're just making the traditional idea of throwing somebody on a mower in the middle of a cemetery or golf course or open space and having them manage that through our software platform sitting in their F150 pushing start and stop or pause and doing other things. CHAD: Instead of riding on the mower. NEIL: You got it. MATT: A lot of our potential customers come to us because (we kind of touched on that) there's a labor shortage. It's hard for folks to find people that want to ride zero-turns. So to Neil's point, we're not about deploying robots, kind of one for one replacing jobs. It's basically we're taking the labor force that we can get, that we have, and we're retraining them to be more efficient through these robots. Pretty age-old story when you're talking about industrialization. But the idea is we haven't displaced workers. They're not hiring fewer people. They're taking everybody they can get. And they're doing all of that value add. The groundskeepers now have time to go out and do the mulching and the landscaping, trimming, improving the property. A lot of these groundskeepers have a lot of pride in their property. And they would rather be doing the items that to them are a value add and beautification projects rather than just riding a Back 40 or a zero-turn. We had one shepherd say, hey, it's really helped his back. Riding a lawnmower is kind of rough. And walking around every now and then helping out a robot is a whole lot easier of a physical life for you. Mid-roll Ad I wanted to tell you all about something I've been working on quietly for the past year or so, and that's AgencyU. AgencyU is a membership-based program where I work one-on-one with a small group of agency founders and leaders toward their business goals. We do one-on-one coaching sessions and also monthly group meetings. We start with goal setting, advice, and problem-solving based on my experiences over the last 18 years of running thoughtbot. As we progress as a group, we all get to know each other more. And many of the AgencyU members are now working on client projects together and even referring work to each other. Whether you're struggling to grow an agency, taking it to the next level and having growing pains, or a solo founder who just needs someone to talk to, in my 18 years of leading and growing thoughtbot, I've seen and learned from a lot of different situations, and I'd be happy to work with you. Learn more and sign up today at thoughtbot.com/agencyu. That's A-G-E-N-C-Y, the letter U. CHAD: So I saw on the website because of the kind of solution and the scale that it's at, it seems like you have a few different key customer bases. You want to talk about that and whether you knew that going in, or did you find them along the way? NEIL: Yeah, that's a great question. So we came out of the gate initially with early investors. We were focused on what we considered was the low-hanging fruit in the residential space. So we had designed and developed the operational and financial template to actually have shepherds who were employees of My Goat. And we would have the Goats sold in a subscription model to residential customers. And then we'd have the goat stay on a property and then get moved, et cetera. But we learned very quickly that business to consumer and residential customers it's not that impossible; it just was not as low-hanging fruit as we had thought initially because folks leave rakes in the yard. And anytime a goat comes upon a rake, it's going to get trapped, and therefore it needs to be rescued. And you have to send a shepherd out, et cetera. Or somebody decides to put a new vegetable garden, and they break the wire that's in the ground. They're just a bunch of…, or there's a dog chasing the robot or a little kid out there, or somebody stops it. So those required a lot of…it didn't make the robot autonomous. So we pivoted in late 2019, early 2020 into the commercial space. We expired all of our subscriptions to residential customers and went completely into the commercial space. And we had had some success with some golf courses and some cemeteries. And we've gained a lot more momentum now with cities and counties, regional airports. But large open areas that are a minimum of five acres, typically we would run a pilot or a preview with at least 12 to 14 acres. But the biggest restriction, of course, when you get into those large open areas is electricity because they've been traditionally maintained or mowed by gas-powered machines. So back to your other question about where the savings is and the payback period, and how we have an immediate impact. There's an operational savings that is pretty quick in terms of the return because we flatten out a lot of the ups and downs that a traditional landscaper has. So let's take a golf course, for example. The average golf course spends about $80,000 per hole per year and depending on the course, 45% to 60% of that is spent on mowing, mowing machines, and people involved. And we're able to take that, and they're hiring temporary people in March here in the south, and they have them here until October. So they're having to go through that cycle every single year. So if they can flatten that operational expense out by redesigning the golf course and having…and maybe it's not 100%. Much like a Roomba, you still have to get the corners and the edges, maybe with a broom if it doesn't get into every nook and cranny. So it's not a 100% solution. It's not for every application. But as we moved into the commercial space, we found a greater payback period not only on the cost of the gasoline is...you know, take a zero-turn mower. And again, I say that's probably our greatest competitor is institutionalized thinking to say, this year we're going to buy a big green, big red, or big orange machine for $16,000 or $18,000, Kubota, Toro, or John Deere. And we're going to do the same thing we did last year. We're going to find a guy who can operate it. We're going to put gas in it, and we're going to run it around. Well, you put hours in those things, and they're very