#GlueCon 2013 Notes: Keynote: Confessions of a Tech CEO Who Still Loves to Code Everyday – Lew Cirne, New Relic

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Keynote: Confessions of a Tech CEO Who Still Loves to Code Everyday – Lew Cirne, New Relic

  • New Relic was a “Do Over”, now has 50k customers, 250 employees, 3 offices, 100 billion metrics a day, $115M in financing
  • “I don’t do typical CEO stuff”
  • The last company he felt that he had to do certain things and be a certain type of person, now he does what he skilled and loves to do, redefining the CEO role within the organization
  • Last year, released New Relic for Mobile Apps
  • Working the last 3 months with 4 developers to build the next product in a cabin near Mount Hood
  • New product announcement next month
  • Lew’s github commits show when he was raising money and when he was building software and inspiring engineers
  • “Developers are the new CEOs”
  • 4 Lessons learned along the way:
    • Lesson 1: Surround yourself with exception people
      • They need to love to do what they do, have complementary skill sets, and that can execute while you are away developing product
      • Mondays at 9:30am has a standing meeting with his leaders, perhaps an occasional meeting with others – they handle the rest of the execution
    • Lesson 2: Do what you love
      • Find complementary skills so that you can do what you love and are good at
      • Trust those around you to fill in the gaps and provide time to do what you love
    • Lesson 3: Don’t be afraid to re-invent often
      • Even your own platform, API, or career
      • In his last company, he said ‘yes’ to all people when they dangled checks in front of him
      • At New Relic, chose to skip customization, reduce friction on the front-end interface/experience
    • Lesson 4: Disrupt yourself
      • Apple launched Nano and killed the Mini (the #1 product on the market)
      • This requires supporting people around you (team, board of directors)
  • They are trying to create an evergreen growth engine that builds new products before people need them
  • This should reduce time while increasing revenue
  • CEOs should focus on producint this revenue with their time/skills (via code for developer CEOs)
  • This requires disrupting yourself, rather than slowing down and becoming complacent
  • The results: His team is 2X more productive and worth 2X more than his last company

Update: The slides are now available