Tesla and Adobe: Why Continuous Deployment May Mean Continuous Customer Disappointment

Steve Blank

In the last few years Agile and “Continuous Deployment” has replaced Waterfall and transformed how companies big and small build products. But businesses are finding that Continuous Deployment not only changes engineering but has ripple effects on the rest of its business model.

Why Continuous Deployment?

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, June 15, 2009 Why Continuous Deployment? Of all the tactics I have advocated as part of the lean startup , none has provoked as many extreme reactions as continuous deployment , a process that allows companies to release software in minutes instead of days, weeks, or months. My previous startup, IMVU , has used this process to deploy new code as often as an average of fifty times a day.

Trending Sources

Continuous deployment for mission-critical applications

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, December 28, 2009 Continuous deployment for mission-critical applications Having evangelized the concept of continuous deployment for the past few years, Ive come into contact with almost every conceivable question, objection, or concern that people have about it. Or, phrased more hopefully, "I see how you can use continuous deployment to run an online consumer service, but how can it be used for B2B software?"

Case Study: Continuous deployment makes releases non-events

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, January 18, 2010 Case Study: Continuous deployment makes releases non-events The following is a case study of one entrepreneurs transition from a traditional development cycle to continuous deployment.

Tesla and Adobe: Why Continuous Deployment May Disappoint Customers

Inc Startups

How agile deployment of products can affect a company''s business model in unintended ways For the last 75 years, products (both durable goods and software) were built via waterfall development. In a startup this enables deployment of Minimum Viable Products at a rapid pace.

Atomic deploys at Etsy

Code as Craft

A key part of Continuous Integration is being able to deploy quickly, safely and with minimal impact to production traffic. Sites use various deploy automation tools like Capistrano, Fabric and a large number of homegrown rsync-based ones. Do you clear your caches, graceful your web server, prime your caches, or even stagger your deploys to groups of servers at a time and remove them from your load balancer while they are being updated?

Scaling CI at Etsy: Divide and Concur, Revisited

Code as Craft

The numerous jobs on our dashboard were great for pinpointing where the failures were, but it was difficult to determine at which stage of the deploy pipeline the failures existed. We needed some way to communicate the test status at each stage of the deployment pipeline.

Tracking Every Release

Code as Craft

Change to application code (deploys) are opportunities for failure. To track time-based events, the value sent for the metric can simply be “1″ Erik Kastner added this right into our code deployment tool so that every single deploy is automatically tracked. We can mix our code deployments right into the graph of PHP warnings we saw above. Combined with engineers pairing up for code reviews, we catch most issues before they get deployed.

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Continuous deployment with downloads

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, February 16, 2009 Continuous deployment with downloads One of my goals in writing posts about topics like continuous deployment is the hope that people will take those ideas and apply them to new situations - and then share what they learn with the rest of us. So I was excited to read a recent post about applying the concept of continuous deployment to that thickest-of-all-clients, the MMOG.

From Alpha to Beta: Continuous Deployment at Threadflip

Launching Tech Ventures

by Samantha Lynch & Elizabeth Trongone Having prior product management experience in companies like Birchbox, Warby Parker and Group Commerce, we sought to continue to hone our product management skills through the lens of Launching Technology Ventures. Working with Engineers Threadflip’s continuous tech deployment and iteration allowed us to see our recommendations implemented through the course of the project and to gather feedback in real time.

Continuous Feedback

A VC : Venture Capital and Technology

They use this information as part of their continuous feedback loop to improve their management of the business and in turn improve the business. Companies are using simple web tools to get continuous feedback on their performance. Doing this kind of thing continuously matches the frequency of the feedback loop with the frequency of the business. Continuous feedback leverages many of the same principals and has many of the same advantages.

The Phoenix Project


But even if you are agile, lean, and practice continuous deployment, it’s still a good read as it provides reminders of what the world used to be like and what the manufacturing-rooted theories are behind these “new” techniques in software development.

Etsy at Lisa Conference

Code as Craft

7th about the operational impact of continuous deployment. 8th about the tools and culture around our deployment process. events boston conferences continuous deployment deployinator lisaA few of us at Etsy will be speaking at the Lisa Conference next week which runs from December 4–9, in Boston, MA. Avleen Vig is speaking on Dec. Erik Kastner and John Goulah will be talking on Dec. Check here for a full schedule of technical sessions.