costly to maintain if you hit a root. So you've got to make sure that you can't run a 1,800-pound mower when it's been raining for three days. So what do you do with a fairway when it's soggy or any other commercial area that could be…or a hill that could be dangerous. So we've found a lot of application and then, of course, the environmental part of it, Chad. So the average zero-turn emits the equivalent of a carbon footprint every hour it's running about 300 miles of a Toyota Camry running. So they haven't become more efficient. And then you've got noise regulations and so forth in a lot of communities. And even in California, they're moving in the direction of I think it's 2024 where gas-powered and oil-powered landscaping blowers and tremors, et cetera, are not going to be allowed, or you'll be fined for using them. So that's the third component of where My Goat has seen some opportunities in the commercial space. CHAD: You mentioned that they can run at night. So they must be quiet. They must be. NEIL: Yes, they are. And it's not the traditional…you're not making as much of a mess. Some of our cemetery customers have mentioned that the fact that their trimming has been reduced by up to 50% because they're going up and over markers because they only weigh 27 pounds. They're mostly plastic and rubber. They're not doing any damage to vases. So they're having a cost reduction in that regard but also with the uprights. Folks have their family members in a particular private estate area where they may have an upright, and if you have a zero-turn mower out there throwing and splashing grass clippings, you're likely having to go out there again with more labor and take a blower and clean up the mess that the mower made. So these little small operational components along with the experience. Again, back to the cemetery, you're asking about why we're there. We know that industry very well. And we know that the experience that loved ones want to have when they're out there celebrating life and grieving across a 40 or 50-acre property. They don't want to hear a zero-turn. So you're turning those things off three or four times a day for those services, and you're having that individual parked a quarter-mile away. No longer is that an operational challenge or a concern because all of these robots are being controlled, start, stopped, and programmed through our software. CHAD: That's really cool. So you mentioned investors and the early pivot away from residential to commercial. What does your funding story look like? And what phase did you get to when you took on investment? And let's start there. How did you find your initial investors? And what phase were you at when you did that? NEIL: Yeah, that's a great question. So we went through the traditional friends and family and moved into an angel round, but really I started my first company…bootstrapped it. And so, I wasn't really proficient in raising money in the traditional sense. I had an idea, put a business plan together. And I talked to a couple of folks and just told the story. To be honest with you, Chad, I wasn't really asking for money. I was more or less asking for advice. And then a number of folks were like, "Are you taking money? I'd like to take an equity position." And so, we structured the business and the shares on a pre-revenue valuation. And then, within 14 months, we were able to double that valuation. And we're now opening a new round here and a Series A with a valuation that's nearly five times our initial valuation. So we're making a lot of progress because we have, again, it's an annual recurring revenue stream. It's a subscription model. And what we did with our investors in the early rounds is many of them came on, and they just wanted to be silent. They were not interested in having an opinion. They wanted me and my team to run it. So that's been very helpful. So that's where we are in 2022. We'll be opening and closing a Series A. And I certainly can get more specific with others about that if your listeners or audience are interested. CHAD: So when you think about a Series A, what will you be using that for? What are your next scaling goals? NEIL: My commitment to my investors in the previous two rounds has been to sales and technology, so sales, business development, and technology enhancement to the software, so hiring more developers, scaling that team. Matt's leading the vision, and we've got a number of other folks who are involved in the user experience. But again, because we're a software company, it starts with a demonstration that's usually 15 or 20 minutes that can be scheduled through our website at mygoat.co. And it goes from there. On the sales side and business development is telling the story. In those verticals, we're interested in building out potentially even reseller markets with other industries that are aligned with us. We've had some very high-level conversations with folks that sell electricity for a living. The Tennessee Valley Authority we became an early preferred partner with them and because they have carbon credit that they can offer and sell to their customers, their local power companies. And they're in the business of selling power. And we're in the business of providing subscriptions that require power. CHAD: What are some barriers to continuing to scale? Do you have geographic barriers? NEIL: I have self-imposed geographic barriers, [laughter] So it's a Neil Amrhein barrier. But overall, our barriers, our challenges really are; I've never heard of these things before. Do they actually mow? So we get through those conversations fairly quickly. But depending on who we're talking to, it also becomes a fear. People fear change and especially things that are disruptive. So our barriers, once we get through the fear, is we don't have any electricity here on this golf course, or this city park, or this regional airport that there is unlimited electricity. So we can pull whatever electricity is necessary there. So it is really the barriers of education, just like anything that's truly disruptive