A downturn is the perfect time to start a startup

May 23, 2022
Ravi Parikh
Tech is going through a steep market correction right now. Companies are doing layoffs. Y Combinator published a letter to their founders telling them how to prepare for tough times ahead [https://twitter.com/refsrc/status/1527238287471292417]. Counterintuitively, this is a great time to start a new company–even better than in 2021 when tech was red-hot. I have friends who were considering starting a company this year, but are now feeling a bit skittish. This is the exact opposite of how you s
A downturn is the perfect time to start a startup

Changelog

May 27, 2022

Changelog 5/27/22: Execute sub-tasks with the Node SDK, rerun entire sessions, and new Learn page

This week we rolled out the ability to execute sub-tasks with our Node SDK, made it easier to rerun entire sessions, and released a new Learn page. Read more
  • Cron versus anacron - understanding the differences

    Cron versus anacron - understanding the differences

    May 22, 2022
    Madhura Kumar
    In this article we'll introduce cron and anacron, explore their similarities and differences, and walk through how to implement each.
  • How to evaluate startup offers in a downturn

    How to evaluate startup offers in a downturn

    May 18, 2022
    Ravi Parikh
    It feels like a precarious time to join a tech startup. In the last few months, public market valuations of companies have come way down. The Bessemer cloud index [https://cloudindex.bvp.com/], which tracks average public SaaS company prices, shows that the total market cap of SaaS companies has been cut by more than half in the last few months. This has been going on for a few months, but in the last few weeks, reality seems to have hit startups all at once–the funding market has basically drie
  • Top reasons your cron job isn’t running

    Top reasons your cron job isn’t running

    May 18, 2022
    Madhura Kumar
    This article walks through the most common reasons why your cron job isn't running: schedule errors, environmental changes, depleted resources, and overlapping jobs. We’ll also share some additional troubleshooting tips along with code samples to help get your cron jobs back up and running.
  • Docker cron jobs: how to run cron inside containers

    Docker cron jobs: how to run cron inside containers

    May 12, 2022
    Madhura Kumar
    There are a couple of ways you can create scheduled tasks in Docker using cron. In this article we'll walk through using the host's crontab, using cron within your containers, and separating cron from your application’s services. We'll also discuss scheduling tasks with Kubernetes.
  • Don't accidentally mislead yourself with graphs

    Don't accidentally mislead yourself with graphs

    May 10, 2022
    Ravi Parikh
    Recently, I was looking at this graph of the number of weekly active users using Airplane [https://www.airplane.dev/] each week over the last few months of 2021: Y-axis omitted intentionallyTo me, it looks like boring, linear growth. We're adding roughly the same amount of new active users each week. But this was really surprising to me. I knew for a fact that we had a big inflection point in growth towards the end of September when a blog post of ours [https://blog.airplane.dev/i-started-a-sa
  • Feature toggles: tips, best practices, and implementation

    Feature toggles: tips, best practices, and implementation

    May 3, 2022
    Madhura Kumar
    In this article, we'll walk through the basics of feature toggles, some best practices when using them, and show you an example of how to manage feature flags with ease using Airplane, a developer tool for building internal apps.
  • Intro to cron and editing your crontab schedule

    Intro to cron and editing your crontab schedule

    Apr 25, 2022
    Madhura Kumar
    In this article we'll walk through how to schedule recurring tasks using cron jobs. We'll discuss crontab’s structure and syntax, real-life use cases, and some limitations. We'll also touch on alternatives to cron.
  • Scheduling your GitHub Actions cron-style

    Scheduling your GitHub Actions cron-style

    Apr 18, 2022
    Madhura Kumar
    GitHub Actions are a way to automate tasks in your GitHub repository and are most commonly used to automate CI/CD workflows. In this article, we'll walk through how to leverage scheduled tasks in GitHub Actions and explore some of the limitations with the native functionality.
  • Creating Golang cron jobs

    Creating Golang cron jobs

    Apr 14, 2022
    Madhura Kumar
    In this article, we'll walk through how to create cron jobs in Golang, set up a Golang project, and use the gocron and cron.v2 packages to schedule tasks.
  • The ultimate guide to cron troubleshooting

    The ultimate guide to cron troubleshooting

    Apr 11, 2022
    Madhura Kumar
    In this article, we’ll walk through some troubleshooting steps including locating the cron job, validating the schedule, permissions, and more for determining the source of a cron job problem.
  • Airplane for security: approval flows, audit logs, self-hosted agents, two-factor auth, and more

    Airplane for security: approval flows, audit logs, self-hosted agents, two-factor auth, and more

    Mar 18, 2022
    Madhura Kumar
    Airplane was built to help companies operate safely and securely. In this post you'll find a list of product features that support security as well as a list of security-focused use cases.
  • What is runbook automation? A quick guide

