AppForce1: news and info for iOS app developers

Gabriel Savit, co-founder at Runway after working as iOS developer

July 19, 2022 Jeroen Leenarts
AppForce1: news and info for iOS app developers
Gabriel Savit, co-founder at Runway after working as iOS developer
AppForce1: news and info for iOS app developers +
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Show Notes Transcript

Learn about why Gabriel and his co-founders got started with Runway. He started out as an iOS developer, but things quickly progressed from there.

Gabriel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/GabrielSavit

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Jeroen Leenarts:

Welcome to a special one on an A two of my podcast. This is an encore presentation of an interview I did with Gabriel suffit, co founder at runway, I wants to extend a special thank you to run by because they have been a sponsor of my podcast for many months now. And I hope to be able to continue this relationship into the future. This is also the final encore presentation of this series related to my vacation next week, I will be back with fresh content in a new podcast episode. Hi, and welcome to another special additional podcast. This is actually an extra special one because with me, I have Gabriel savate. And he is one of the cofounders of runway. And you might have heard runway a little bit more often on my podcast. And that's because they are one of my sponsors, or actually, I should say the sponsor of my podcast. Recently, I've been able to transcribe all my recordings. And that's in part due to their support. And first of all, I really want to thank Gabriel for that. So Gabriel, welcome. And thank you very much for your sponsorship. How are you doing today?

Gabriel Savit:

Doing well, and for sure. We were excited to partner with you on the sponsorship and excited to chat today as well.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Okay, and you're situated in New York, right?

Gabriel Savit:

Much of our teammates, I lived there for a while I spend most of my time these days in Mexico, actually.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So Mexico like down south in the Americas. Correct that one? Wow. That's a different country. Why Mexico?

Gabriel Savit:

So I started the sort of full time Nomad thing, actually before COVID working remotely as a mobile engineer. And and yeah, I just found myself coming back to back to Mexico a lot through Mexico. Great country, very diverse, sort of, like, geographies, things to do places to stay and great place to work from. So yeah.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Oh, that's fun, because that's actually you're the second person on my podcast recently that the digital nomad thing. So what made you decide to pursue such a lifestyle? Yeah,

Gabriel Savit:

it sort of started out of necessity. My, my partner and I met in New York clubs living there working there. And she was there, you know, on a work visa. And that was expiring, she had to leave. And so found work back in Europe. And so I asked my then then employer at a Rent the Runway, if, if I could start working remotely as kind of the first and only person on the team start doing that. So this is, you know, very much pre pre COVID days. Some people weren't so sure how it worked out. But that sort of gave it a shot. And it didn't look back. So to be clear, we didn't start nomadic, just then. But we were moving around a bit. Working, I was certainly working remotely, but we lived in Berlin for a year and a half. And then London. And after that started the full time remote thing. And I don't know it sort of philosophically, I traveled a lot as a kid have always traveled really, since then. And just love it love being able to sort of be wherever I want explore different places. And and yeah, so it's changed a bit with the startup, there's less time to do the exploring. And certainly with COVID, and stuff moving around, much less trying to be a little restriction. For sure. Yeah. Yeah, it's been been a lot of fun. Yeah. can recommend it? For sure.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Yeah. And by the looks of things, hopefully this year, things worldwide will open up a little bit again. Are there some plans in the books when you are able to travel around again to do that? Maybe this year, maybe next year?

Gabriel Savit:

For sure. Yeah. I mean, we've continued moving little by little. The big thing on the radar is actually our first second, I should say, offsite for for our team at runway. So we're trying to organize that and that'll involve a bit of travel. So yeah, bits and pieces trying to do responsibly, but for sure stuff is opening up so it's getting a bit easier. And yeah.

Jeroen Leenarts:

And your partner is she from from Europe or where she's from?

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah, she's from Denmark. Denmark. Yeah, that's very nice. Yeah.

