Special Announcement From the DEV Founders

Ben Halpern on November 07, 2019

We are excited to announce that our company, Dev Community Inc., has raised a new round of funding. Last year, we raised ~$950k from a group of dev... [Read Full]
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We are so thankful to have found partners that truly believe in our long-term vision for the community and open-source platform. This is truly just the beginning for DEV, and we look forward to committing ourselves even more deeply to building open-source software that powers safe, modern, and independent communities.

A huge thank you to everyone here in the DEV Community for being part of this journey as readers, commenters, authors, and open-source contributors!

 

The growth of DEV is only possible because there are so many wonderful developers here who share our belief that the software industry can be inclusive to everyone, and that community is how that happens. We can't wait to keep working with all of you on this journey!

We’re also so excited to be working with the team from Mayfield, who have already proven themselves to be deeply supportive and helpful partners. It’s amazing to have Navin and Vivek just a text message, phone call, or email away.

 

In reflection on the success of this endeavor thus far...

This whole thing was really built by newbies. We've since hired a couple more experienced folks, but the work that it took to get the project off the ground was done by people brand new to software.

Our team of code newbies brought energy, perspective, and a willingness to learn.

The most successful sports franchises cultivate a scouting system and train the players they draft. There is an elitism in some tech companies that doesn't give any room for capable juniors to thrive. I'm happy we never felt that way, and I think it has paid off in our thoughtfulness, retention, and general growth as a company.

 

I am so excited that we have been given the opportunity to continue to grow the DEV community and make the software and technology world more accessible and inviting for EVERYONE!

Many of you know it was a hard decision for me to leave my previous company and join DEV, but I joined it bc I believe wholeheartedly in the mission. Having investors to stand by our side that see the vision as well is amazing and we are incredibly lucky.

To all of the amazing folks here at DEV, whether you are an avid reader, occasional commenter, or dedicated blogger, you make this community what it is, THANK YOU to you all!!!

❤️️❤️️❤️️

 

TL;DR

So for those looking for the TL;DR I believe this is what Ben is saying:

  • They raised $11.5M
  • They all have fancy new chief titles
  • The business model is not about selling the platform's data
  • The business model is selling support for the open-source platform.

P.S. I saw no CTO title. Did you leave that title vacant for me? 🙃

 

Yup, that sums it up. And to be clear, these have always been our titles, we just didn't have them listed everywhere. Jess's role in the comp committee is new.

And to add to the business model stuff, we'll continue the on-site monetization in the various ways we're already doing so, like sponsors, listings, and new stuff to come, but that's not what we're looking to max out. To us, making open source our core business model is the healthiest approach and the one where we can deliver the most net good with our time and energy. We also have learned through the past couple years of experience that this is be a great market to be in.

 

To help clarify questions of Axel and Mike:

The business model is selling support for the open-source platform.

making open source our core business model

Let us say ExamPro wanted to run their own version of DEV.to that is focused around Cloud Computing instead of Developers. Since the DEV.to platform is open-source so we can pull the DEV.to repo, provision the servers and maintain the running servers.

Let us say we have no interest in being involved in all this labour. We could pay DEV.to to provision these servers and keep them up to date with the latest codebase.

As more companies want their own DEV.to-like communities they might have specific features they'd like. These features may not be core to what DEV.to would want for their platform. These feature-requests could be turned into plugins (like WordPress) and companies can purchase them.

Another business model is how to manage and grow a community (not from a technical perspective.) They could provide training in the form of webinars, videos or 1-on-1 time or consultancy on strategy.

 

making open source our core business model

Can you explain what that means? It sounds like it’s good for the community but not necessarily for the long-term financial viability of the company.

 

The business model is selling support for the open-source platform.

I don't understand what this means either.

Think gitlab, redis, elasticsearch, docker and probably 100s of more im not aware of.

They are open source. You can use them for free. They make good buck from people who have bigger needs.

 

So much awesome, this transparency and support to the community is one of the reasons I am obsessively supportive and ardent in my sharing, usage, and hype(sharing the website with coworkers or anyone for that matter).

I almost exclusively use dev.to for blogging (I plan on making my own but tieing them together)

So glad to see the things continue and going strong, the amazing vision and mission, that drew me here when I was fed up with other places selling out and becoming toxic environments for sharing knowledge. DEVCommunity, @thepracticaldev , and Dev.to was an oasis that I decided to never leave.

