What happens when your product suddenly grows 500x in a year

Rapid growth usually rapidly increases the workload and leads organizations to increase the number of people developing and supporting a product, which then causes everything to become a lot more complex. But scaling up user demand does not need to mean scaling up development processes and teams. Gojko will present a case study of his recent work on Narakeet (www.narakeet.com), where a massive surge in usage did not significantly increase the complexity of the work.

During the past year, Narakeet website traffic grew by roughly 100 times, and active usage of the product increased from 150-200 conversion tasks per day to roughly 100,000 daily conversions. That's about 500-600x year-on-year growth. With such an explosive change, weird edge case problems that would happen once every few years start to materialize every day. Bottlenecks pop up in the weirdest places. Audience preferences change rapidly as new people discover the product. Relatively unimportant bugs turn into critical blockers in a week. And of course, users keep doing the weirdest things that nobody could predict. This talk will provide valuable insights into the challenges that come with rapid growth and the importance of observability in overcoming them. Learn how to steer your product growth gently without overcomplicating delivery and focusing on value, and how cheap and dirty observability can provide the necessary information to make informed decisions.

This talk was delivered for the ALE Krakow community in March 2023. Learn more about ALE Krakow at https://www.alekrakow.com/