Jeroen Leenarts:

to Denmark as well, or? Yeah,

Gabriel Savit:

many times too busy. Yeah, unfortunately, too often in in the dark or darker months for holidays and stuff. Yeah, but definitely pass through there a bunch. Yeah. Awesome, please.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Okay. Well, it's very interesting to to hear that. That being a nomad digitally is sort of working out pre pandemic and then hopefully it can be picked up again. But we also ran into rent a runway And runway. And so let's untangle that a little bit so that people know very clear that there's a huge difference between rental runway and the company that you've founded runway. So please explain it a little bit what happened to her with all these runways going on there? For sure,

Gabriel Savit:

yeah. So let's talk about them in sort of sequential order, I guess, Rent the Runway came first. That was my first goal. My first employer after graduation. A friend who who graduated from university before me was was working there as rent the runways, I think, very first iOS engineer. Many, many years ago now, before any version of the app was, was released for the runway, so Greenfield, he, he looked me in, brought me onto the team. And there were a few others already, they're also working on the app, who I became close friends with. And together, we yeah, we built out the first version of rent the runway's mobile app. And, of course, around that time, the company was growing like crazy, the product also evolved quite a bit. So was a lot of fun and worked really closely together. And that was, well, just about all of our first experiences with mobile. And we all since have also been working in mobile until now. So when I say we, this is for four co founders of runway. So we say that the naming has absolutely nothing to do with it. But of course, it's the first thing people bring up is sort of the Rent the Runway, join history. But in theory, it was sort of devised in a silo the runway name. And, and yeah, so So four co founders, we met Rent the Runway stayed friends worked in mobile, over the ensuing, I don't know, almost 10 years. And we joined forces about a year and a half ago, to sort of undertake this, this new project is the endeavor to build out a platform designed to help mobile teams to help our former selves with the release process, the mobile release process.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So And to wrap things up with rent runway, what was the what is the company about? What does it do?

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah, so basically, clothing rentals for women in the US, but all over the US a pretty cool model, when you think about it, trying to sort of reduce the, the buy in throughout, that tends to happen fast fashion, that sort of thing. So sort of rentals of higher generally higher quality pieces, although expand, expanded that a lot. And rent, keep it for a few days and and return it. So it started as sort of like a formal events, you would rent you know, fancy dresses and stuff, and move very much towards more of an everyday thing, where people,

Jeroen Leenarts:

the runway is pretty much a tie in with the fashion runway. So that's the catwalk so that people showcase what they're wearing. And especially if, if you have a special occasion, you want to wear something nice, but you're spending like a bucketload of cash and then only wear it like once, maybe not the best investment. And this is a way to, to offset that a little bit. So at rental runway, you were an iOS developer, and you were able to get a lot of things in your mind about iOS development and learn what the intricacies are of basically developing an iOS app and also getting that live and published and dealing with versions and releases and all that stuff. And that's also pretty much the thing that that runway does, right? The runway, the company that you found it after rent runway. So is it something that that got started because of the things that you learned in your seven years at Atlanta runway, and maybe some side projects that you that you did on the side as well?

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah, 100% me and the rest of our team, very much drawing on our own experiences in our own kind of pain points. It took some time kind of to get to this place. So kind of for all of us, we were very much kind of product minded or product forward engineers. Certainly for me, how I got into engineering in the first place is very much a means to an end building things, creating things, product, sort of the user facing side. That was a huge emphasis and also Rent the Runway, that sort of our strength of this team, be all that other stuff, the kind of tooling, the infrastructure, the the process side of things that was a, you know, a necessary evil, like you need to interact with these things day to day. It's not sort of an exciting domain or wasn't for us. So you kind of you kind of just put up with the current state of things we put up with these sorts have very slow, painful, inefficient, annoying release processes. We all took turns as you know, release drivers or captains. And that wasn't fun. It was kind of a week, two weeks of not doing product work. And so it was a shame but but honestly, in the moment, we took it for granted. It sort of it wasn't a focus, I think, to sort of take a step back and think about how, how things could be so much better, and how the process could be improved how the tooling could be improved. So yeah, runway very much born out of that experience. But but required a bit of distance, right, it required us to kind of take a step back and think a bit about our, our day to day as mobile engineers and, and decide to sort of move from the building part, at least on mobile, to the sort of tooling dev tool, side of things, and really try to tackle, tackle the problem and and sort of like open our eyes a bit, I think, to how, how it could even be tackled and improved upon.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So you mentioned something interesting there. And that's that you mentioned that you more sort of like a product person and not like a tech person, per se. Of course, you can do the tech stuff, but you're very much more interested in products. And that shows as well, on your on your profile, I think because runway is not the only company that you were a founder of right.

