Why I joined Chronosphere as Head of Sales

on September 1st 2021
Blog
•  company

A few weeks ago, I made a huge change. I left MuleSoft after almost four years. These decisions are never easy, especially when you’re parting ways with a company full of people, technology, and customers that are top notch.

How it started

My MuleSoft journey began in early 2018 – post-IPO, but pre-Salesforce acquisition. It was an exciting time as we were still learning how to make customers wildly successful, especially in the central region where MuleSoft was starting to expand. We grew from a very small piece of the MuleSoft business (increased 8x in two years!) to the top producing region nationally, and it was all made possible by the grit, perseverance, and investment of a very committed group of people. This accomplishment will be ingrained in my mind forever. 

Those growth years at MuleSoft were an incredible run that continued after our 2018 acquisition by Salesforce. Which is what made this decision such a difficult one – MuleSoft was, and is, a rocket ship that continually finds ways to go faster. Deciding to leave MuleSoft to become Chronosphere’s Head of Sales was not something to be done without careful consideration and a fair amount of angst.  

So why do it? 

When I got to MuleSoft, I thought, “This is a once-in-a-lifetime, game-changing technology,” and I was excited to ride that wave as long as possible. But then we kept hearing our customers talk about their struggles to effectively monitor their cloud-native applications, and I wondered, “How is this challenge going to be solved?”

In search of an answer to my question, I researched metrics collection, which led me to the work of the M3 project, and ultimately learning what the creators of M3 – Chronosphere co-founders Martin Mao (CEO) and Rob Skillington (CTO) – were doing now. While at Uber, Martin and Rob led the observability team and experienced first-hand the difficulties of monitoring cloud-native environments. They eventually left Uber and started a company – Chronosphere – that would build on top of this open source tooling they had developed and would solve the challenge of monitoring cloud-native applications.

I thought, “I need to meet this team!”

I was blown away by the people I was introduced to. The Chronospherians I met were full of determination, grit, and teamwork! It felt eerily similar to the culture and mindset that I saw at MuleSoft, and how I envisioned MuleSoft was in its very early days. 

It was at that moment that I knew there was something very special going on here, and I wanted to be part of it.

Who is Chronosphere?

Chronosphere is barely two years old, and, like MuleSoft pre-IPO, it’s growing at rocketship pace. The company has already raised $55 million in funding, and over the past year and a half (during a global pandemic!) Chronosphere exploded from a handful of employees working out of three cities to more than seventy Chronospherians today spread across more than fifty cities. By year’s end, Chronosphere’s employee count is expected to nearly double again as it continues to build a world-class, remote-first workforce

Growth like that doesn’t happen by accident – Chronosphere is solving a massive challenge that is also growing at rocketship pace. We’ve seen how the global pandemic has dramatically accelerated the drive toward cloud-native architecture – microservices and containers – as companies realize how essential cloud-native is. 

The shift to Kubernetes and microservices means companies are monitoring very dynamic, nimble microservices, which has created a need for a tool that can monitor cloud-native environments. 

Remember those struggling cloud-native customers I mentioned seeing at Mulesoft earlier? Chronosphere is helping companies like them with their monitoring challenges by offering a purpose-built observability solution for cloud-native environments

The market

Chronosphere’s upward growth path is no surprise when you look at the red hot market the company has entered. According to a recent Mordor Intelligence report, the global cloud monitoring market was valued at $1.3 Billion in 2020 and is expected to grow to $4.5B in 2026. (source: Cloud monitoring market – growth, trends, covid-19 impact, and forecasts (2021 – 2026) We actually think these estimates are on the conservative side, considering they don’t include the rest of the observability market. That’s a lot of market to tap into!

The product 

One of the single biggest drivers of growth is due to the fact that Chronosphere is an incredibly differentiated product. As I’ve ramped up, I’ve discovered some of the key reasons companies choose Chronosphere over commercial SaaS offerings or open-source alternatives are:

  • Control over data and cost. Decide what data is kept for how long and at what granularity to control cost and focus on signal vs noise.
  • No proprietary lock-in. Leverage existing Prometheus and Grafana investments, powered by open source.
  • Reliable. Scale to billions of active time series, hundreds of millions of writes per second without missing a beat.
  • Built for central observability and SRE teams. Monitor usage per team, per service, per app, and quickly find and remediate cardinality spikes.
  • Designed for cloud-native. Built from the ground up for the scale and ephemerality of Kubernetes and serverless.
  • Leading expertise in monitoring. Partner with the team who built and scaled one of the world’s largest real-time monitoring systems.

Not only that, but the team has a more modern, outcome-oriented take on observability. Rather than a collection of siloed data types — logs, metrics, and distributed traces – Chronosphere is focused on outcomes and the three phases of observability.

Don’t just take it from me, the newcomer – Martin gives a full explanation of the three phases of observability in his Newstack article, Beyond the 3 Pillars of Observability.

Chronosphere also has sound advice for next steps once you’re feeling the limitations of Prometheus at scale and ready to look for another monitoring solution. This blog – Four signs you’re outgrowing Prometheus – explains how Prometheus is great for short-term use cases, and helps you identify when to move on. 

These are two great examples of what I mean when I say Chronosphere knows – and articulates – its product strengths. 

The people 

Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion

As you can see from my years at MuleSoft, company culture is important to me. I am at my best when embedded among technology innovators who are driven to solve customer challenges and grow the company … I believe grit and determination are part of any successful company and are traits that helped persuade me to join Chronosphere.

Of course, that’s the sales guy talking. I have a Ted Lasso side as well! I also firmly believe there’s a human side of company culture – the people – that is as important as the product we’re building together. 

Since Chronosphere’s day one, creating a workforce that is diverse and inclusive has been a priority for Martin and Rob. Their approach to workforce-building recognizes that a diverse set of employees means you have a diverse set of skills, and you solve problems more effectively. 

I admire their philosophy around diversity and inclusiveness, and it was another huge factor persuading me to join the company. MIT’s study, Workplace diversity can help the bottom line, is a great read for folks wanting to follow Chronosphere’s lead in creating an inclusive workplace that reflects the diverse world we live in.

In conclusion, I could not be more thrilled for the opportunity I had at MuleSoft, and the one in front of me at Chronosphere. Thank you to all of my colleagues and customers that have given me the opportunity to learn and grow through interaction. 

The first monitoring solution purpose-built for cloud native deployments.