    What is runbook automation? A quick guide

    Jan 20, 2022
    Madhura Kumar
    When you take a step back from the buzz of activities we generalize as work, you'll notice event patterns—repetitive processes. We can document most of these events and processes into easy-to-run steps in runbooks. Runbooks help make sure tasks are performed at the same level of accuracy and yield predictable and desired results. While runbooks tend to live in Google Docs or wiki pages, runbook automation is the process of using software to execute these more reliably, quickly, and autonomously
  • How to start, stop, and restart cron jobs

    How to start, stop, and restart cron jobs

    Jan 18, 2022
    Madhura Kumar
    We often run into situations that require us to run a piece of code periodically—for example, renewing SSL certificates that may expire every year or two. Fortunately, most servers and operating systems provide some means to conduct repetitive tasks automatically. One popular solution is using cron.
  • Airplane for healthcare: PHI and data protection, scheduled operations, interfacing with third parties, and more

    Airplane for healthcare: PHI and data protection, scheduled operations, interfacing with third parties, and more

    Jan 13, 2022
    Madhura Kumar
    One of the primary challenges that B2B healthcare, consumer health, and biotech companies face when it comes to finding third-party software solutions is that they don't comply with the level of sensitivity necessary to be able to use the software. This includes: * Measures to control and lock down PHI (Protected Health Information) and PII (Personally Identifiable Information) * Regular and rigorous audit logs that are easily accessible * The ability to manage permission groups at the mo
  • Why does every startup incorporate with 10,000,000 shares?

    Why does every startup incorporate with 10,000,000 shares?

    Jan 12, 2022
    Ravi Parikh
    Every tech startup in the US incorporates as a Delaware C Corp with 10,000,000 shares of Common Stock at the date of founding. This is remarkably consistent–if you go through an accelerator like Y Combinator or Techstars, if you use the default options with Stripe Atlas or Clerky, or if you ask a tech law firm for advice, they'll all point you in the same direction. Incorporating in Delaware and as a C Corp are pretty well understood and well explained on the internet, but why 10 million shares
  • Airplane raises $8.5M in Series A funding led by Benchmark

    Airplane raises $8.5M in Series A funding led by Benchmark

    Dec 9, 2021
    Ravi Parikh
    Today, we're announcing our Series A and the public launch of Airplane runbooks—a developer platform for automating internal workflows.
  • Startup defensibility: how to build a technical moat for your product

    Startup defensibility: how to build a technical moat for your product

    Nov 8, 2021
    Dan Robinson
    I often get questions from founders about how they should think about the “technical moat” of what they’re building, or from potential employees about our technical moat at Heap. If you have a successful product, what’s to stop someone else from building it? Technical moats exist, but they rarely take the form people expect them to take. People often look for an answer to that question in the form of a monolithic, singular technology, like a single algorithm, or a particular piece of code nobo
  • Airplane for fintech: sensitive workflows, data protection, fraud investigation, and more

    Airplane for fintech: sensitive workflows, data protection, fraud investigation, and more

    Nov 5, 2021
    Madhura Kumar
    Building a product that interacts with financial systems and institutions tends to require a number of manual operational workflows. As a result, fintech and insurtech companies invest a significant amount of engineering effort into building internal workflows and processes for support, ops, risk, compliance, and other teams. This is why these companies often dedicate some percentage of their headcount to developing internal tools. One challenge is building internal tools while accounting for s
  • Build an admin panel in 10 minutes with Airplane

    Build an admin panel in 10 minutes with Airplane

    Nov 1, 2021
    Ravi Parikh
    One of the first things that a scaling startup builds as soon as they have a reasonable amount of customer volume is an admin panel, sometimes called an admin dashboard or control center. From here, people on support, customer success, ops, and other teams can read and write customer data to help resolve customer issues. Examples of the types of things you might need to do in an admin panel: * Read data: Lookup a user's metadata and transaction history; see a list of users on a team * Sim
  • Airplane for SaaS: admin panels, customer onboarding, feature flags, and more

    Airplane for SaaS: admin panels, customer onboarding, feature flags, and more

    Oct 28, 2021
    Madhura Kumar
    Airplane enables engineers at SaaS companies to focus on doing the thing they do best: building a great product. With Airplane, you can move quickly by transforming code into enterprise-grade internal apps in minutes that can be used by anyone on your team. Why SaaS companies choose Airplane SaaS companies are able to grow more quickly when developers can fully focus on building the company's core offering. Airplane enables this by: * Enabling non-engineers to safely run operations that were
  • Why “let the support team build their own tools” rarely works