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah, so co founded sort of one and a half things, I guess, before this, during in the middle of university, co founded my first startup. That was sort of like it was also a mobile first product, my first foray into mobile engineering. And yeah, didn't go anywhere sort of consumer athletes sort of interesting hyperlocal discovery played back when that was a little bit more novel, I suppose. But yeah, time off University, worked on that didn't go anywhere, went back and graduated. And sort of as I just before, I guess, starting at winter runway, I had also split up with my brother a sort of second. Not a startup, more of a product, I guess, sort of a side project called tab, which is actually a really popular Bill splitting app that's used mostly in the US. But by use pretty pretty widely, never monetized it or did really anything beyond maintain it and improve it and add features and stuff. So became a bit of a side project.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So it's tap a free app, or do people pay a subscription or what is it?

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah, totally free. There's, there's no, no money coming in. And we we pay a decent amount of infrastructure rights for it. So yeah, it's just yeah, exactly. Yeah.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So yeah. And that now we also understand why say, yeah, like, yeah, I found that like one and a half thing, because the the taps product is still around nowadays. And it's still ongoing. And the ringtone, that's something that was spun down, like, two years after it started. But it does showcase that you had an interest in products, right? And not just being somebody who works at a company and does their work gets paid for it goes home and enjoys the rest of the day. Would you say that these experiences with being like a product person, on two separate occasions, that it was instrumental in you deciding to take up to challenge with your three other founders to start runway?

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah, I think, I think for sure, it's a mix of like, being product forward, which means a lot of things, right. It's like you'd like the really short feedback loop of getting stuff into people's hands iterating on it, you'd like being close to the end user and that sort of thing. The other massive side is honestly like product or otherwise sort of the startup experience and the startup life. Really, really enjoyed it those many years ago. And, of course, had a taste of that, I guess a bit, especially early days, I Rent the Runway, this sort of cliche startup within a startup, that sort of how the mobile team operated, especially early on, was a lot of fun with tab as an outlet for that sort of thing. kept that going. But you know, runway is kind of the fullest manifestation so far, I guess at the startup thing, like this is definitely the most real of all of these sort of projects and startups for me. And yeah, I mean, all of the prior experience leading up to this, I think for sure. The, again, the products that being close to the user, that's been one of the most rewarding things so far with runway like, we work really closely with a lot of our customers in that interaction and that, that exposure to the wider mobile world, right, like, we're still we're not mobile engineers anymore. But like, we're still so close to that world, that it's really, really fulfilling and nice to still be part of that. And,

Jeroen Leenarts:

yeah, so but what's the dynamic then? Because if you're for people who found it a single company? Are all of these four persons involved day to day hands on with the company? Or is that like a silent founder? Or what's the what's the dynamic there? Because the four people's founding a company? That's, that's quite a lot, right?

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah, it's, it's been, it's been a challenge for sure. I think there's a lot of very natural ways in which we complement each other naturally. And so division of labor and stuff has worked quite well. First and foremost, of course, we work together as a sort of very strong product team. And I think that was very natural to get back to that. So especially sort of earlier days, are really up until recently, so much project, excuse me product work to get done engineering work that has meant There's plenty for everybody to be working on across the stack. So there's sort of some natural divisions front end and back end, and sort of infra stuff as well. pretty natural to split out, we have a fourth co founder who's non technical, so three kind of engineers, non tech, co founders, of course, owning design, and UX and sort of that stuff. And also a lot of our all the other things you need to do when you're starting a company, not just building a product of, you know, website, marketing website, and sort of comps and copy and that stuff. He and I have been sort of helping each other on. So there's kind of natural divisions, we also had a sense pretty early on for sort of who, who wanted to do what, although of course, these things kind of evolve rapidly and kind of before you, before you even realize it, but that has sort of stayed, for the most part pretty true. The biggest change is my time, is spent less and less in engineering, which is sad, because I miss it. And it's fun. But, but there's less and less of that. So luckily, we've been able to sort of fill that sort of gap and help by hiring. So we have a team of engineers now as well, which has been a lot of fun to to complement the four of us. Yeah.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So and within the this group of four people, of which three are technical. So what is your niche? What is your expertise? And where do you bring like a lot of inputs to the table?