 

Thank you Jacob!!

I was fed up with other places selling out and becoming toxic environments for sharing knowledge.

I think this speaks both to why some people find their way here, and also fundamentally why we had to put the work in to get here in the first place. While it is possible for any conversation on DEV to turn toxic, because with emotions and misunderstandings, we work really hard to make it the exception in the dialog here, rather than the norm.

All in all we just want to make the ecosystem healthier for everyone, and we've really worked to ensure we can focus on a business model that is in alignment with that, rather than working against it.

 

I certainly believe in the mission and I definitely believe in you and your team's passion for that mission.

 

Vivek from Mayfield here. I'm really humbled and excited to be working with Ben, Jess, Peter, and the rest of the DEV Community team on the mission to build more inclusive communities with the power of open source.

I wrote a bit about how I first got excited about DEV and why I believe building an open-source powered community built on positivity and openness really matters here: linkedin.com/pulse/why-i-believe-p...

Hoping to contribute to the mission with some of my past product leadership experiences from Docker, VMware, and AWS, along with working closely as an investor with Mayfield portfolio companies like Hashicorp, Rancher, and Volterra.

Now that it's official maybe it's time for me to start posting articles on DEV too =)

 

Now that it's official maybe it's time for me to start posting articles on DEV too =)

Most definitely ❤️

 
 

Congratulations to 3 extremely insightful, smart, hardworking people and all Dev members who will also benefit greatly by what’s to come. There is something for everyone on Dev.to and I am glad to be taking the journey with you!

 

I've watched free services crop up and realize that they would eventually die without some sort of monetization. Pushbullet comes to mind; Medium also. There seems to be this willingness to remove aspects of services from the free tier to paid. Users get angry and leave; the userbase diminishes. Ad infinitum.

DEV is the exception. Its founders show self-awareness that seems oddly lacking among other services, whether they're competitors or not. Developers are users, too; it should be pretty plain that throwing users under the bus, so to speak, is always a bad idea. The DEV team has never lost sight of that. ❤️

 

Well that is very kind of you.

To speak to some things that help us be just a bit different, although we're fallible just like everybody else.

  • Me, @jess , and @peter are genuinely three very different people. We role in different crowds and sort of care about different things outside of work. All three of us really have a tendency to strive for justice one way or another, but are different enough to eyeball blind spots.
  • We're definitely outsiders in a way, with just enough insider knowledge. We're not based in Silicon Valley and we're not really software industry schmoozers. We sort of do our own thing.
  • We came around at a good time in terms of a lot of other people caring about genuinely doing right by our users, and especially those most vulnerable. Hard to say if that would have mattered as much ten years ago. If it didn't matter to the community it's hard to say it could matter quite so much to us.
  • This whole thing gained traction as a side project before we made it into a business. With a lot of time to make some solid enduring choices before there was as much pressure, we laid a really solid foundation.
  • We lucked out with some incredibly committed and principled early team members like @maestromac and @andy who have been with us a long time. And that's stayed true with the rest of the folks who have since joined up. Our own team would be the first ones to object to anything that was blatantly the wrong thing to do.
 

Congrats on the raise, looking forward to what the future holds for DEV.

 
 

This is so awesome! This community is amazing and I am always inspired by how DEV can serve as an example of how one can make an online space safe, inclusive, and supportive to its users. I tell people all the time how DEV is the best online space I have experienced. Knowing that collecting user data isn't the driver of financial success makes me so happy and proud to be a member of this community. Keep up the great work! I am looking forward to hearing more about the journey of DEV.

 

Congratulations. Tech needed a community like this for a long time. I really enjoy being here so I'm happy to see it flourish. Not only that I'm happy about this because it's awesome to see good things happen to good people.

Cheers for DEV!!

 

I remember how I discovered you through your stickers giveaway in Twitter. It was like 3 years ago if I recall correctly. Keep going!

 
 

Please do that again. I bought a new laptop and it still has a lot of space for new stickers :D

 
 

Congratulations to the team and of course to ourselves as community!
I'm really enjoying to be a part of this awesome community.

Having experienced investors on board is a great way to add to the team and the community.

Sometimes its hard to describe this community to someone I recommend it to because there are so many aspects of how DEV makes a difference ranging from the core values of open source and transparency over a great technology stack and foresight all the way to all this awesome content here.

