There are three secrets to being an extremely successful and charismatic leader. (1) Build a team that can make you look awesome. (2) Pretend to listen to that team even when you know they’re completely wrong, then overrule them. (3) Have the confidence to admit that although, with the full benefit of hindsight, you may not have been 100% correct on every little detail, you still totally nailed the big picture.
All three of those management principles were on display in the case of Geppetto. When Kenn and Henrik came up with the idea of an Eclipse-based IDE for Puppet early last year, Management politely heard them out before telling them it was one of the dumbest ideas of all time. Who would ever want to use something that? Eclipse is for old men! The kids today are all using command line, not IDEs!
As usual, the team ignored Management and did whatever they damn well pleased, working on Geppetto in secret through 15 long months of nights, weekends and vacations.
But the story turns out to have a happy ending: Geppetto is doing really well. Unique user downloads crossed the 3,000 mark in April, and are accelerating. Many of those users probably download Geppetto and then redistribute it internally, so more could be actually using it. These are pretty decent numbers, given the size of the Puppet user community and the fact that we’ve had very little time to promote it. It may not be for every Puppet user, but those that like it seem to really like it.
And so what if Management said that an Eclipse-based IDE for Puppet was a total waste of time, and Geppetto is an Eclipse-based IDE for Puppet? From the start, Management’s vision has been that, in the future, people were going to need a lot more stuff to make things way better. And isn’t that the the key takeaway regarding Geppetto? Doesn’t it make things *way better*? Let the team sweat the details. That’s their job, not Management’s.
- No public Twitter messages.
Chris Horn Co-founder & chairman
Founder and CEO of IONA Technologies, leading middleware/platform vendors of the ‘90s. Started IONA with two of my computer science grad students at Trinity College Dublin and bootstrapped all the way to a US IPO (first for an Irish tech company). Spend lots of time on Cloudsmith, plus a few other teams of ventures in the US and EU.Dublin, IrelandCurrent Temp:45 F°
Mitch Sonies Co-founder & CEO type
Consider myself the “idea guy”, but I’m totally dependent on the rest of the team to actually implement anything. Studied math, but went to law school. Started out as a venture lawyer, became a technology analyst on Wall St. Went into the software industry. Cloudsmith is my second startup. Did the first one with Henrik and Thomas as well.New York, United StatesCurrent Temp:49 F°
Thomas Halgren Co-founder and chief architect
Like to lay a foundation that will last a long long time. Earlier in my career I concentrated on O:R mapping and modeling frameworks and languages. Drifted into the build and provisioning domain. Have done a lot of the heavy lifting for the Eclipse community for several years. Began my career working for Henrik more than 20 years ago. He is now my wingman.Stockholm, SwedenCurrent Temp:37 F°
Henrik Lindberg Co-founder and CTO
I’ve been doing this a long time at many companies, startup to public, from operating system to application. Ran JRockit (Oracle’s JVM division) before Cloudsmith. Get most excited about newest stuff and hardest problems. Would solve every one with a Turing-complete language (plus an editor) if the team let me. Thomas is (still) my wingman.Stockholm, SwedenCurrent Temp:37 F°
Karel Březina Developer & architect
Joined the team with Filip. Michal, Filip and I were all CS students together in the Czech Republic. I’m a Java type, but I like working on the user interface more than the other guys. Michal is my squash partner; he hits harder but I win with superior tactics.Pilsen, Czech RepublicCurrent Temp:36 F°
Filip Hrbek Architect & developer
I’m the anchor of Cloudsmith/East. Met the rest of the team through some open source projects. Got intrigued and joined early. Brought along former colleagues Karel and Michal. Used to focus on server-side of things; now having fun with UI development as well. (GWT is Java, after all).Pilsen, Czech RepublicCurrent Temp:36 F°
Michal Růžička Developer & devops guy
Joined the team as a developer just after Karel and Filip. Handier with machinery than the others, so I also manage all our builds and infrastructure. Spend a lot of time helping enterprise customers with provisioning problems. Spend half my time developing, half my time doing devops and third half on customer projects.Pilsen, Czech RepublicCurrent Temp:36 F°
Kenn Hussey VP Development
Modeling guy & toolsmith by background. Worked at Embarcadero and IBM/Rational before Cloudsmith. Spend half my time planning the product and managing the development cycle and other half coding. Originally from Nova Scotia, where we like to have kids early and sail. (I did/do.)Ottawa, CanadaCurrent Temp:30 F°
John Malcolmson Creative Director
Help focus the message, make everything look good. Try to add a dash of “flavor” as well. Originally from New Zealand; went to RISD and stayed here. Worked in large branding/design firms. Ran my own shop with a partner (Cloudsmith was a client.) Left after we merged with a bigger firm. Now divide my time into slices for 3-4 startups needing internal creative direction.New York, United StatesCurrent Temp:49 F°
- cloudsmith/geppetto Allow both upper- and lower case characters in owner name. thallgren2013-09-12T06:26:21-07:00
- cloudsmith/geppetto Ensure that Modulefile dependencies uses '/' as owner/name separator thallgren2013-08-30T12:44:50-07:00
- cloudsmith/geppetto Add missing call to super.dispopse() thallgren2013-08-27T09:40:43-07:00
- cloudsmith/geppetto Add bundle necessary to expose 'External Tools' menu item thallgren2013-08-26T16:34:07-07:00
- cloudsmith/geppetto Fix test assuming that publishing a release without module should fail thallgren2013-08-26T14:21:19-07:00
- cloudsmith/geppetto Fix regression causing New Manifest and New Modulefile wizards to fail thallgren2013-08-22T08:53:35-07:00
Puppet Camp/Dublin06 Jul 2012 - , Dublin, Ireland
DevOps Day/Silicon Valley28 Jun 2012 - , Mountain View, CA
PuppetCamp/DC15 Jun 2012 - , Washingon, DC
Jenkins/NYC17 May 2012 - , NY, NY