Startup CTOs Shouldn't Do Ops

We’ve worked with a lot of startups and see the the same anti-pattern over and over again: the technical co-founder or CTO is the “server person”.

Whenever an application breaks or needs to be deployed, a database needs to be configured, or it’s time to move clouds, it’s the CTO’s job.

The problem is that the CTO, the most valuable person on the engineering team, is spending their time wrangling servers and clouds instead of managing their team, building new features, fixing bugs, and hiring engineers.

This seems to happen because they’re the person who has worked on the project the longest, knows the most, or was the one who originally set things up.

We built Flynn to change all that. Flynn simplifies ops by giving developers self-serve access to infrastructure so they can deploy whatever they need to whenever it’s ready. Flynn even runs databases for you.

Many Flynn users find they don’t need a full in-house ops team once they adopt Flynn but they still need ops help. We take over ops for those companies, acting as their 24/7/365 devops team. So we created Managed Flynn, which we also call “Ops as a Service”.

We join their entire engineering team in a private Slack channel 24/7 to instantly answer any questions or troubleshoot any problems that arise, whether they’re related to Flynn or not.

We help them with application architecture, debugging, performance and database tuning, and run of the mill questions that developers have. The result is that the CTO is free to focus on building their product and team and we handle all the day-to-day operations.

It also means the CTO can go on vacation without being “on call” in case something breaks.

Flynn can run almost anywhere including all the major clouds and bare metal. We’ve had a lot of luck helping our customers find free cloud credit and seamlessly changing providers when it runs out. We’ve also had a lot of success lowering cloud costs by switching to bare metal cloud providers like Packet.

We’re expanding our Ops-as-a-Service product to serve more customers. If you’re an overworked co-founder or CTO and want to free yourself or your developers from doing ops, let us know.


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