Sharing the problem areas and opportunities that could see large, rapid growth new challengers emerge

A year ago, we decided to start open-sourcing our thinking around problems areas of interest, starting with 15 Problem Spaces in Developer Tools & Infrastructure We’re Excited About at Venrock. With the hope that it would spark conversations and bring teams together to go after exciting opportunities. With so much that has changed in the world, we decided to follow up almost a year later, with our next iteration.

The last 12 months have been a technology tipping point for businesses in the wake of…


Time to build infrastructure closer to how we build software.

This post was originally authored and published as a guest article for Venture Beat, see it here

The beginning of an Everything as Code (EaC) generation of companies

Engineers are great at making hard things possible. Then repeatable. Then automatable. Then run on their own. Software development has repeated this cycle over and over. We build a new capability; we make it easier to repeat with scripts, we let it run on its own with fixed functions, and then we abstract it into code where we no longer worry or think about it.

Today we build workflows decoupled from the technology themselves, with code that is expressive and declarative, based on…


So much of how we build and deliver software has changed, yet so much has stayed the same.

UNIX, the original operating architecture that underpins our modern stack, was introduced 50 years ago. Linux, the dominant server operating system, was introduced 30 years ago. We rely on virtual machines, introduced 20 years ago. We leverage EC2 to serve and scale, launched 15 years ago.

These aging technologies power a $350B enterprise software market, over $1.5T in global infrastructure, and is expected to grow 3x — 4x over the next decade.

The industry saw an evolution from the 1990s with the…


Building a Commercial Open Source Company

In our time investing and supporting open-source companies, we’ve learned several lessons about project & community growth, balancing roadmap and priorities, go-to-market strategy, considering various deployment models, and more.

In the spirit of open source, we wanted to share these learnings, organized into a series of posts that we’ll be publishing every week — enjoy!

PART 4: Your deployment model is your business model

  1. Serverless does not make a…

Building a Commercial Open Source Company

In our time investing and supporting open-source companies, we’ve learned several lessons about project & community growth, balancing roadmap and priorities, go-to-market strategy, considering various deployment models, and more.

In the spirit of open source, we wanted to share these learnings, organized into a series of posts that we’ll be publishing every week — enjoy!

PART 3: Sequence your distribution & GTM strategy in layers

1. Vibrant communities make for…


Building a Commercial Open Source Company

In our time investing and supporting open source companies, we’ve learned several lessons about project & community growth, balancing roadmap and priorities, go-to-market strategy, considering various deployment models, and more.

In the spirit of open source, we wanted to share these learnings, organized into a series of posts that we’ll be publishing every week — enjoy!

PART 2: Focus your enterprise and OSS roadmaps on developer adoption

1. Solve for the homegrown gap

When developers struggle with…


Since the early 90s, with the emergence of the MIT free software movement and popularity of Linux, there has been an accelerating shift away from proprietary, closed software to open source.

Today the open source ecosystem has over 40M registered users, 2.9M organizations, and 44M projects on Github alone. Just in 2019, 10M new developers joined the GitHub community, contributing to 44M+ repos across the world.

Open source continues to be the heartbeat of the software community and one of the largest and growing segments of the market by IPO, M&A, and market cap; with new projects emerging well beyond…


Every major technology breakthrough of our era has gone through a similar cycle in pursuit of turning fiction to reality.

It starts in the stages of scientific discovery, a pursuit of principle against a theory, a recursive process of hypothesis-experiment. Success of the proof of principle stage graduates to becoming a tractable engineering problem, where the path to getting to a systemized, reproducible, predictable system is generally known and de-risked. Lastly, once successfully engineered to the performance requirements, focus shifts to repeatable manufacturing and scale, simplifying designs for production.

Since theorized by Richard Feynman and Yuri Manin, quantum computing has…


The backstory of our privileged investment into ABL Space

Beginning of the new space economy

We are at the beginning of a new era in the Space economy. There are over 20k satellites filed with the FCC for expected launch within the next 5–8 years. Global Space activity was estimated to be $360 billion in 2018, with commercial space revenues representing 79% of total space activity, expecting to double over the next five years.

Over 90% of the satellites filed to launch are in the ‘small satellite’ (150kg — 750kg) class. Fueled by demand for global broadband, space-based observation & tracking, increased NASA activity, and more…


A new generation of companies are using robotics and autonomy to change the operating experience for critical industries

Thinking about the future of robots and autonomy is exciting; driverless cars, lights-out factories, urban air mobility, robotic surgeons available anywhere in the world. We’ve seen the building blocks come together in warehouses, retail stores, farms, and on the roads. It is now time to build robots for humans, not to replace them.

We still have a long way to go. Why? Because building robots that intend to work fully autonomously in a physical world is hard.

Humans are incredibly good at adapting to dynamic situations to achieve a goal. Robotic and autonomous systems are incredibly powerful at highly precise, responsive, multivariate operations. …

Ethan Batraski

Venture Capitalist, Partner @Venrock, writing about software & hard things for developers, space, and modern computing.

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