The last time we covered Stack Overflow was back in January when the New York-based tech startup and the largest, most trusted online community for developers to learn, share their programming knowledge, announced the appointment of Teresa Dietrich as Chief Product Officer.
Back in May 2018, Stack Overflow rolled out its Stack Overflow for Teams, a private and internal platform designed to help development teams find answers to questions quickly without disrupting their workflow. Stack Overflow for Teams integrates with existing tools such as Slack in order to promote communication and efficiency, the company explained. “By and large, developers just want to get on with their work,” said Joel Spolsky, co-founder and CEO of Stack Overflow.
Today, Stack Overflow announced it has raised $85 million in Series E funding to accelerate the company’s SaaS knowledge management and collaboration offering, Stack Overflow for Teams. The round was led by GIC with participation from new investor Silver Lake Waterman and existing investors Andreessen Horowitz, Index Ventures, Spark Capital, and Union Square Ventures (USV). The latest round brings Stack Overflow’s total funding to $153 million.
A collaboration platform for developers and technologists to break down silos and work asynchronously to ship products faster, accelerate onboarding, improve customer experience and drive innovation, Stack Overflow for Teams is used by thousands of companies including Bloomberg, Elastic, Expensify, Microsoft, Wix and Zapier. Stack Overflow for Teams is seeing rapid adoption as startups and large enterprises embrace platforms to streamline developer and technologist workflows and integrate tools for transparency, security and communication. Over 200,000 paid users across more than 5,000 teams use the platform across Engineering, Product Management, Data Science and Customer Support.
Founded in 2008 by Joel Spolsky and Jeff Atwood, Stack Overflow is the largest, most trusted online community for anyone that codes to learn, share their knowledge, and build their careers. More than 120 million unique visitors come to Stack Overflow each month to help solve coding problems, develop new skills, and find job opportunities, making it one of the 50 most-visited websites in the world.
To date, Stack Overflow partners with top companies such as Microsoft, Wix, Expensify, and more to help them enable, understand, hire, and engage the world’s developers, with products and services focused on knowledge sharing and collaboration, developer marketing, advertising, and technical recruiting. Stack Overflow is headquartered in New York, with offices in London and Munich.
“This $85 million in new funding, fueled by the growth of Stack Overflow for Teams, allows Stack Overflow to scale rapidly, to accelerate our transformation into a leading SaaS company, to expand into new markets, and to continue to invest in our public platform and the community that is the foundation of our company,” said Stack Overflow CEO Prashanth Chandrasekar. As part of the recent financing, Chandrasekar will join the board of Stack Overflow. A senior leader and cloud veteran from Rackspace, he was appointed CEO of the company in October 2019.
COVID-19 has reshaped what the future of work looks like, with a recent Gartner poll showing that 48% of employees will likely work remotely at least part of the time after COVID-19 versus 30% before the pandemic. Stack Overflow for Teams addresses this emerging customer need by connecting distributed employees and enabling them to easily access a central source of knowledge to unlock information. Forrester’s The Total Economic Impact of Stack Overflow for Teams report found the product has an ROI of 179% for organizations that use it.
“Stack Overflow for Teams makes it easy for our developers to find the information they need quickly. It reduces the repetition of questions internally and eliminates cross-functional silos,” said Chris Thomas, Managing Director at Moody’s Analytics, a customer of Stack Overflow. “Stack Overflow for Teams helps us drive more collaboration and innovation at Moody’s Analytics, especially as we’ve gone fully remote.”
CB Insights: Trends, Insights & Startups from The Fintech 250
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Source: CB Insights
Website Packages – Good or Evil?
If you are an entrepreneur looking to take your business online, website packages many agencies offer might seem like a great deal. You get just what you need for a reasonable price – no tedious discussions and multiple iterations required. But is it really as good as it sounds? Let’s have a closer look at the pros and cons of website development packages and see if it’s a good idea to choose this approach instead of custom development.
Website package: How does it work?
When shopping around for a website, it is as to come across the so-called “packages” – predefined service offerings provided by web agencies. Typically providing a fixed list of features or level of complexity, they are often positioned as all-inclusive service packages. Moreover, they can even let you pick the features you need or choose specific requirements, building up your package just like a constructor.
Such offerings might range from simple corporate website packages for small businesses to complex eCommerce website packages or enterprise solutions. They can specify the number of pages, a number of possible design revisions, or website capabilities in general, for example, blog, contact/subscription form, social media integration, shopping cart, payments.
In addition to letting you choose the features you need, such packages can have some specifications about design (for example, WordPress website packages based on a template or custom design) or additional services, such as hosting, SEO, marketing, support, integrations. Based on the scope of work and the number of services the package offers, the price can range accordingly.
The described approach works well in a number of business domains, including travel packages and SaaS pricing plans. However, other business domains prove to be less suitable for bundled service offerings.
In terms of web development, this type of offering might seem attractive and convenient, especially for a business owner with no tech background. However, this might also turn out to be a crafty way to hook the customers with a cheap offer and upsell all the important features that were not included in the initial offering. So, what are the benefits and drawbacks of the website packages?
The Pros and Cons of Website Development Packages
⦁ Fixed cost – As simple as that, most of us feel more comfortable engaging in cooperation with a definite budget and deadline. This is what makes website packages so attractive in our eyes.
⦁ Relatively low pricing – Website packages pricing is typically lower than any estimate a web development company can offer. However, this might be due to the fact that many features are not included in the package and will be upsold later.
⦁ Better transparency – With a specified list of features and services within a website package, you know what you will get upfront. In some cases, you can even tailor the packages to fit your needs (and budget!).
⦁ Faster time to market – Website packages typically don’t include long planning and business analysis, which might speed up the development process.
Yet, despite the listed benefits, there are many downsides to choosing “bundled” website development services.
⦁ Limited growth opportunities – Being tied to the initial specifications, such websites are typically difficult to scale or customize in the long run. For example, WordPress website packages cannot be further expanded to include eCommerce features.
⦁ Poor customization – If you go for a package offering, all that you will get in the end is another off-the-shelf, generic website. Thus, you won’t be able to stand out among thousands of other small business websites and will lose your brand identity. Plus, you won’t be able to add custom integrations or features due to the initial package limitations.
⦁ Prove to be costly in long-term – Website packages for small business are typically suited for a fast launch, yet they don’t take into account the further development and maintenance. If the agency doesn’t provide any support, the website might turn into a throwaway project, as no other agency will want (or be able to) deal with legacy code.
⦁ You can’t be too picky – With a website package, you won’t be involved in the development process, so you won’t be able to influence anything. Once you choose a package, all you can do is sit and wait for the results. So if the reality doesn’t meet your expectations, there is not much you can do post factum.
⦁ No business outlook – While the absence of analysis and consulting might speed up the project duration, the business outcomes of such a project might turn out to be very poor. Due to the generic character and limited functionality of your website, you will lose a number of competitive benefits.
Making a Decision: Do You Need to Buy a Website Package?
While the website package price is considered to be the main advantage of the described approach, the listed drawbacks clearly outweigh this benefit. A custom approach to web development proves to be more beneficial in terms of business outlook and efficiency. After all, eBay and Amazon didn’t start as generic eCommerce website packages.
Simply put, website packages cannot be tailored to your specific business needs and scale accordingly as your business evolves. We at Eastern Peak always recommend a custom website development approach. By conducting a thorough business analysis and consulting, we get to know your specific requirements. Thus, we can tailor our offering to meet your needs and build a great website for your business.
Source: Alexy Chalimov. Alexey is also a founder and technology evangelist at several technology companies. Previously, as a CEO of the Gett (GetTaxi) technology company, Alexey was in charge of developing the revolutionary Gett service from the ground up and deploying the operation across the globe from London to Moscow and Tel Aviv. Currently, Alexy is the CEO of EasternPeak.
Boston startups expand region’s venture capital footprint
This year has shaken up venture capital, turning a hot early start to 2020 into a glacial period permeated with fear during the early days of COVID-19. That ice quickly melted as venture capitalists discovered that demand for software and other services that startups provide was accelerating, pushing many young tech companies back into growth mode, and investors back into the check-writing arena.
Boston has been an exemplar of the trend, with early pandemic caution dissolving into rapid-fire dealmaking as summer rolled into fall.
We collated new data that underscores the trend, showing that Boston’s third quarter looks very solid compared to its peer groups, and leads greater New England’s share of American venture capital higher during the three-month period.
For our October look at Boston and its startup scene, let’s get into the data and then understand how a new cohort of founders is cropping up among the city’s educational network.
A strong Q3, a strong 2020
Boston’s third quarter was strong, effectively matching the capital raised in New York City during the three-month period. As we head into the fourth quarter, it appears that the silver medal in American startup ecosystems is up for grabs based on what happens in Q4.
Boston could start 2021 as the number-two place to raise venture capital in the country. Or New York City could pip it at the finish line. Let’s check the numbers.
According to PitchBook data shared with TechCrunch, the metro Boston area raised $4.34 billion in venture capital during the third quarter. New York City and its metro area managed $4.45 billion during the same time period, an effective tie. Los Angeles and its own metro area managed just $3.90 billion.
In 2020 the numbers tilt in Boston’s favor, with the city and surrounding area collecting $12.83 billion in venture capital. New York City came in second through Q3, with $12.30 billion in venture capital. Los Angeles was a distant third at $8.66 billion for the year through Q3.
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