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah, I was certainly doing mostly back end. Have some experience. With that from both bring 10 and tab, I wrote our back end for tab. And that was pretty, pretty complex. So some background there, although I had to learn a new new language go, which I can recommend. It's a bit unwieldy at first sight, but but I've enjoyed it. Definitely Miss Swift. Yeah, so focusing on back in helping out bits and pieces on the sort of infra AWS front, because I also have a bit of experience there. And a whole a whole mix of a little bit of front end when, when needed to help out. I'm probably at least comfortable in, in React and sort of jazz stuff, which is our front end. But bits and pieces there otherwise, mostly back end. Yeah.

Jeroen Leenarts:

And you mentioned that your workload is changing as you go with company because runway has been in existence for 18 months now, I think. And that the technical work is getting less and less. So what is the other stuff that's now taking more and more of your time, then?

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah, it's a it's a bit of everything. Yeah, there's a deep, deep intake of breath there. So much different stuff. We have customers now we have quite a few customers. And we have sort of some pretty, pretty exciting names. They're sort of like big teams that are kind of operating at the cutting edge of mobile, and we need to be there for them, we need to be super responsive, and obviously addressing bugs and issues that they're encountering in production. And there is much less of that now than there used to be to, of course, is a positive sign. But you're always going to have some of that. And I think one of our early strengths and something we want to continue is that sort of support engineering sort of side of things. So I'd say a good chunk of my time is actually spent on that. So supporting customers, of course, above the higher up in the funnel, so like getting customers to that point, the sales, the marketing and growth sort of stuff. All of that needs like a sort of quarterback appoint person. So I've been owning most of that. Certainly all of the sales so far. You don't have a sales team. So it's founder lead sales among these demo calls with teams, and doing doing the annoying sort of chasing down, that is sort of funny looking back, when you're on the other side of the table, if you're an engineer working on a team, like you're hearing from these sorts of these people, these tools, trying to try to get into your company and have an appreciation now, the tables have turned and sort of understand how that looks. So yeah, you know, trying not to be being annoying or being too salesy, but really sort of just communicating, I guess, trying to get across what it is we're trying to do, to do the mission, how we're thinking about the problem, because like I said, I think for a lot of teams, like this sort of thing is not in a sort of top three or top five list of priorities. So just just starting that conversation, starting the gears turning, to help them think about it, that's sort of what we, what we want to spark. So that kind of thing takes takes time, I think. Yeah.

Jeroen Leenarts:

And you mentioned funnel back there. So what are the hardest challenges that you're facing right now in runway in getting people to commit to use the products

Gabriel Savit:

it's a few different things, I think the the, the highest priority one is what you'd call top of funnel. So really, it's like getting the word out. Having people know who we are, understand what it is, we're trying to do understand exactly what sort of pain points we can solve how we fit into their current way of doing things. There's this big, there's this big leap that I think has to take place and requires a lot of attention on our part, to get teams to sort of mentally map their current processes tools, tool chain, to a future state where all of that is kind of like, hooked up into runway, we're sort of this integration layer, right? So we don't want teams to drop the tools are already using, we stayed on top and kind of orchestrate across it. So you kind of need to map like, here's how my team is currently doing things. Here's how it looks and works in the runway context, making sure kind of everything lines up runway is able to adapt to the way we want to do things that takes a mental leap. And the the final complicating factor is that a lot of times teams have a difficult time, even sort of exploring, exploring that feeling that out, because for larger teams, you've very often hit this procurement process. So security review, sort of vendor review processes, that can stop a team in its tracks where you can't just like hop on the tool start poking around and trying it out. There's many hoops to jump through before you even get to that point.

