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December 26, 2012 By Christian Beedgen

Me at the End of the World

December" class="redactor-autoparser-object"> 20th, 2012. Airport San Francisco. I am sitting at gate 101, waiting to board a plane to Frankfurt, as I do every year around this time. Today I will be flying on an Airbus 380, for the first time in my life. When I arrive in Frankfurt, it will already be the 21st. So, maybe I will never make it there, and the world has ended indeed. Or, maybe, being in the air while everything is going to hell is actually a smart idea, and maybe I will be one of the survivors. As you can tell, it is this time of the year – the liminal space between the years, giving room to much thought about the future, and the past. Fittingly, I am thinking about all the things that have happened last year to our little company. And it is good things that have happened, so I will face the oncoming end of the world with a defiant smirk, anticipating that 2013 will be an even more fun and engaging year, whichever world we will be living in then.

Kumar and I conceived Sumo Logic in early 2010. We started raising money, and eventually the company became a reality in May 2010. We started accepting beta customers around the same time in 2011. And in January 2012, two years after inception, we publicly launched the Sumo Logic service, and declared the company open for business. Throughout this past year however, we have seen what was just a twinkle in our eyes become a reality – a product that is solving problems for our users to such an extent that they are happily becoming customers. And customers are the most important thing for us – we live by and for our customers. The greatest satisfaction when building a product is to see it used. Ultimately we are a business, and paying customers enable us to continue our work on making them and us successful.

Then we introduced Sumo Logic Free in June 2012. With Sumo Logic Free, the entire Sumo Logic service is available to anyone for free. There’s no other limitations other than the amount of data that you can send every day. I think this marks an important step and is actually part of a bigger shift in enterprise software. Instead of hiding the actual product behind endless layers of sales process, today we proudly make the entire, un-crippled product available without any strings attached. Sumo Logic users are becoming customers knowing exactly what they are going to get. We can’t and don’t want to hide what our service is capable of. The age of Software-as-a-Service has changed a lot of things, and certainly so in the realm of enterprise software.

2012 also marks another important milestone for Sumo Logic. When we got started, we were 100% focused on building the product. Now that we are officially in the market, the non-product functions of the company are becoming more and more important. This is obviously something every technology startup is going through. We are blessed and happy to have had the chance to bring Vance Loiselle on board as our President and CEO. Not only does Vance have a stellar track record with a string of successful companies, he’s also actually kinda cool, in his own nerdy way 🙂 – Around the same time as Vance, Mark Musselman joined us to run Sales. I am telling you, I have seen some very sad attempts at selling products in early stage companies, and Mark and all the folks he has since brought on board definitely are on a totally different level, in a class of their own, really. Reflecting on the before-and-after of our sales process over this year, I can only say that I am extremely happy, and super excited about what the next year will bring. What unifies the business and product organizations in Sumo Logic is the unadulterated belief in the superiority of our approach, and the depth of our vision. And no-one is better suited to talk about exactly this vision than Sanjay Sarathy, who some 60 days ago (he denies it, but he is counting) started as our VP of Marketing.

Finally, we ended the year with a bang, announcing the successful close of a Series C round of financing. Getting the folks from Accel to be excited about our company, and to lead the round is a great validation for what we are trying to do here at Sumo Logic. Ping and Jake have enormous and deep knowledge of the Big Data landscape, and no shortage of experience in the operational intelligence space as well. We are honored and very happy to have them on board the Starship Sumo.

And I am still sitting at the gate. My plane apparently got injured by “turbulence” on the way here. The “guys” are inspecting it, and me and like 600 more people waiting to get out of here will be “told” in an hour as to what happens next. Life is like that. Exciting, and not always a straight line. That was Sumo Logic in 2012 and we will be harderbetterfasterstronger in 2013.

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Post Scriptum: that plane got eventually cancelled, leading to massive chaos at the airport. I managed to get rebooked for the following day, via Calgary to Frankfurt. Of course, the next day comes with bad weather and tremendous delays in San Francisco. I do go to Calgary, but miss the connection due to all the delays. I am back at SFO only hours later. I finally manage to fly to Houston on standby the next morning, and take a flight to Frankfurt from there in the evening. So I do make it to Germany. My personal end of the world kicked in around 2am on Friday the 22nd, when i was sitting at the departure hall at SFO waiting to check in my bag for the 3rd time, and realizing i’ll have to wait until 4:30 in the morning, because check-ins are closed. No sleep til Frankfurt, fellas! class="at-below-post-recommended addthis_tool">

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Christian Beedgen

Christian Beedgen

As co-founder and CTO of Sumo Logic, Christian Beedgen brings 18 years experience creating industry-leading enterprise software products. Since 2010 he has been focused on building Sumo Logic’s multi-tenant, cloud-native machine data analytics platform which is widely used today by more than 1,600 customers and 50,000 users. Prior to Sumo Logic, Christian was an early engineer, engineering director and chief architect at ArcSight, contributing to ArcSight’s SIEM and log management solutions.

More posts by Christian Beedgen.