One of Gnip’s founding principles is that every activity matters. We’ve spent years building redundant, reliable, infrastructure with a feature set that minimizes loss. While most SaaS companies today view their platform in common web infrastructure light (lossy, stateless, nascent connections), we do not. Losslessly delivering public social activities in real-time with sub-second latency is hard to do, but our infrastructure is guided by those principles, because our customers demand it.
Gnip could significantly reduce its costs by relaxing the requirements in this area. Our lives would be so much easier if we could tell a customer that we tolerate inconsistent, lossy, data delivery. “You might not get every activity that you asked for” is an unacceptable statement to make to a customer or prospect who is building an application that is rooted in business-critical, timely activity receipt. Nearly all of our customers have built these kinds of applications. Multi-million dollar marketing campaigns can hinge on a single user-generated public social activity. If that activity does not get to the right place at the right time, our customers business is put at significant risk.
Of course, after more than four years in this space, we learned this the hard way. Issues still arise, and we’re not foolish enough to use the “100% reliability” phrase. However, Gnip is dedicated to staying as close to that figure as humanly & technically possible. If you think you missed data with Gnip, we have processes and systems in place to do root-cause analysis to get to the bottom of any delivery issue that may arise. We will turn a feature iteration on a dime to dig into a customer issue, and dedicate our most senior/experienced staff to ferret out a single “lost” activity. You will never hear us say “sorry, you shouldn’t expect to see everything.”
Each Monday we sit down to start a new iteration, and each Monday the plan is prioritized such that Quality of Service related stories sit at the top of the list. With a finite amount of time and energy, it can be hard to watch sexier feature work get pushed down the stack, but our deliberate focus providing a bullet proof service is hard to debate. As a side note, we’re hiring in order to increase overall feature velocity; join us.
Gnip knows high quality of service is a critical piece in your business, and we treat you, and our software to ensure it. We’re not just another web-app. We are the business-end of social media, and we treat our software/infrastructure investment that way.