Jeroen Leenarts:

And the bigger the clients, the bigger the list of requirements that they put down once they get past the initial phase of interest, right.

Gabriel Savit:

Exactly. Yeah, a lot of those steps.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So so let's take a sidestep, before we continue, because she shared a little bit already on what runway as a company and as a product does. But can you give like the full run sheets of what runway is and why I as a mobile software developer, should be looking at your product.

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah. So I'll start with kind of the last thing you said there, I'm going to speak to sort of an icy mobile engineer. why you'd want to use runway, chances are at some point in your day to day, maybe it's very formal, maybe you are taking your turn as a release manager, very common model on teams sort of like a release driver rotation. Every once in a while, you're gonna have to spend a week or two, sort of managing a release dealing with the random manual tasks and steps in the process, remembering how to do it all because maybe it's been a while since you've asked it needing to feel confident that you can actually sort of execute this release runbook successfully without issues ship, the right build, make sure all of your teammates have, you know, gotten code in they need to get in. And there's just so many moving pieces, so many people involved. And you the mobile engineer often have to sit at the middle of all that and sort of act as traffic cop or coordinator, maybe in partnership with your Pm or TPN even that for most mobile engineers, I know that's not that's not fun. That's not sort of what you're paid to do. It's not a lot of fun. And so they've been awfully good.

Jeroen Leenarts:

And especially the product manager sign off that you need to have that's that's like one of the best bits of doing a release really in my mind because you go to your product manager and you say like yeah, are we good to go and then you get response. Do you think it's good to go? Yes, I think it's good to go okay, then we can go and it's like what why even bother is my opinion then but yeah, officially somebody needs to sign off right?

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah, yeah, for sure. I mean, there's all

Jeroen Leenarts:

you were at like that runway as a product has like this, this role to play for individual contributors to be able to not be the traffic cop anymore. So, runway is a tool for automation, right?

Gabriel Savit:

There's sort of fundamental pieces yet one big one is automation, for sure. And think sort of beyond what is kind of in common currency for many teams now with with sort of CIC D and like build centric automation. There's some stuff you can do there, we're looking beyond that we want to kind of automate end to end from kickoff, you know, branch cuts, version bumps, like all the stuff that happens around in creating release specific Slack channels, many teams do this, through submission through release, quoting that entire cadence schedule on autopilot, allowing you to, you know, automate stuff based on a schedule throughout that cycle, all of the manual tasks along the way, sort of a lot of test flight management with test groups and submitting for review for external sort of, if you have external testers like this steady drip of manual tasks, and annoying stuff that you have to deal with time and time again, that runway can offload. So a big list of sort of automations and stuff that we want to take over. Side note there speaking again, to the sort of icy mobile dev is like some of those automations, maintaining CI CD. Like that's also a job that for most mobile engineers, like they don't want to do or aren't well equipped for. So instead of trying to cobble that together and maintain it, and you know, deal with all the flakiness that is always entails offload that, again, it's about sort of letting you get back to your, your job, your real job, create value for the business, build cool stuff, and ship ship product more easily. So automation. And then the other big thing is this sort of collaboration workflow aspect. No matter how much you automate, especially sort of larger teams, there's still a human element, you still need people getting on the same page, you need those signups, like you said, especially if you have sort of a number of product teams contributing to the same app, there's this whole process to kind of get everyone on the same page. For many teams that plays out over slack back and forth, you might have organized, go, no go meetings, or sync meetings, a lot of wasted time there. So trying to act as a place for a team to come together around a release cycle, the visibility aspects, this sort of at a glance to see the status of all these moving pieces. And also weigh in also collaborate in a way that formalizes sort of a whole the whole exercise.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Yeah. And it's process right that that you're running through with, with the app release. And and in what way does does runway support that because you have the automations, you have the the integration that you deal with all kinds of tools. But I also seen that run my product has a really nice dashboard that really basically takes you on a journey from start to finish. So the start is the kickoff, and the end is the actual release on the stores. And there's a lot of stuff in between there. So So can you tell a little bit about that? Because that's also some dashboarding going on? Right?