    Why “let the support team build their own tools” rarely works

    Oct 22, 2021
    Ravi Parikh
    Engineering teams tend to prioritize customer-facing features over internal tools. As a result, the state of internal tools in most companies–especially fast-growing startups–lags far behind where it would be in an ideal world. But there's a solution: why not just let the support or ops team build their own tools? There's tons of no-code vendors out there that promise exactly this. However, unless approached correctly, this won't work. Before diving in, I want to clarify that the primary reaso
  • Integrating Airplane with AWS

    Integrating Airplane with AWS

    Oct 12, 2021
    Joshua Ma
    Many Airplane users run tasks integrated with their production systems, and the overwhelming majority of users run their production systems on AWS. In this post, we'll walk through how you can easily integrate the two together! Via Self-Hosted AWS Agents With Airplane, you can self-host agents [https://docs.airplane.dev/platform/agent-installation] to run within your own AWS account / AWS VPC. This gives you the most flexibility: Airplane agents can run within your own private network(s), and y
  • Just because your product is "enterprise ready" doesn't mean it's any good

    Just because your product is "enterprise ready" doesn't mean it's any good

    Oct 5, 2021
    Ravi Parikh
    This article is not about compliance requirements, RBAC, SSO, etc. If you're interested in that, check out EnterpriseReady.io. However, having every box checked on that website still won't result in a high-quality enterprise product.
  • How to gain conviction to work on a startup idea for 10+ years

    How to gain conviction to work on a startup idea for 10+ years

    Sep 28, 2021
    Ravi Parikh
    In December 2020, Josh Ma and I started our startup, Airplane. Before that, we spent several months exploring ideas before settling on the idea that eventually became Airplane.
  • I started SaaS companies in 2013 and 2021. Here's how things have changed

    I started SaaS companies in 2013 and 2021. Here's how things have changed

    Sep 20, 2021
    Ravi Parikh
    In 2013, I co-founded Heap, a product analytics company that I helped grow to over 200 people and $X0,000,000 in ARR before I left in 2020. In 2021, I co-founded Airplane, a developer platform for quickly creating internal tools.
  • Airplane: a complement to Retool for non-CRUD internal workflows

    Airplane: a complement to Retool for non-CRUD internal workflows

    Sep 13, 2021
    Ravi Parikh
    A lot of Airplane users wonder how we're different from Retool–are Airplane and Retool competitors? Complementary? Here's our take. TLDR: both tools excel in different ways, and plenty of companies use both Retool and Airplane as complements. But there are also a few areas of overlap.
  • How we approach pricing for our early-stage SaaS product

    How we approach pricing for our early-stage SaaS product

    Sep 10, 2021
    Ravi Parikh
    At Airplane, we recently exited our free early access period and started charging for our product. I thought it'd be helpful to write a post talking through the logic behind our pricing model, partially as an explanation for our customers, but also as a data point for other early-stage B2B SaaS businesses. Prior to Airplane, I also spent 7 years at my previous startup Heap [https://heap.io/] iterating several times on pricing. What are you optimizing for? It might seem obvious that the point of
  • Airplane: An easy-to-use Rundeck alternative for better runbook automation

    Airplane: An easy-to-use Rundeck alternative for better runbook automation

    Sep 8, 2021
    Ravi Parikh
    Here at Airplane, we get asked often about the differences between Airplane and Rundeck. We thought we'd give our take. We're obviously biased towards our approach, but we started building Airplane in part due to some of the needs we had that existing tools, like Rundeck, didn't meet.
  • Airplane has completed our SOC 2 Type I audit

    Airplane has completed our SOC 2 Type I audit

    Aug 26, 2021
    Ravi Parikh
    At Airplane, as of this week, we've completed our System and Organization Controls (SOC) 2 Type I audit. For the entire time that we've had customers using our product, we've taken industry-standard security practices.
  • Replacing cron with scheduled tasks in Airplane

    Replacing cron with scheduled tasks in Airplane

    Aug 23, 2021
    Ravi Parikh
    Replace brittle cron jobs with easy-to-use scheduled Airplane tasks.
  • Airplane: A New Approach to Internal Tools

    Airplane: A New Approach to Internal Tools

    Jul 23, 2021
    Ravi Parikh
    Today we're publicly launching Airplane, a platform that lets engineers quickly create lightweight internal apps for their teammates. We've been in closed beta for the last 6 months, but as of today, Airplane is open for anyone to sign up and try out [https://www.airplane.dev/]. Why existing approaches to internal tools fall short My co-founder Josh and I both spent the last 7+ years at two different SaaS companies.  I previously co-founded Heap, an analytics company, and Josh was CTO at Benchl
  • Coming soon

    Coming soon

    Jul 19, 2021
    Ravi Parikh
    Airplane will be available soon. Send us a note at hello@airplane.dev to get early access.

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