Scaling is tough. At least, that is my conclusion after doing it for a while. According to the Startup Genome, you must be able to grow your company in five core dimensions if you want to be successful. The five core dimensions are: customers, product, team, business model and funding. I’m going to write a bit about one of those: how we scaled our product.
I assume that there are companies out there that are struggling with the scaling of their product, just like we did (and still are doing). I’m starting a series of posts about how we scaled our product. The ideas we had, the mistakes we made and things we learned. And although every company and every product is different, I hope this information will be helpful.
Floorplanner started on one machine, one dedicated server somewhere in the US. It ran Linux, Apache, Ruby on Rails and MySQL. Besides that, it also was our file server; serving the 2D and 3D apps, all the furniture items and other content. In short, it simply did everything.
We all knew that it was far from ideal, but we were in the early stage of our company. We just launched the first version of our product and we were working hard to make it better. It was a risky decision to keep everything on one server, but it was a decision we consciously made. We didn’t want to spend our time building a very scalable system, since we didn’t even know if we could make money with our product.
Yes, we wanted to build a sustainable business from the start. First a product, then finding our market fit, then scaling. It costed us some sleepless nights when the system was acting up, but I think it was the right approach for us.
In the next post I’ll talk about our first improvement. What we did to reduce the risk of having only one server.