Gabriel Savit:

For sure. Yeah, I mean, a big part of it is, is the dashboard, creating a single source of truth, pulling info and inputs from all these different tools that teams are using, but which live in different places. So kind of replacing the like 1020 browser tabs with one place. And doing the work of digesting all those inputs into statuses into this timeline. So when you're referring to sort of like your, your anchor point, a place to kind of go to see how things stand in all of these different areas across the team, right, because there's you know, marketing gets pulled in, or PMS to to update what's new text or to check on, you know, screenshots and appstore assets. QA has a lot to do along the way, sort of signing off on and validating builds. And it's a place to yet see status, but also like come together again, around a release and an execute that workflow in a sort of repeatable very, very organized way. So yeah, dashboard is a huge, huge part of it for teams,

Jeroen Leenarts:

and for teams and companies that that took the plunge with with runway and signed up for a plan and did the entire integration with the help of runway. What is the feedback that you're getting? Once they reached that point?

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah, it's been, I mean, knock on wood, it's been overwhelmingly positive. Teams are really excited. They seem to be having a great time using the tool, making their lives easier. We're hearing in some very quantifiable ways from teams how they're they're saving engineers time with each and every release each and every sprint even Hours of just like wasted time waiting time back and forth, is saved. And also the the sort of less tangible aspects, right, the sort of confidence in releases goes up. And also the the confidence in having, you know, more of the team new team members, run releases without it falling on, you know, a particular senior engineers had to kind of do this all the time. So, yeah,

Jeroen Leenarts:

and would you say that the product that you're creating that a large part of the feedback that you're getting on on the product is also because not only do technical people working on the apps feel like they're in control, because they can do the technical work and contribute to the release, but also that the non technical people involved with the product, the app can see how what things are doing and how things are looking and how to release his goal is that also, you think important of, of the success that runway has been having in the in the last 18 months?

Gabriel Savit:

Very much. So I will say that it sort of varies by team, which is really interesting, actually, to just observe, varies by team, there's many teams that are Yeah, they're looping in their entire sort of interdisciplinary, or they are formalizing their, you know, sign offs from the product side, sign offs on the QA side, engineers, of course, are in there. And so it does become this very collaborative, interdisciplinary exercise. And also, in a safe way, I think just the the footnote there is like, with all of these tools involved, and you know, the alternative being giving access to let's say, App Store, connect to the entire team to go in and just like mess around with stuff. This sort of abstracts that one one degree, and allows teams to just better sort of control and manage that access with with an audit trail. So again, with this sort of goal of making releases sort of more robust and a bit safeguarded?

Jeroen Leenarts:

And does it also mean that if you use your product that if you'd like a really big corporate big enterprise, that runway can also with your product really contribute to the traceability, which might even be a legal requirement in some companies? That that's possible with runway.

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah, exactly. We haven't really haven't had to do much around this yet, in terms of sort of data dumps and stuff. But, of course, there's kind of a full audit trail of what's going on both manual actions, but also, you know, important changes that might be happening and external tools, were creating this sort of central source of information about all of these things. And, yeah, for a lot of companies, you know, we have a number of customers in FinTech and help, that kind of thing is, is very important to make sure that sort of the audit trail exists. So there's like passive ways that we we capture that stuff, and also explicit ways where teams can can build out a process of checks, and sign offs and that audit trail as well.

Jeroen Leenarts:

And, and because I'm looking at the pricing page right now, because foreign for a small company, runway is not cheap. What is the sweet spot in the size of the development team, you think for runway, at least has an X number of engineers, and then it really comes through its own as a product that you just have to have for your releases.

