In the past few years, we’ve seen a certain… glamorizing of the startup life. Whether it’s digital nomads working next to rice fields in Bali, TV shows that make it seem like all startup founders are ballers with offices that look like a cool rec room in a suburban house, or crazy high IPOs, popular culture has caught on to the fact that we’re doing something different over here. It’s flattering — but most of us know that the startup life is not nearly so sexy as it’s seen on TV.
Because, sure, some of our offices have ping pong tables. But the day-to-day of running an online business can be just as tedious as running a traditional business. Our days are filled with solving problems, little and big, and doing things like making sure our sites are still up, managing orders, and tracking customer data.
That last one is what I want to talk about today: tracking and utilizing data. Doesn’t sound to sexy, does it? It’s not, but it’s essential for any ping pong-loving startup founder to do if he wants to make sure that his office keg stays full. However, tracking and then figuring out how to use customer data is a tedious process that requires a lot of attention and a lot of code.
Unless you’re using Segment, that is.
Segment consolidates data tracking to a single API, simplifying this essential but tedious task. It collects data from every single source (like your website, your app, your servers… you get the idea) and sends it to the third-party tools that you use for analyzation – or your internal systems, or your databases “with the flip of a switch.” What used to take lines and lines of code is reduced down to just one line, and suddenly the very unsexy task of tracking and utilizing data is all taken care of, freeing up time for that in-office Nerf gun fight the team’s been putting off.
In all seriousness though, Segment is clearly on to something here. They raised $45 million through Thrive Capital Accel Partners, Klein Perkins, and YCombinator, doubled their user growth in the last year, tripled revenue in the past eight months, and are currently processing 50 billion API calls a month. Their top customers include household names like Intuit, Conde Nast, Autodesk, DraftKings, and Tivo. In popular culture startup-speak, they’re killin’ it.
So yeah, customer data tracking isn’t sexy — and it probably never will be. But Segment is doing a damn good job of making it that much easier for startups and other companies with a large digital presence (so, everyone) to not only collect information about their users but also utilize it. That’s way cooler than a ping pong table, any day.