Meet the Founder

Rookout is a developer-first observability platform that provides an unparalleled ability to collect any piece of data - including logs, traces, and metrics - from the deepest levels of live code in their production environments, with the click of a button. Unlike traditional monitoring tools and APMs, which tend to focus on metrics that DevOps engineers and SREs care about on the infrastructure level, Rookout is built from the ground up for developers, who care more about the actual code and business logic of their applications.
September 7

5 min read

״Deals rise and fall on relationships. it is very easy to be tempted and invest time and energy on features to close a deal instead of investing effort in developing the roadmap that would serve the long-term interests of the company״.

לירן חיימוביץ

Liran Haimovitch

Co-founder and CTO, Rookout

1. Tell us about a daily habit that you like to do

Around two months ago I was given the greatest gift and became a dad to my newborn son, Tommy. Now he is the one who dictates the routine at home, which is why I now find myself getting up every day around 6 am. This new habit allows me to spend quality time with Tommy while he is awake and also gives me some quiet for myself before I dive into my daily tasks. 

2. What advice would you give yourself when starting out and what advice would you completely ignore?

I’ve found that there is a lot of value to founding a startup in a living and breathing ecosystem. It’s not enough to just have an idea. Rather, the ecosystem needs to support that idea. When that happens, the experience becomes a whole lot easier, specifically when finding investors who will invest in funding for you, finding partners, recruiting employees, and beginning GTM processes. Of course, with that being said, everything becomes more difficult when there is no supportive and active environment. Therefore, if co-founders are considering starting a business in a space that is not ready enough, it is worth considering relocating to a place where there is as much support available as possible for the startup they are creating.

In Israel the developer tool ecosystem and community is growing. The more companies there are that exist within them, the easier it becomes to grow as a company and as a tool. When Rookout was founded, a little over five years ago, there were almost no developer tool companies in Israel. Today, the developer tool space has exploded and brought with it an increase in knowledge and available collaborations that strengthen the companies and increase interest among investors in this field. This has also contributed to the wealth of both direct and indirect competition in the market that keeps the market stimulated and ultimately is beneficial for us as companies.

However, you should be careful making statements like “the market is saturated and there is nothing else to innovate”. Often, when a market seems saturated, it is actually an indication of a very strong ecosystem that has a lot of money and demand. This statement is true for both the Israeli cyber market and the Israeli developer tool market. Sometimes an illusion is created of there being nothing left to innovate. In reality, oftentimes these kinds of markets are the ones that have the most opportunities for success.

3. What is your favorite type of content or what content has had the most impact on your life?

At the beginning of the Covid-19 outbreak I participated in a workshop that taught me how to properly stand before an audience and deliver a message. It has been very beneficial to me and, by default, to my company. As a co-founder, a large part of what I do is standing before audiences and conveying messages, whether it’s on a stage or one-on-one interactions. The job of a founder surpasses simply “being the best technologist”. The focus of this job is not necessarily on writing code or thinking about new features. It is also extremely important to know how to properly convey technology-based messages. In my experience, a major part of the CTO role in a dev tool company is doing just this: presenting the company at conferences and on different stages, being interviewed for various articles and podcasts, and more. That’s why the ability to communicate and convey messages is critical for me. The workshop gave me practical tools and taught me a variety of topics, such as how to properly convey messages, speak in front of an audience, work with high-quality cameras and microphones on a technical level (which is very significant!), and much more.

These subjects are less natural to do than one might believe. I remember the first time I sat in front of a camera and, unfortunately, I did exactly all the things I was told *not* to do. After a good amount of study and practice, my presence in front of the camera has become much more natural and fluid.

4. What is the most valuable investment you have ever made? 

“Perfection is achieved not when there’s nothing left to add but when there’s nothing left to remove”.

Rookout’s mission, as a product-oriented company, is to build a product that gives significant value to its users: software engineers. At the end of the day, companies rise and fall according to whether or not they provide value to their customers. Contrary to what many co-founders may think, the customer doesn’t really care about the company’s product. The customer has a problem and they want to solve it. Sometimes, the fewer options, capabilities, and mechanisms that exist in a product, the better for the customer. That is precisely the high value decision that needs to be made. of not investing in excess development that needs to be made. This decision of not investing in excess development dramatically reduces the multitude of choices that the customer has to make, simplifying the process and making their experience easier and more efficient.

5. What quote/mantra or message do you connect with the most?

“Don’t panic.”

Long before I founded Rookout, I used to go diving a lot. The most important rule under water is to stay calm. No matter what goes wrong, stress does not help the situation. The same is true in the business world. It is important to know what can go wrong and prepare the tools in advance to help deal with the situation in real-time. When a crisis breaks out, the worst thing you can do is stress. The ideal response is to keep in touch with your environment, remain calm, keep your composure as much as possible, and strive to exploit the tools at hand for the best result. These are the keys to success under water, but also in the real world 😉

6. What motivates you on good and bad days?

Our customers! At Rookout we are proud to have some of the largest and most successful Israeli and global enterprise companies in the world as our customers.

7. What else do you like to do besides running your company?

As part of my work at Rookout, I often host and participate in interviews. A year ago I took that a step further and began my own podcast – “The Production First Mindset”. The podcast hosts opinion leaders and experts who share their experience on technologies and unique processes in their production environments and covers topics that interest and challenge developers and managers alike.

8. What did you throw away or let go of in your life that had a positive effect on you and why?

When the company was founded, I managed the development department until it grew to around 10 developers. For a very long time after I stepped away from this position, I was still receiving notifications about every small change that was made to our code. Although I didn’t always get into the content of these messages, simply receiving them kept me in the loop. When it got to the stage in which Rookout was radically growing and the changes were becoming more frequent (and my attention was being moved to other areas) was when I decided to fully step away. As much as the monitoring was important to me on a personal level, the decision to release the responsibility allowed me to clear room in my mind and my heart for other demands within the company.

9. Share a failure you experienced and what you learned from it:

This business has taught me two important things. The first is that we at Rookout have an amazing development team that can handle any problem. And the second is that it is rare that deals fall and rise on one feature (unless it affects security in a significant way). Deals rise and fall on relationships. It is important to remember these details because it is very easy to be tempted and invest time and energy on features to close a deal instead of investing effort in developing the roadmap in a different way that would serve the long-term interests of the company.

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Want to take part in knowledge sharing?

We would love to hear from you if you are interested in joining our mission to enrich the ecosystem with knowledge and insights, if there is something you think everyone should know, let us know!

 

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