Our interview process is described in detail at bottom
The Future As We See It:
Humans perceive time linearly, but but the rate of change is increasing. We are now crossing into the steep part of the curve, and it’s being driven by the third great revolution: The Software Revolution.
The first great revolution was the Agricultural Revolution, which happened around 10,000 BC. It took humans 100,000 years to transition from hunting and gathering to settled agriculture, driving the creation of cities, which resulted in greater trade and the faster exchange of ideas.
It only took humans 12,000 years to advance to the second great revolution: The Industrial Revolution in the early 1800s, which introduced textiles, steam engines, iron making, and increased the standard of living of the general population for the first time in history.
It’s only taken humans another 200 years to advance to the Software Revolution. Yet the world has changed more in the past 200 years than it did in the previous 12,000. Average lifespan has doubled since 1820, and we’ve invented the light bulb, automobile, telephone, television and many other devices. Humans have learned to fly, to travel in space, and to sequence our genomes. We now have phones in our pockets that have access to all the world’s public digital information and can communicate instantly with any other connected human, anywhere on the planet. And what's underpinned that change for the past 50 years? Software, powered by data.
It’s a safe bet to say the next 100 years will bring more accelerated change. Software can drive cars more safely than humans today and will be 10x safer than human drivers within three years. The number of dumb devices that will become smart and come online, programmed by connected software (“Internet of Things”) will triple to 34 billion by 2020. Distributed manufacturing with 3D printers will build everything from food to homes, on demand. We’re entering the zettabyte era — a zettabyte is one billion terabytes, equal to 152 million years of HD video. Global internet traffic surpassed one zettabyte in 2016 (up 5x in the past five years) and will triple to three zettabytes by 2019.
Software is the steam engine of the 21st century, and this data is the steam that drives the Software Revolution. GPS, RFID, sensors, telematics, storage, servers, security devices, mobile devices, smart appliances, connected cars — they all produce and consume data, and software harnesses it all.
In the past, companies haven’t needed a strong core competency in software to survive. In 2000, the average cost of running a top web property was $150,000 per month. Outsourced technology teams and slow release cycles were driven by a focus on minimizing costs.
By 2016, that cost had dropped to $1,500/month. This 100x drop has lowered the barriers to entry, ushering in an age where anyone with an idea and the ability to write software can harness technology to solve not just business problems, but more broadly, human problems. Software-first companies are disrupting entire industries: Airbnb → Hospitality. Uber → Transportation. Tesla → Big Auto. Instacart → Grocery. Amazon → Retail. Stripe → Payments. Twilio → Telco. These companies are orders of magnitude more nimble than the Fortune 500: The average low performing global company releases software just 7 times per year. The average high performing software-first company releases over 200x as often:
This kind of speed means when a dissatisfied user tweets about Tesla supercharger stations, the company can fix the problem via a software update within days:
The rapid release cycles of these high performing companies provide 45x to 208x the learning opportunities of their competitors:
Today, a company is only as agile as its ability to get its code in front of customers. Gartner recommends companies evolve their software practices to optimize delivery, invest in automation and strive for increased agility.
All of this change feels massive, but the Software Revolution only began in the last 50 years, and like a snowball rolling down a mountain primed for an avalanche, it’s just now picking up speed.
Over the next decade, we expect that a move to public and private clouds by the Global 2,000 will mean an abstraction of infrastructure from applications running on it (just like the creation of electricity became abstracted from our use of it 100 years ago with the invention of power grids). But the move to the cloud is just the first step — we expect to see a further abstraction of the data center from applications with technologies like Kubernetes, containerization, microservices, automation and serverless computing.
Virtual machines will commoditize the price of hardware to almost nothing and higher level value-add services will arise from cloud providers, like machine learning and artificial intelligence as a service. These services bundled into cloud infrastructure offerings will provide the value businesses will actually pay for. Machine learning will become commonplace and will serve as a thirsty beast to drive even more data collection demand.
Over the next decade, a company’s ability to write, deploy and manage software will define its competitiveness not just against competitors in its industry, but also against the entry of software-first platforms playing by different rules.
Why Armory Exists:
The Software Revolution means a company’s ability to get software in the hands of users will define its ability to compete. We want to help companies trust their deployments and ship software better, safer & faster to stay competitive.
Our long term vision is to create a platform that helps anyone ship better software, to unlock the creativity of the human mind through code.
Our immediate focus is to make software deployments boring, fast and continuous -- vs. today's fire drills-- which is the first step for Global 2,000 enterprises as they start to prioritize making software a core competency.
Companies today ship buggy software that causes downtime, makes customers unhappy and breaks SLAs. Software deployments are scary for many organizations. Their code velocity is painfully slow. They’re facing a new breed of software-first competitors that are playing by different rules and using software to wrestle the customer relationship away. They are having trouble staying (or becoming) compliant in a cloud-first world.
Even the best boardroom strategy is meaningless in a software-first world without the ability to continuously deploy software in the background without downtime and errors.
Today: Armory is here to help, with Spinnaker, a best-in-class, open source Continuous Deployment platform leveraging immutable infrastructure in the cloud, released by Netflix last year. Armory works with customers to get an enterprise-grade version of Spinnaker running on-prem. We help fix software compliance issues, stop breaking SLAs and breaking the user experience through bad software deployments. Armory's Spinnaker also helps improve deployment velocity by up to 320x. In this new software-first world, an organization is only as agile as its ability to get code in front of users. Companies must make software a core competency to compete.
Soon: Enterprise Operational Automation Intelligence & Compliance: Armory is building an intelligence and compliance layer into Spinnaker that integrates business, application and system level metrics & telemetry from leading providers to enable customers using Armory to canary (phase) deployments out to customers, and intelligently roll them back if metrics fail or compliance is at risk. We're evolving that platform into a sophisticated, self-optimizing & self-healing phased deployment & rollback decisioning platform, saving customers millions of dollars annually, keeping them compliant in their industry, and restoring their customer's trust.
Later: Although our initial focus is on Global 2,000 companies, our ultimate goal is to help humanity build better software; to provide tools, infrastructure & environments to help startups of all sizes, all over the world deliver software that meets customer needs, improves lives, and drives the Software Revolution.
Maxims We Live By:
We have three maxims we live by at Armory. You’ll hear us saying these around the office on a regular basis:
• “Why are we building this? Do we need to build this now?” It’s our goal to build technology that solves meaningful problems for our customers. We have an experimentation culture. We retrospect internally with our Tribe, and even externally with our customers. A key element of our culture is to constantly ask ourselves these two questions. It keeps us focused on delivering value to customers.
• “The Tribe is not built from 9 to 5.” A company’s culture is its operating system. As CEO, one of my four core responsibilities is to ensure the creation of a strong Tribe culture. We wrote an entire blog on this topic called “Life at Armory is Awesome.”
• “One hour of talking to customers is worth 8 hours sitting in the office.” We strive to be in front of customers, listening, as often as we can. We put a premium on the learning we can get from customers, and we prioritize that time over being in the office. Our CPO Ben Mappen worked under Steve Blank, and one of his favorite sayings is “there are no facts inside the building.”
- Apply for an open position on our AngelList page.
- DROdio, our CEO, will reach out to you. If your skills look like a fit, we'll do a quick phone call to get to know each other.
- On that call we'll schedule a high level technical interview (typically over Google Hangouts) with Isaac, our CTO.
- If we both want to move forward, we’ll bring you on-site for a deep dive whiteboard technical interview. If you’re not located in the Bay area, we will pay for your flight and hotel.
- If it looks like a fit, we'll make an offer that same day!