2018 was Awesome. 2019 Will Be Even Better!
With a new year, it’s always important to take the time to reflect but also look forward to a new year.
2018 marked the first full calendar year for CloudForecast as a company, and we couldn’t be more grateful for the experience so far. There were a lot of ups and downs for us, but we survived 2018. What drives us everyday are our customers, and making sure we are hustling for them. What started as a bootstrapped side hustle, CloudForecast has grown into a valuable tool to help teams monitor their AWS cost. We wrote the following in our January 2018 post: “Benefit from what we learned spending 2 million annually on AWS.”.
The idea of CloudForecast came from Kacy and Francois’ extensive experience managing AWS cost at scale during our time at Perfect Audience (YC S11). The question that kept coming up in their heads was, “Why isn’t there an affordable cloud cost monitoring tool for the rest of us?”. We’re confident that CloudForecast can fill this niche and be an indispensable tool for companies using AWS that need a second eye on their cost.
Our first design attempt of the daily cost report - March 2017
A few accomplishments in 2018:
- Features built:** *Custom report tool, support for sub-accounts and tags, revamped our user interface, CloudOutage (free real-time Amazon Web Service & Google Cloud Platform service alerts in Slack)*, and made a fun little AWS logo quiz for Re:invent.(Link)
- Launched officially on HackerNews in July 2018 (Link)
- Featured on HackerNoon: (Link)(Thanks *Dru for the write up!)*
- Hustled and built a strong customer base who has given us very solid product feedback and ways we can improve.
- Completed YCombinator’s 10 week Startup School program
- Applied and interviewed for YC W19. We got rejected, but we got very tangible and positive feedback — We’ll write more about our experience soon!
So with all that said, 2018 was a pretty complete year for us even though we worked on this part-time! To end our year, we sent out an end of a year survey to all our customers to gauge their satisfaction of the product. We got great product feedback on how to improve and affirmation from all our customers:
Enabled both our Ops and Billing teams to be informed daily of our activities in AWS. This has created a better communication and predictability of our largest monthly cost.
The email makes it easy to spot anomalies, particularly in dev/test accounts where someone might spin up something like an aurora cluster and forget to turn it back off.
Helped us become aware and triage unnecessary expenses.
By helping us keep an eye on our spend in an easy method with the growth rate change over time. Makes it very clear.
Extremely helpful to keep tabs on our spending…I like the cloud vs sun in the email to quickly know if things are ok. The monthly estimate is great.
You guys are doing an awesome job, can’t wait to see what 2019 brings!
Great work on this. I find value here, and look forward to next year!
We definitely feel the love! However, this does not mean that we are content with our progress. If anything, it has lit a fire and gave us more motivation to do even more for our customers. To help accelerate our growth and build even more value for our customers in 2019 with more features, we are diving into this full-time! This was not an easy decision for us to make. We spent the last two months planning how this might look for us personally and how it might look for the company. Ultimately, we all came to the same conclusion that the timing was right.
Here are a few things you can expect from us in the coming months:
- **More features! **We have some great features lined up in the short term to make CloudForecast more robust and helpful. We plan on integrating with popular services such as Slack and build more features around bringing more detailed visibility to your daily email reports.
- Customers First: Need help with something? Have feedback? We’re even more available now to help you our customers out. We’ll aim to cut down our support response time even further.
- *More content: **More helpful content related to startup life, technical pieces, and CloudForecast updates. *If you are interested in partnering up with us on content, let us know!
We’re excited about 2019 and the journey we are about to take going full-time. There are tons of unknowns with running a startup, but you can expect us to hustle, and provide even more value to all our current and prospective customers.
If you have any questions, feedback or would love to learn more, feel free to reach out to us: firstname.lastname@example.org. We would love to hear from you!
Special thanks to a few people who have helped us in 2018: *Brad Flora, Jordan Buller, and Corey Quinn. Thank you for believing in us. It’s only the beginning but we’re thankful for all your advice and encouragement.*