Date.fm co-founder Andrew Chalkley says that Heroku has been integral in bringing his company from the red and into the black in just six months.
“Heroku enables us, as a very lean startup. We’re not venture-backed. We’re not going into debt, we’re financing everything through our app development,” says Chalkley. “We didn’t want to go down the route of traditional hosting because we didn’t want to deal with scaling up the traditional way. We know that if and when we need it, we can scale our architecture with relative ease compared to the traditional way of doing things.”
A New Kind of Video Dating Service—Mobile Video Chatting
Date.fm is a mobile dating app that sets itself apart from other dating apps by offering a one-on-one video chat to potential matches. As a real-time service, Date.fm requires a fast response time on the back end. Chalkley says that Heroku’s dedicated Postgres instance has been well worth the monthly fee to ensure that users are getting up-to-date information.
“We’ve found that If there’s going to be a bottleneck anywhere it’s going to be in the database layer,” says Chalkley. “We knew that if we were going to deliver a good experience to our users, we needed a dedicated Postgres instance. We could go somewhere like Rackspace Cloud or any of these other places and run up a Postgres instance, but we would need to manage the security. We would need to manage the backups, the firewall settings and all that stuff. It’s worth paying to not hassle with it all. Date.fm is paying for more than itself now.”
Constant, Consistent Improvement
A core principle of lean startup philosophy is the idea of constant iteration. Constant iteration allows a startup to focus on the product and not waste time building unnecessary features. Chalkley says that Heroku’s the Heroku Process Model has enabled him and his team to remain agile and constantly make small improvements to the app as time goes on.
“As a lean start up, Heroku allows us to compartmentalize every part of our application into distinct modules. This allows us to continuously push optimizations and new improvements without affecting the availability of our overall app,” says Chalkley. “We don’t have the headache of provisioning dedicated or virtual server instances. We code and deploy.”
Valuable Time Saved with Add-ons
Another core tenet of lean startup philosophy is reducing waste – whether in the form of time, effort, money or otherwise. Chalkley says that Heroku helps with that by removing the need for a systems administrator and streamlining his team’s efforts. Scaling is a single command line in a terminal and adding features is as easy as turning on one of Heroku’s numerous Add-ons.
“Heroku is great because I don’t have to worry about server administration,” says Chalkley. “It’s flexible when you want to scale and maintain your app, add Memcache or upgrade to New Relic Gold when you need it. If we want to add more nodes to our architecture, it’s not going to be a provisioning nightmare, it’s going to be writing the code and pushing it. That’s it. Heroku removes all the hassle of setting up servers. It takes a heck of a lot of stress and worry of decision making off of my back.”