 

Wow... the DEV team is working hard af and really deserves all the best!

LONG LIVE DEV ❤️️

 
 

Thanks for the ongoing awesomeness as part of the community Yechiel!

 
 

Congratulations! Awesome news 🥳

Must be a great feeling to create such an awesome community, start a business out of it and actually making money with it!

 

It is a great feeling.

The idea to start the project really came from a moment of clarity, like... "whoa Ben, slow down and build something you care about."

I explicitly gave myself a ten year window for success, rather than feeling I had to make it work over night and get burnt out if it didn't. I also slowed down and didn't just work with the first people to show interest. Having @jess and @peter as co-founders is really the perfect group for us. I can't imagine trying to go this on my own and I can't imagine doing it with just one of them as co-founder.

We also have folks on our team who are just sooo bought in. The fact that we have made support, moderation and safety such an important priority is not strictly top down direction. We have folks on the team who really really really empathize with our members and I really couldn't imagine doing it any other way.

So yeah, we're enjoying it, even though it can definitely be stressful at times too.

 

A sincere congrats on the funding.
I start and finish every day scrolling through the app, looking through interesting or useful-looking topics.
I will attempt to contribute to the project as first priority as soon as my programming skills are up to par.

Thank you so much for existing, and please continue to do so.

  • A very satisfied user
 
 

I'm excited for you. The Dev platform has been a shot in the arm for the software development community and has been driving positive change for as long as I've known about it. I wish you all much success with your future endeavours!

 

Congratulations! I can’t wait to watch DEV grow even more!

 

Well done! Here’s to more of the same kind of great community building that has brought so many folks here to collaborate and share. I will always support a positive environment that is kind and welcoming.

 

Congratulations!! Lots of happy hugs for everyone in the team 🥳🎉

 
 

Congrats on your amazing growth and latest fund raising round.

I'm impressed and amazed on Dev continuous focus on providing a home for all developers over the world.

By providing something of value instead of the usual fluff that I encounter from startups.

 

Congrats all on the Series A! 🙌

That should help put some serious horsepower behind your mission. 🚗

Excited for what comes next.

 

The most important point to understand is that we are growing our business in a way that does not rely on a massive collection of user data. Our leverage will be centered on our ability to deliver and support software that powers a more distributed and community-driven Internet — not maxing out the attention and data of individual platform users.

I hope this point will stay relevant and you wont be crossing out "Don't do evil" couple years from now.

 

Congrats! That is amazing news!
Definitely keeping an eye out for new job openings!

 

Awesome! As soon as the new listings go live, we'll sure it's visible on DEV somewhere.

 

Wow. Massive Growth in both Users & Capital. Super excited to see the trend continue and see what DEV turns into even a year from now!

Great work everyone!

 
 

Congrats Ben, Jess and the entire team. Happy for you. I hope Dev one day becomes the social media for techies.

 

If you had open-sourced your funding round I'd have put in all my pocket money w/o thinking twice. Excited what the future holds!

 

Wow! That's so nice to hear. Congratulations DEV team 👏. You all have given a new direction to dev communities. Eagerly waiting for what's gonna come in near future ☺️

 

Congratulations DEV Team! Onward and upward!

 
 

So happy for you all AND my favorite platform. Keep up the great work team <3

 

That's awesome news, congrats to the whole Dev team!! 🥳

 

I'm so happy and proud of you folks! Dev.to is an amazing community, big thanks to you three and everyone else playing their role!

 
 

Good for you all! It's amazing to see such a great community growing. Thanks for giving a great place for dev's to come.

 

Your journey is my favourite success story. and I'm happy to be witnessing it - congrats to the Dev Team!

 
 
 

CONGRATS!!! This is also a fucking huge inspiration for new developers / entrepreneurs.

 

Such great news! Congratulations, The Team! You do very valuable work for the open-source community and you have definitely deserved this new round of investments! We, devs, are proud of Dev.to!

 
 

Congratulations dev team.

And Thank you so much for developers and On a more personal note, me, the opportunity to grow myself and interact with the community.
To more success!🍻

 

So Are you guys gonna share some money with the community also :).In the form
t-shirt giveaways, competitions, and other DEV merch

 

Congratulations to Ben and all Dev.to team for this milestone.

 

Congrats on the funding, we will be here to support.

 
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