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah. For now, the way the product currently looks and works sweetspot is slightly on the larger side. But the bar there I will say is quite low, we have some really small teams, using us running the releases through us and telling us it's a huge, a huge time saver value add. So there's definitely a spread, there is a sweet spot is slightly on the larger side, doesn't even have to be a lot of engineers, I guess I'd make that distinction is sort of like getting to a certain level of maturity of the org, or the product, let's say it's an app that is used by millions and millions of people. There's a really high bar when it comes to quality, and sort of the level that the team needs to bring to things often, you know, maybe a slightly smaller team as part of a sort of enterprise or larger company. That's a really strong use case. But But yeah, sweet spot, you know, we're lucky to count DoorDash gussto, fair class pass that sort of Team among our customers. And so it looks something like that.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Yeah. And then on the pricing. Sorry. That's unfortunate. So under pricing. There's, there's one more question or two more questions that I have. Because it says an X amount of dollars per month per app. And does that mean like you A single app bundle, or is it like, like an app, in the sense as end users would consider it because if you want to install, for instance, name any app prints, you want to install the Kickstarter app. And depending on device, the person if they will go to the Play Store, or they will go to the App Store is an app like this singular thing, like the app is either on or both on App Store or Play Store, or there. Are those two apps in your pricing plan?

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah, that's a great question. It often comes up, we played around with this language 100 times to try to make it clear. But yeah, it's per basically the thing that ends up in users hands. So iOS and Android versions of a particular product, let's say those are counted separately. Yeah.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Okay. Cool. And what's this about bootstrapping, or an indie dev get in touch for flexible plans? Because that seems that you're also wanting to contribute a little bit back to people who are really small and very much in Bootstrap mode. And don't know yet whether or not there'll be around a couple of months from now.

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah, for sure. It's an area that to be honest, we haven't focused on just because of exactly what we were just talking about what sort of sweet spots. Yeah, and not as many smaller teams and indies come to us. But we do have some that are using runway and like I said, in one way or another, they're they're finding real value. And so yeah, if anyone listening is indie or kind of a precede team, get in touch, we're flexible. And I think one of the really exciting things is this is a framework that you get in place early, maybe not every value prop is something you're using out of the gate. But runway should really help you as you grow, grow the team. And and to do it in a sort of a safe and competent way. So yeah, we'd love to engage that that sort of end of the market more and I think, a little bit down the line, when we have the resources, and we have some ideas up our sleeve. I think there's there's ways in which we want to engage that sort of end of the spectrum. Even more, yeah.

Jeroen Leenarts:

So and So we've talked a lot about runway as the product, but as you as a founder and owning a company 18 months in, what's your Outlook like 18 months from now?

Gabriel Savit:

Who knows, it's, you know, it's really like, the startup thing is, is kind of its day to day, like things change so quickly, there's so many ups and downs. Part of what makes it you know, fun and exciting and interesting. But yeah, to project so far ahead, I think is so hard to say I think we're on a good path. Yeah, we're really happy and excited. With, you know, customers we already have, and certainly where the product is at, has, has come so far in sort of living up to this initial vision, which we we had, which was like quite, quite clear, actually, from the outside where we want it to build, it's really fulfilling to be so far along that kind of arc product development wise. But yeah, looking ahead, the next year and a half, like for sure, we we'd love to be in a place where runway is is known or more of a household name, that sort of so closely associated with with mobile best practice, and kind of in the use at that even more of these really great teams. And, and the other part, like I said, sort of some exciting ideas in the back of the pocket around. Maybe not runway v2, but some interesting sort of new directions or expansions, I think, to to look forward to.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Yeah, because now right now runway is a single product, right? And is runway, like still sorry for work, but is runway still at the runway, or is it already taking off?

Gabriel Savit:

I'd say for sure we've taken off. I can confidently say that. But but we're still you know, we're still in our in our climb. So a lot to do to sort of increase increase that climb rate, I would say and not to overuse the analogies. But

Jeroen Leenarts:

yeah, well, it sounds like that. There's going to be some thing in the future that maybe some investor will strap on a couple of boosters on the plane. Make it into a rocket ship, right. We'll see. Yeah, that will be fun. So um, yeah, just to wrap things up a little bit. You're a business owner now. With three other founders. You also have a staff so people working for you who look at you as you being one of the people in charge. Is that different? Is that something you enjoy? Is that something you had to get used to? What's it like?

