The inside story of Answers: How six people built the #1 mobile analytics tool in just a few months.

The inside story of Answers: How six people built the #1 mobile analytics tool in just a few months.

Tweet After Crashlytics was acquired by Twitter, our team of six launched a new mobile analytics solution called Answers. Just 11 months after launch, it was named the #2 most popular mobile analytics solution in the world. (UPDATE 10/8/2015: Answers is now named the #1 solution). Its servers are processing over 5 BILLION sessions every single day, something that the current market leader — whom we’ve now surpassed — took a whole DECADE to reach. This is the inside growth story of Answers, and why we’re changing mobile analytics forever. Check out the full story...

Happy 2-year Anniversary to Crashlytics and Twitter!

Tweet Full disclosure: I am currently an employee at Twitter (via acquisition of Crashlytics). All views here are my own. What an amazing four years it has been since my last post! In 2011, I co-founded Crashlytics with Jeff Seibert. We raised $6 million from Baseline and Flybridge, became one of the most popular mobile development tools on the planet being fortunate to have our software embedded in most handheld devices. Then, on Christmas morning 2012, I signed the term sheet with Twitter agreeing for us to join the flock. This was was Twitter’s largest acquisition. I’m incredibly proud of what we’ve built in the last four years with our incredible team, and where we’re going. Some reactions from the Twittersphere from the day we announced the acquisition: Welcome @Crashlytics to the Twitter team! http://t.co/l0wSSdNl — Jack (@jack) January 28, 2013 Mobile first. Super excited to be joining forces with Crashlytics: http://t.co/f0AjNfWD — Kevin Weil (@kevinweil) January 28, 2013 Welcoming cool dudes @wayne and @jeffseibert along with the entire @crashlytics team to the Flock! — Ali Rowghani (@ROWGHANI) January 28, 2013 Couldn't be more pleased to have @wayne, @jeffseibert, and the @crashlytics team join the flock. — Adam Messinger (@adam_messinger) January 29, 2013 Very excited to have the @crashlytics team #jointheflock. They've built an amazing product. http://t.co/Hqk5QDtx — Michael Sippey (@sippey) January 28, 2013 Congrats to @twitter and @crashlytics — KAYAK Mobile uses Crashlytics, a fantastic tool for solving hard-to-find bugs http://t.co/L7RWn2lR — KAYAK (@KAYAK) January 29, 2013 [email protected] Congratulations on being acquired by @twitter! We've been using your service to help us crash those bugs and we love it!...

Knowing When Your Baby is Ugly

Tweet   One of the most crucial skills any successful entrepreneur can possess is the ability to know when their baby project is ugly. Not just visually, but the project as a whole. My goal with projects is to search out the high-impact ones. And that requires me to be very prolific. Ugly baby projects are projects that are interesting to the person but ultimately serves a very narrow niche with low revenue potential and requires a high, on-going maintenance cost. If you don’t know that your baby project is ugly, you will waste a lot of resources pursuing it, rather than moving onto a new project. It’s like quicksand for an entrepreneur. Avoid at all costs. I’ve worked on numerous projects with many successes and a few failures. Here’s a quick story of the process I went through with one ugly baby over a 4-week period. I’ll also break it down into detail for the tech oriented. The Opportunity In April ’10, I had just received the newly announced iPad. Being a home theater buff, I immediately saw the potential of the iPad as a control device. There were so many remotes in my living room – for the HDTV, the audio system,  the cable system, several remotes for the HTPC (a PC built to be connected to the TV), DVD/BluRay, etc. Why not consolidate on the iPad? A couple weeks later, I began a project called Intellimote. Its aim was to be the single, central control point for the living room. It would leverage all the capabilities of the iPad – graphics engine, internet access, local storage,...

