Lightning Strikes Twice: Why I Joined StackState

Toffer Winslow
Toffer WinslowBoard Member
3 min read

It’s rare to have worked for a company that harnessed a major technical innovation to take advantage of a simultaneous market disruption. And it’s rarer still to have lightning strike twice in your career. I believe StackState is my second strike, and I’m grateful to have an opportunity to lead a company with such potential (see today’s press release).

Twelve years ago I joined the Dynatrace executive team because I saw the company had invented something amazing by harnessing the power of dynamic bytecode instrumentation to enable low-overhead, deep transaction tracing. That innovation came at the same time as a step-function increase in the complexity of the applications that were being built. Though at the time Dynatrace was a small Austrian-born company with almost no US customers and several big, well-entrenched competitors, you could tell that the technical founding team had caught lightning in a bottle. Fast forward a dozen years and Dynatrace is now widely regarded as an industry leader in their space with revenues in excess of $1Bn and a market cap of $17Bn+.

StackState has the same potential.

At the heart of the company’s observability platform is a proprietary versioned graph database that powers a one-of-a-kind topology time machine. This is the innovation needed by companies building and running today’s highly dynamic containerized cloud-based applications. StackState’s approach delivers unique insight into how dependencies change from second to second and identifies the changes that become the root causes of performance issues. After discussions with numerous plugged-in technologists, analysts, VCs, and industry insiders, I’m convinced that the market needs what StackState has and that there’s nothing else like it.

The challenge to build StackState into the next market leader is real. The observability market is crowded, noisy, and holds well-capitalized players whose messages are indistinguishable on the surface. Consolidation has already begun. Fortunately, in addition to StackState’s technical advantages, we have a strong team, many happy customers, and savvy investors who have been successful operators themselves and know what it takes to build a great enterprise software company.

It’s just a matter of execution now, right?

If you’re interested in learning more, there are a ton of great resources listed below. And if you’re interested in being part of what will surely be an amazing adventure, come talk to us. As Ernest Shackleton said in his legendary classified employment ad (with some liberty taken to update the quotation for our more inclusive times):

Shakleton Ad

If you’ve done early stage companies before, you get it!

Learn more about StackState: