Hookdeck's 2021 in review

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Eric Tran

Tue Dec 21 2021

Hookdeck started out as a basement project in 2020, and only recently have we been able to confidently refer to Hookdeck as a "real business." Throughout 2021, which was our first official year of existence, we made several strides forward that we can be proud of. Solidifying our service, growing our team, and sharing our product with developer communities near and far are all milestones that contributed to an exciting year. With that said, let's get into some specifics!

The picture is Alex being in charge of the food during our camping trip in Abitibi-Temiscamingue!

A Year of Firsts

Raising our first round of financing

Hookdeck started the year off strong by incorporating, and shortly afterwards we were able to raise our first round of pre-seed funding with the objective to grow our development team and begin initiatives to build a community around webhooks.

In February, we were excited to have the backing of Francois Arbour (CEO of designstripe and Nolk) from Angels of Many. Also contributing were Gorgias co-founders Alex Plugaru and Romain Lapeyre, as well as LogDNA's co-founder Chris Nguyen. We are grateful for their support and constant advice; their expertise on everything, from hiring to technical knowledge to keeping abreast of the market, has been pivotal in keeping Alex and I focused and moving in the right direction.

Hookdeck lands 320K in pre-seed round led by Arbour & Renaud Capital

Hookdeck raises their pre-seed led by Arbour & Renaud Capital with angel investors Alex Plugaru, Romain Lapeyre [co-founders @ Gorgias], and Chris Nguyen [co-founder @ LogDNA]

Tue Sep 07 2021

Hiring our first team members

We began the year as two co-founders, but after receiving a bit of breathing room from the investment, we tackled the crucial task of growing the team.

It wasn’t easy to hire our first team member. I don't think hiring is an easy task, nor will it ever be, but something that played in our favor is the fact that we are a distributed company. We were able to cross paths with people all over, and have worked with many amazing individuals.

In March 2021 we started to work with Shawn Parent, a seasoned developer who was able to help us build Hookdeck. We also collaborated with Alex Gamburg, a talented marketer who helped us articulate Hookdeck’s position in the market.

After that, we hired Maurice. He was our advisor who was so involved that at some point he shared with us he’d like an operating role to become more hands-on in helping Alex and I build out Hookdeck.

Since then we’ve been adding to the team. There’s Val, a “backend engineer” for work purposes but also a man with many passions (photography, blogging, rock-climbing, the list goes on!) We’ve also been collaborating with Fikayo Adepoju, a tech lead with great passion for writing who’s been focused on creating resources to spread knowledge on webhooks. Also on the team is Ella Chiha, a creative writer-turned-editor who has also added LinkedIn and Twitter to her Hookdeck role. She’s the stalwart overlooking the quality of our content and making sure the message is spread on social media. Each addition to the team brought their own strengths, and we are planning on growing our team even more in the New Year.

Maurice Joins Hookdeck as a Founding Engineer

Maurice Kherlakian joins Hookdeck as Founding Engineer

Mon May 10 2021

Val joins Hookdeck

Valerian Galliat joins Hookdeck as a Senior Backend Engineer!

Fri Nov 12 2021

Hookdeck’s first acquisition

In October, Hookdeck acquired Hookdoo, a scriptable webhook gateway for seamless integration with webhook providers.

Hookdeck and Hookdoo has been a long time coming. Alex (Hookdeck co-founder) and Adnan (the maintainer of the OSS adnanh/webhook) have been bouncing back and forth ideas on the world of webhook tooling since 2020. We were thrilled at the opportunity to help Hookdoo users add a new arrow to their arc by supercharging their work with webhooks, making it as effortless as possible.

Since the acquisition, we are constantly communicating with Adnan and Adnan (Hookdoo founders) to talk about product and feature design. They are experts in understanding the webhook space, and so their input has been invaluable.

Hookdoo joins Hookdeck in building the future of webhook tooling

Hookdeck is thrilled to announce that Hookdoo is now part of the Hookdeck family.

Wed Oct 27 2021

Doing our first post-mortem

November was the first time we suffered from an outage that caused a delay in the service. It was our very first post-mortem. Weeks later, another outage happened.

The first outage was caused by the deployment in production of a PG Bouncer upgrade and the second came down to human involvement. No engineer was on call to adjust our number of workers which turned a minor problem into a much bigger one than it should have been.

We take the reliability of our service extremely seriously, and for these outages to happen was a wake up call that there are fundamental changes we need to make in order for us to avoid these scenarios. Rethinking how our core architecture works and having help tackling initiatives to ensure the reliability of our service were the first steps.

We initiated post-mortems for the first and second outage, where we shared our investigations into the service outages and reflected on what went well, what went wrong, where we got lucky, and what corrective actions to take.

These post mortems are our way to stay honest and transparent with our users about what’s happening. We believe our users have a right to know what’s going on because as we are growing, incidents are going to happen. We won’t always be perfect, but we can make sure that our users are in the loop and that they trust us to improve and make things right.

Making Our Way to the Spotlight

Launching on Hacker News

One of the most exciting parts of this year was our ability to connect with developers and share our service and mission statement with the community. In July, we launched on Hacker News and ended up making it to the front page. What a badge of honor! As long-time HN lurkers, the anxiety of sharing a project we put so much work into with the high chance it could be ignored was hard mentally. We were over the moon when we saw the positive reception and engagement from the community, and it’s an experience we cherish.

Launching on Product Hunt

Shortly after, in August, Hookdeck launched on Product Hunt and ranked #3 of the day. It was very rewarding to rank well on a platform with such a high level of competition. Every day there are hundreds of amazing products launched on Product Hunt, but that day in August the competition was especially ferocious. We learned there’s an element of luck to picking a launch date, but even though we launched on the same day as the Top 1 for the week, we still ranked high and are thrilled!

These moments have always been important for us to celebrate, as feedback like this lets us know that we are on the right track, and allows us to have conversations with developers where we can hear their needs and work to meet them.

Recap of Hookdeck's 2021

Starting from scratch is never easy, but talking to developers with webhooks issues and seeing the rapidly increasing number of webhooks Hookdeck is trusted to process every month motivates us to keep on building. 2021 was a year of firsts, a year of community building, and a time for us to set the roots we need to continue to build the product we believe in.

We started our Slack initially as a means for support, but as the new year comes around we’ve decided to make it public and available to any developer. If you’re interested, come join other developers working on their webhooks-inclusive passion projects! And, as we mentioned earlier, we are looking to expand our team. All the info can be found right here!

Cheers to 2021, and here’s to next year!

Eric, Co-Founder

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