in an industry that's been doing the same thing for 45 or 50 years. CHAD: So you already talked about how you view potential competition from manufacturers, but how do you view competition in general? Is there other competition out there? NEIL: The biggest competition we have is institutionalized thinking, which is doing the same thing we did last year. So that's a battle that we have every day. I like competition because I think it makes the end product, and the customer is the one who benefits the most from having lots of people in the market no matter what their angle is. We like our position because, again, we're not the hardware manufacturer. We're able to work with others. We're the financial advisor that gets to work with the insurance guy and everybody else, where all your money is with your college buddy who's managing it, et cetera. We're agnostic. We're putting it all together. So it benefits everybody. And those who make and manufacture these robots get the benefit as well because it's part of the subscription process as far as that's concerned. But the more, the merrier. A lot of people come to me and say, "Well, I saw an autonomous robotic mower out on this lawn or in the neighborhood here." And that's good for us. CHAD: Matt, I assume that being robot-agnostic means that you need to integrate with the different systems. Does that have challenges? MATT: You know, not really. Robots are, as far as the autonomous robotic lawn mowers, they're pretty much telling us the same thing. There are status updates; there are battery updates; there are GPS coordinates. It does tend to be a pretty common data set that we're seeing. So it's been a lot easier than I thought. When you think about…data integrations are always the top challenge you have. It's worked out a lot better than we thought initially. CHAD: Well, that's great. Has there been anything surprising the other way which was something you thought was going to be easy turned out to be a lot harder? MATT: Yeah. We've had a manufacturer that actually had a tiered concept in their data availability. They weren't giving us all of the data that they had. They were saving it because they were running their own kind of hey, you can use home automation techniques to integrate with your residential autonomous robotic lawnmower. Hey, if it's raining at your house, we could park your robot. So they were kind of hiding some of the API from us. We were able to work through that. But I think that goes to one of your questions about concern around competition from the manufacturers. They're really not looking at this from that niche that we're hitting, that commercial perspective. Maintaining one Roomba in your house is the analogy I use. You kind of know where he gets stuck, and you go find him. And that's okay. You don't need a lot of software for that. But that analogy Neil mentioned, if you have 500 of these guys running around a warehouse, or for us, we have property with 50 robots on. How do you know which one right now -- CHAD: And the space that that takes up. MATT: Right. Right. CHAD: You can't see them all necessarily even. MATT: [laughs] Exactly. You can't. You can't just walk around and see everyone and visually check. You need that software to be efficient to know; oh, there are three things I need to do today with the robots. Let me plan that out, and let me take care of it. So I think, like Neil said, the manufacturers out there they're making lawn equipment. They're making lots of different hardware. And to them, fleet management is really where is my hardware right now? [laughs] That's the extent of it. And they can't think about a property that needs maybe two or three different manufacturers of hardware because properties are not one homogeneous set of type of grass. There are always different needs, different features on that property. So there's always that idea that we're going to need a couple of different manufacturers, maybe. So, yeah, it's really interesting. For me, I think it's we're really hitting a home run in an area that there really aren't any other competitors exactly in our niche. And if there are, I think the industry for us what we do is at a place where we need more adoption out there in the world. [crosstalk 34:03] CHAD: Do you ever hear from early adopters? People who say they've either already bought autonomous mowers and they're struggling to manage them, or they really want to, and they're coming to you to do it? NEIL: That's a great point. I have a couple of thoughts here because you guys are going in a lot of different directions here. MATT: [laughs] NEIL: Chad, the short answer is when people buy anything early on, they're going to have the proverbial challenges of who supports it when it breaks? Who do I call? What happens next? It just goes on and on and on, whether it's a hardware platform, and that's mostly the case, or it's something else. It's what does that support look like? So the early adopters when we talk about their experiences, and this is one of the things I would say is probably our biggest challenge is that we have created a learning management software platform, a video library of how do you work with robots? We know that they're going to get trapped. There is no doubt that a 27-pound autonomous goat if there is a lightning strike like there was here in Nashville last night, they're going to be tree limbs that are down. And there'll be goats that are trapped. And it's going to take a human being, a shepherd, to be notified via SMS alert to proactively go to that spot on that property across 50 or 100 acres and rescue that goat. And it's just a matter of these kinds of things happen environmentally. So we talk about, when we talk to customers, about their utilization of the goat. And we talk about optimizing their property. It's not really that the goat doesn't graze or the robot doesn't work. It's what are the restrictions and the environmental challenges that are in front of it? If there are erosion issues around a marker or in a large open field, and if it's a really well-groomed