Maintenance: ROSL80

ROSL80: Reflections on startup life: Week 80

Maintenance will eat you alive!

In the last week, we’ve hit an interesting inflection point — the site is now big enough and has been running long enough (processing over 1 million links per day now) that some maintenance has become inevitable — in fact it’s become essential. Bugs that occur infrequently, happen often enough at this scale that they need some attention. The database has grown to a size that it’s not performing properly anymore without some attention given to it (the basic problem is indexes don’t fit into memory anymore, so we need to either scale up, scale out or get rid of unused data).

The challenge is to manage this maintenance activity without crimping the momentum too much. But it has to be done, or we’ll go backwards.

So that’s been most of our last week — bug fixes, tweaks, removing data from the database and so forth. Hopefully we are on top of this now to the degree that we can keep pushing on with iterating the new features. It feels like nothing much to say at the moment, it’s one of those “mid points” in the inevitable startup cycle. Nothing good, nothing bad, just keep on keeping on.


Lessons Learnt

  • Spending time with new users is well worth it. I had the chance to work with a group of people who signed up for while I was there — lots to take away and digest on how we can improve things.

Goal this week

  • Tweak, tweak, tune, and tweak.