July 21, 2014
Codeship: Ship Code Free

Yesterday I got the chance to sit with yet another energetic and passionate entrepreneur – Moritz “Mo” Plassnig, the Co-Founder & CEO of Codeship

Codeship provides hosted continuous integration and deployment software as a service (SaaS) for web applications. Their platform now helps thousands of developers by giving them a fast and easy to use test and deployment infrastructure. 

Mo greeted me at the front door of the Cambridge-based Intrepid Labs and we walked over to the coffee station (both agreeing we need to cut back, but don’t) which provides two different one-cup options. Mo’s obsession with user experience shines through immediately as he describes the one-push function on coffee maker ‘A’ versus the five-push coffee maker ‘B.’ 

Mo’s laser focus on user experience is in part what led to the recent launch of Codeship Freemium. He found out what his customers wanted to achieve and provided a way to help them achieve it faster. The $0 Plan offers users 100 builds/month, 5 private projects and unlimited team members. 

During the beta stages of their freemium launch, they tinkered with the number of services included and ultimately landed with the current plan, which Mo tells me has received great feedback with 95% of users pleased with the package. 

Mo and I talked a lot about numbers. Like their rapid growth - doubling in users over and over again since graduating from Techstars last year. Or their team size growing from 5 to 13 (currently) and a hiring push that expects to put them around 20 by end of 2014 / early ’15. 

Alluding to two recent blog posts from satisfied users (read them here and here) Mo eventually drove the conversation away from numbers when he said to me, “numbers are great, but responses from happy customers are what really matters…” 

Mo is right.  When you’ve built something from the ground up and see it truly help another person or company reach their goals is the most rewarding part of the entrepreneurial journey. Mo’s mood naturally perked up when describing his user’s approval as it proves that Codeship is on to something in a space that has yet to be solved. 

Codeship Freemium is certainly more than just a give-back to users and has its purpose in the growth of their business. The traction they gained after Techstars allowed them to raise their Series A and their continued traction moving forward will aid in their next raise, which Mo says is likely and logical, but not imminent. 

Customers using the Freemium plan will eventually grow and need to upgrade to plans with more builds, which are actually Codeship’s most successful plans. Codeship’s reputation will likely begin to attract much larger businesses that will need the premium plan out of the gate, which offers “much more technical,” as Mo put it, benefits such as parallel builds. 

Outside of his customer’s experience, Mo currently has a strong focus on recruiting efforts. A head of marketing will soon be in the mix as well as several adds to the tech team, both here and in their Vienna office. While he feels that a team of 20 will really help them accomplish what they want, he also added that they “need to be willing to turn people away.” A wrong hire will lead to additional wrong hires and slow the process more than being short personnel. 

Mo believes in investing in building a great team and culture. And he is doing just that, as you can tell from their BIZZpage photos.  You can see the fun they have together, but trust me it goes way beyond that. 

Mo’s passion shined through and mood, once again, perked up when he began telling me of an upcoming trip. Mo is meeting the whole Codeship crew out in Vienna at the end of the week for a seven-day team building retreat he has secretly arranged. I am not at liberty to share the details, as it is a complete surprise to the entire team, but let’s just say I’ll be paying close attention to @Codeship to catch some updates.



The Codeship from Codeship on Vimeo.

Josh Boyle is Director of Community & Marketing, VentureFizz.  You can follow him on Twitter: @jb_sid