practice field or intramural field, it's likely going to be aerated. It's going to be very flat, et cetera. But most commercial properties are not that way. So the goats actually have a tendency to go out, and they're going to find all those environmental challenges. And it requires a human being to go out there and fix them. Because if the environmental challenge is that there's a hole and on a horse farm, it's going to be there until somebody throws some dirt in it. It's just the reality. And that goat is going to find that environmental challenge every single time. So there is a learning curve that goes with it. There's a level of patience. And I think you mentioned what's our challenge? Our challenge is letting folks know that it's an evolution, not a revolution, as far as what your property is going to look like. I spent a number of years at the Ritz Carlton Hotel Company, and we talk about property health as is it a two-star property, a three-star property, four-star property, five-star property? We recognize that a lot of commercial properties are going to just be a two-star. But potentially, they could be a three-star property. Or if it's a cemetery and you've got a goat that's maybe found environmental challenges on a cemetery, it also becomes a liability or risk for family members who go visit their loved ones. So now we're using the robot proactively to improve the status of the property as opposed to saying, well, it just gets trapped every time it finds a hole or every time there's a situation that goes on. So it does require an active level of engagement and maintenance. And the philosophy has to be changed so that groundskeepers are now checking their phones or being alerted at 7:15 in the morning. And they may go rescue Billy, the goat, because a lot of folks name their robots. [laughter] They're going out there, and they're in pen 34,27, 31. And then at lunchtime, they may have another two or three of the same goats that were trapped, need to be rescued, and then again at 4:00 o'clock in the afternoon. So it's a maintenance mentality as opposed to a mow and go mentality. So that is philosophically a big change in terms of their mindset. CHAD: So what's next for My Goat then? You mentioned the Series A. Is there anything in particular on your radar that you're either worried about or are looking forward to? NEIL: Looking forward to more folks like your audience and listeners hearing our story. I'm in the business of telling our story. And I welcome, again, the competition because that means there's validation for what's going on. I don't think we're going to stuff this genie back in the bottle, so to speak. It's going to be hard for me to believe that five, six years from now, folks are going to be out there firing up a push mower that they just bought at Lowe's when they can buy something at Lowe's that's $250 for a residential robot that they get to use. Same thing on the commercial space. I don't know what it ultimately looks like from a vision perspective. But I think our challenge is continuing the messaging, the adoption, enhancing the payback period. It is really just like any good technology, artificial intelligence, robotics, et cetera. I mean, that combination. I hold the position, Chad, that I don't really think any technology is being developed or new per se since the invention of the internet. It's the application of the technology. It's what are people doing that they weren't doing before? We have the communication tools with 5G or what have you that we didn't have five or six years ago that we can now ping our goats every 15 minutes and find out what their status is. And then we can report that back to the user and say, "Hey, your optimization or utilization on your hardware and your subscription is X, Y, and Z. And your return on investment is six months to 16 months." That's where I think it elevates the conversation of efficiency and changes the game. So our next steps are continuing to get the message out, embrace not only users but industries we haven't thought about. I mentioned horse farms that just came on my radar screen not too long ago. We've had some success with cities and counties. You can imagine…everything one of our core values is green is good, and time is a number. So you just drive down the interstate, and you can see so much green everywhere as far as opportunities ahead. And there's plenty of room for lots of people to play in this space. We welcome more and more of probably the designers and developers that you got on this podcast to come up with the latest and greatest hardware and make those APIs available for Matt and his team to integrate and continue to grow. CHAD: That's great. If folks want to reach out to you to either learn more or see if you can work together, where are the best places for them to do that? NEIL: Sure. Let me first direct them to www.mygoat.co. And there are a series of areas there where it's either click on a demo now or information. Our phone number is listed there as well. I'll also give you my email address, which is Neil, N-E-I-L email@example.com, so firstname.lastname@example.org. And Matt's is just email@example.com as well. And those are probably the fastest way to connect with us. And if they put in a quick subject line your name and your podcast, it'll bubble everybody to the top a little faster. CHAD: Wonderful. Thank you both for joining me. I really appreciate it. MATT: Absolutely. Thank you, Chad. NEIL: Thank you for having us. CHAD: And I wish you all the best. You can subscribe to the show and find notes for this episode at giantrobots.fm. If you have questions or comments, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can find me on Twitter @cpytel. This podcast is brought to you by thoughtbot and produced and edited by Mandy Moore. Thanks for listening and see you next time. Announcer: This podcast was brought to you by thoughtbot. thoughtbot is your expert design and development partner. Let's make your product and team a success. Special Guests: Matthew Erickson and Neal Amrhein.