The Best Approach To A Board Package

Feld Thoughts

I’ve been describing this as a part of a “continuous board engagement” – similar to “continuous deployment and continuous innovation” in Eric Ries’ The Lean Startup: How Today’s Entrepreneurs Use Continuous Innovation to Create Radically Successful Businesses. I joined my first board of a company other than mine in 1994 (NetGenesis).

Optimizing for developer happiness

Code as Craft

In the talk, I go into the philosophical reasons why continuous deployment makes engineers happy, how radically decentralizing authority and thinking of your team as a community optimize for happiness, and the how our approach to tooling makes everything work. A few weeks ago, I gave a talk at Railsconf in Baltimore about how we optimize for developer happiness at Etsy.

Hands-on Lessons for Advanced Topics in Entrepreneurship

Startup Lessons Learned

We wanted to give you a rundown of what’s in store, along with particular insight into two of the workshops we’re most excited to have lined up for Gold and VIP attendee s—one session with Jez Humble on implementing continuous delivery and one with Alistair Croll on Lean analytics for corporate entrepreneurs. To demonstrate the kind of thing we have in mind, we spoke to Jez Humble, who will lead a workshop, Continuous Delivery: Deploy Safer, Learn Faster.

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Four myths about the Lean Startup

Startup Lessons Learned

And they can benefit from the speed and discipline of starting with a minimum viable product and then learning and iterating continuously. Many lean startups are ambitious and are able to deploy large amounts of capital. Case Study: Continuous deployment makes releases n.

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Lessons Learned: Five Whys

Startup Lessons Learned

By continuously adjusting, we eventually build up a robust series of defenses that prevent problems from happening. We had made so many improvements to our tools and processes for deployment, that it was pretty hard to take the site down. 100% of those tests ran, via a continuous integration cluster, after every checkin. When a test failed, it would prevent that revision from being deployed. This would deploy the change incrementally, one machine at a time.

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Fear is the mind-killer

Startup Lessons Learned

I spent some time with his company before the conference and discussed ways to get started with continuous deployment , including my experience introducing it at IMVU. He summarized that conversation well, so rather than re-tread that material, Ill quote it here: One thing that I was surprised to learn was that IMVU started out with continuous deployment. Understanding these three factors makes it clear as to why continuous deployment was a starting point for IMVU.

Lessons Learned: Work in small batches

Startup Lessons Learned

Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Friday, February 20, 2009 Work in small batches Software should be designed, written, and deployed in small batches. Its had tremendous impact in many areas: continuous deployment , just-in-time scalability , and even search engine marketing , to name a few. In my experience, a few hours of coding is enough to produce a viable batch and is worth checking in and deploying. This is easiest to see in deployment.

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Announcing our investment in Dataloop

The Equity Kicker

The underlying drivers are the continuing shift into the cloud, the growing complexity of online services, and the trend towards continuous deployment – all trends with legs. I’m very pleased to let you all know that we have invested in Dataloop.io.

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How To Successfully Deploy Your Web or Mobile API to Heroku

Launch Any

I have deployed a wide variety of APIs, from internal to APIs for public or partner consumption. Many of them have been deployed to Heroku. However, many have not experienced Heroku before or have not considered it for an API deployment solution.

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The Awesomeness of a Hackathon

Feld Thoughts

I’ve become a big advocate of true Agile development (partly because of my experience with Rally Software – the leader in Agile software development environments) and – more recently – the notion of trying to get to continuous deployment which has been popularized by Eric Ries. Over the years, a number of companies I’ve been an investor in have had hackathons. These are typically day long events where everyone in the company works on whatever cool new ideas they have.

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Moving Fast at Scale: the slides, and a reprise in NYC

Code as Craft

Continuous Deployment: The Why and the How (Kellan Elliott-McCrea, VP of Engineering). We had SO MUCH FUN doing the “Moving Fast at Scale&# microconference in Austin for SXSW. We got some really awesome feedback on the talks.

Chad 15

Minimum Viable Product: a guide

Startup Lessons Learned

Case Study: Continuous deployment makes releases n. Towards a new entrepreneurship ▼ 2009 (88) ► December (4) Continuous deployment for mission-critical applica. Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, August 3, 2009 Minimum Viable Product: a guide One of the most important lean startup techniques is called the minimum viable product. Its power is matched only by the amount of confusion that it causes, because its actually quite hard to do.

Top 120 Startup Posts for 2010


Some really great stuff in 2010 that aims to help startups around product, technology, business models, etc.