Gabriel Savit:

But it's definitely knew for sure. I'd say I'm a pretty low key leader. And that's quite easy. When you have a small team that's really top notch and working closely together. I think things just kind of work quite naturally. And it's really easy to sort of delegate things and sort of trust that they're going to be done and done well, and sort of some of the challenges that I think face leaders as you scale are maybe not here yet. But a bit of an adjustment, but but not super, not super crazy. Trying to sort of lead by example, and yeah, just just kind of help the team enable the team to sort of work the best they can enjoy what they're doing. And, yeah,

Jeroen Leenarts:

yeah, but I mentioned, founding the company itself. So that's the getting all the paperwork and actually starting, that's like, quite an exciting moment. But I've been told that signing the contract of the first employee is also a really big moment, because that's when you know, you're not in there anymore, just as a founder, but you're also there as a business owner, with somebody in some way, dependent on the success of the company as well for their livelihoods as well. Right.

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah, that's, yeah, that I mean, that's definitely a big a big shift when you stop and think about it. And, you know, we're at that point, I think, you know, we, we want out of this exactly the same for us as any employee. And so I think, sort of, already have that level of skin in the game, and that sense of responsibility, whether for ourselves, like the founders, you know, with each other, and anyone who comes on, you know, it's a big, it's a big leap this early, to join a startup and sort of buy in. And so, really, yeah, it is a serious thing. And so there is responsibility, but but sort of knowing that we already have been doing what it takes for each other to sort of bring that level and do our best to make sure this sort of this entire venture succeeds. No, no difference for sort of new people coming on, they get the same, that same sort of dedication to sort of making things work and,

Jeroen Leenarts:

and and in a way, it's, it's, it's a confirmation that the idea that you're having with the founders is something that's at least you can transfer to somebody in a way that they believe in the mission to such an extent that they are willing to take a little bit of a bet on it with their career, right?

Gabriel Savit:

Yeah, for sure. I think it's interesting, because there's so many different reasons why someone might join a startup early. And it might have nothing at all to do with the idea and the mission, although oftentimes, that should be a big part of it. But there's so many aspects, right? Someone Someone is looking for a certain kind of team to work with, or a certain kind of work that's really fulfilling. For they really believe in the mission and the product, and that's sort of what they're diving into. So, so many reasons why you get that buy in early on. But we, you know, when we talk to sort of candidates and, and put ourselves out there, just sort of very, very transparent, very candid like, this is kind of this is what we're doing is the mission, this is where we should have come from, and this is what we're trying to accomplish, and, and startups are hard. And you're gonna be joining us on that journey. And just yet presenting kind of all the facts and getting to know people a bit. It's kind of the best way to approach that.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Yeah, yeah. So if you're a software developer looking for a role, definitely check out runway because they have open positions right now, I think it's a very broad role, because you have to, in a small company do a lot of different things, right. But I've read through it, it sounds like a really interesting thing. And also on the marketing and growth side, there's already somebody that you're looking for as well. So let's help that that you can find the right people rather sooner than later. Just to really close it off. What's What's the best part of being a co founder of this business.

Gabriel Savit:

So hard to distill everything that much but I think an easy one that I kind of always go to and we talked about is sort of what has been surprising to me and how fulfilling it is the I mean to use very wrote terms support engineering, but more broadly like working with customers, sort of expanding my Horizon, my interactions with the mobile world at large and being able to sort of almost be a part of these teams work alongside them. It's not always about runway, people are bouncing ideas off of us more broadly around process and mobile and just how they're kind of setting their teams up and stuff. And it's been really fulfilling to be a part of it. And it's not something I would have thought about in advance, really. So that's, that's been a lot of fun. And already seeing teams sort of grow and evolve. Some of our customers have been growing a ton, even since we started working with them. And being a fly on the wall and sort of seeing some of that is a lot of fun.

Jeroen Leenarts:

Cool. Well, Gabrielle, thanks for your time. It was a very engaging conversation to just pick your brain on a number of things.

Gabriel Savit:

Thank you so much for having me and for the chat.