Key issues discussed in this interview:
- The product-market-fit of Gitlab
- Gitlab’s sweet spot and sales motion
- Competition against Atlassian and Microsoft
- Industry headwinds and tailwinds
ARPU: Can you describe the company's product and the key problems that the users are using the product to solve?
Former Executive: Sure. So GitLab is a DevOps automation tool. The reason someone wants a tool like GitLab is because they are developing a digital product and they want to get their product to market faster with fewer bugs. It's the same reason that anybody buys any DevOps tool. Now, how does it do that and why does it do that? If you think about the process of creating a digital product, there's a bunch of different things that happen and they all fit into a little bucket anywhere from the idea stage on through to the production stage, to where the application is actually being deployed.
Prior to tools like GitLab, each of those stages in the process of bringing a piece of software to market and iterating through perhaps creating new versions later on, each of those stages was managed manually. The process that you go through is pretty standard. So GitLab provides the automation piece between each of those individual phases. You could still do that before GitLab, but what you didn't get before GitLab was a unified view into the data between each of the tools at each of those stages.
So before GitLab people put together their own DevOps pipelines using a bunch of different tool sets and those tool sets, of course all had their own data storage and their own data pieces. They talked to each other their own way. They weren't aware of each other. If you wanted them to work together to automate it, you had to hire someone to come through and tie all the processes together, figure out which pieces of data to move when and where and why. It was a bit of a manual process of getting that done.
GitLab automated all that and allowed companies to much more quickly bring their products to market faster. Not only that, but to bring better products to market faster. Because by cutting out the manual processes, you removed a bunch of error and the way that the CI and applications security testing worked lots and lots of automated tests could happen without you having to intervene in order to be able to happen.
So prior to GitLab there are all these different stages. You mentioned that all these different stages have different set of tools. Is there any attempt between the different stages or tools, to integrate with each other, and try to bridge the gap between these stages?