How I Discovered a Security Vulnerability in Twitter

Tweet In addition to being involved in startups, I enjoy finding system vulnerabilities as a side hobby. And I’ve found my fair share (see my about page, scroll down towards the bottom). The startup people I hung out with online in the mid-to-late 90’s were on IRC, before the startup incubators existed. This is where the cyber culture revolved around the discovery and sharing of new information. A little known factoid: before Shawn Fanning created Napster, the music software, he was known as “napster” on IRC. We ran in the same circles, finding and demonstrating security vulnerabilities through software we’d write and share. (I later joined Napster-the-company in 1999). A couple weeks ago, I found another security vulnerability that impacted 1-1.5 million Twitter accounts. Discovery On January 19, 2011, I received a reply to a support ticket that I had filed on one of my business accounts. The support agent needed more information, so I jumped in to my ticket dashboard (everyone on Twitter has a ticket dashboard — just go to http://support.twitter.com). When I went there, I didn’t see my ticket listed. Thinking it’s just a glitch, I looked at an old ticket that was listed and back to the new email. I manipulated a few data fields, hoping it would work. As soon as I pressed enter, the ticket I was looking for showed up. Great, must be a temporary display glitch on my account. In any case, I was happy to be able to work with the ticket. I tried to reply to the ticket on the system. Strange, it didn’t attach my message. That’s when I noticed the account...

Building a Sustainable Side Project

Tweet Updated: 1/21/2011 – latest data used in marketing/financials section. Note: Since I’m still developing the idea I’m writing about, I don’t specifically mention the project I’m working on. My goal is to share insights and the process I went through with this project in an agnostic way, so you can understand some of the things you need to think through if you want to go from a small amount of traction to a revenue machine. I’m extremely passionate about creating and building new things, so I started a few side projects in early December. A side project, to me, is something that requires less than full time effort on my part but serves a purpose and has high impact in some way. It is an exercise to hone my skills, learn new things, and possibly create a new stream of revenue. I’ve done many side projects before, and it’s great to keep myself sharp. It usually leads to new ideas, crystallizes new theories, and creates new serendipitous connections. Today, I wanted to share with you one of my side projects. I’ll systematically review key parts of the business and the logic and reason behind prioritizing upgrades to both save time and money. I’ll most likely write about the other projects as they mature, but I’m excited about the performance of this one. This particular side project generates about $500.00-$1,200.00+ per day in revenue now, and I expect that to triple within the next 2 weeks. Extrapolating this out, it means the system generates between $182,500.00 to $438,000.00 per year, with expectations of that tripling — $547,500.00 to $1,314,000.00 per year. This was...

Proud To Be a Part of OnSwipe

Tweet Announcing my involvement with OnSwipe! When Jason Baptiste first told me about the concept, and then passed me his iPad with a demo, I knew I had to be a part of it. I’m honored to have been the first person to commit and invest. This company will be making waves — stay tuned! OnSwipe Raises $1M for Insanely Simple Tablet Publishing Platform Spark Capital Leads Financing Round, Joined by Betaworks and Prominent Angel Investors OnSwipe Platform to Transform Media Content Publishing on Tablets NEW YORK CITY, N.Y. (January 13, 2011) – OnSwipe, a new platform for tablet publishing and advertising, today announced it has raised $1M in funding. Investment firms Spark Capital, Betaworks and ENIAC Ventures (a seed investor in mobile ad network AdMob) participated in the round, as did angel investors Dharmesh Shah (co-founder and CEO of Hubspot), Jennifer Lum (former vice president at Quattro and co-founder of Apricot Capital), Roy Rodenstein (founder and EVP of Going.com), and Wayne Chang (creator of file sharing network i2hub). The funding will be used to support the launch of the OnSwipe platform, which enables any website to instantly be transformed to an HTML5 native tablet app. OnSwipe transforms and simplify how media companies publish across all touch-enabled devices. With OnSwipe, media content and advertising will appear and function as they do on native websites and applications, providing a magazine-like experience on touch devices. OnSwipe addresses a growing industry need with tablet use on the rise. There will be 50 million tablet users worldwide by the end of 2012, according to a recent Forrester estimate, five times more than the...