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Product Discovery in Established Companies


So to me it is a non-negotiable that we simply must continue to move our products forward, and deliver increased value to our customers. This is why we use Gentle Deployment Techniques including assessing customer impact. Even though this may seem counter-intuitive, continuous deployment is actually a very powerful gentle deployment technique and, when used properly along with customer impact assessment, it is a powerful tool for good.

NDA 30

The Lean Entrepreneur is here

Startup Lessons Learned

Struggling to explain the successes and failures of those companies, I discussed principles like continuous deployment, customer development, and a hyper-accelerated form of agile.

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Lessons Learned: The lean startup

Startup Lessons Learned

Case Study: Continuous deployment makes releases n. Towards a new entrepreneurship ► 2009 (88) ► December (4) Continuous deployment for mission-critical applica. Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, September 8, 2008 The lean startup Ive been thinking for some time about a term that could encapsulate trends that are changing the startup landscape. After some trial and error, Ive settled on the Lean Startup.

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A new field guide for entrepreneurs of all stripes

Startup Lessons Learned

There continues to be an incredible demand out there for actionable, practical lessons in how to apply this emerging set of ideas. Like Continuous Deployment, whereby IMVU deployed changes to their web application +50 times per day, BetaBrand's aim is to put out a new product every day.

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We Invite Everyone at Etsy to Do an Engineering Rotation: Here’s why

Code as Craft

At Etsy, it’s not just engineers who write and deploy code – our designers and product managers regularly do too. This includes time spent training and the deploy itself. The program is split into three parts: homework; an in-person class; then hands-on deployment.

Lessons Learned: The three drivers of growth for your business.

Startup Lessons Learned

Case Study: Continuous deployment makes releases n. Towards a new entrepreneurship ► 2009 (88) ► December (4) Continuous deployment for mission-critical applica. Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, September 22, 2008 The three drivers of growth for your business model. Choose one.

Lean 43

Pivot, don't jump to a new vision

Startup Lessons Learned

Case Study: Continuous deployment makes releases n. Towards a new entrepreneurship ▼ 2009 (88) ► December (4) Continuous deployment for mission-critical applica. Pivot, don't jump to a new vision Why Continuous Deployment?

Lessons Learned: A new version of the Joel Test (draft)

Startup Lessons Learned

But if you want to practice rapid deployment, you need to be able to deploy that build in one step as well. If you want to do continuous deployment, youd better be able to certify that build too, which brings us to. Daily builds are giving way to true continuous integration, in which every checkin to the source control system is automatically run against the full battery of automated tests. For more on continuous deployment, see Just-in-time Scalability.

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Moving Fast at Scale: a microconference at SXSW

Code as Craft

We also deployed the site to production 517 times with changes from over 70 unique individuals. “Continuous Deployment: the Why and How&# (Kellan Elliott-McCrea, VP of Engineering). “Deployinator: Etsy’s Deployment Tool&# (Erik Kastner, Software Engineer, Developer Tools). In January, Etsy served over a billion page views and sellers collectively sold over $33 million of goods on the site.

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Lessons Learned: Venture Hacks interview: "What is the minimum.

Startup Lessons Learned

Case Study: Continuous deployment makes releases n. Towards a new entrepreneurship ▼ 2009 (88) ► December (4) Continuous deployment for mission-critical applica. Lessons Learned by Eric Ries Monday, March 23, 2009 Venture Hacks interview: "What is the minimum viable product?" I recently say down with Venture Hacks for an interview. Part one is up on their site today , in text, audio and slide format.

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Teaching Testing: Our Testing 101 Materials

Code as Craft

I work on Etsy’s continuous deployment team, which advises on automated testing of our code, and I felt that we could use some stronger means of teaching (and establishing as a conscious value) the skills of testing and design in code. Etsy engineers have a wide variety of backgrounds, strengths, and weaknesses, so there are no engineering skills we can take for granted.


Lessons Learned: What is customer development?

Startup Lessons Learned

I have been continually surprised at how many times I could go back to that same well for wisdom and advice. I am continuously coaching people to get out and see what is really going on. Case Study: Continuous deployment makes releases n.

Lessons Learned: What does a startup CTO actually do?

Startup Lessons Learned

And what about if deployment takes forever? Some options can improve the performance of the softare at the expense of readability, deployability, or scalability. Case Study: Continuous deployment makes releases n.

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Twitter Link Roundup #113 – Small Business, Social Media, Design, Copywriting, Marketing And More

crowdSPRING Blog

Design for Continuous Deployment – [link]. Every day on the crowdSPRING Twitter account and on my own Twitter account , I post links to posts or videos I enjoyed reading or viewing.