Florian Motlik

Passionate about building great tools to help others build cool products

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Moving On

This blogpost has been written and re-written in my head a number of times. Leaving Codeship, the company, product and team I’ve been working on, sweating for and bleeding with for the last 5 years was no easy decision.

As with every Startup it was the best of times and it was the worst of times. The ups were an amazing and crazy ride. When the downs hit you could only rely on your Team to get through them. And I did rely on my Team often.

As a company, founding team and individually we made the right or wrong choices regularly. The only choice that I know I got completely right was starting the company together with Manny and Mo. They pushed me far beyond what I thought I was capable of. I learned a lot, but most importantly I learned from both of them in their own way to expect more of myself, work harder than I thought I could and set higher goals than I could imagine. There is a

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Vanity Work

Most Startups die through self inflicted wounds. They misjudge the market, don’t execute fast enough, blow up because of personal issues or simply don’t have the skill to build the product or company they are after.

One of the more destructive issues I’ve seen while working in Startups is Vanity. While Vanity metrics have been discussed for a number of years, I’ve found Vanity Work to be at least equally destructive.

Vanity Work for me is work that makes you feel busy, but doesn’t actually accomplish anything. Its the difference between jumping up and down frantically in one place and actually running towards your goal. Both take energy and both make you feel tired, but only one accomplishes reaching your goal.

Too often we get caught up in the feeling of busyness for busyness’s sake. We like to finish tasks, ship new things and generally just get shit done. Too often though getting

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Tools and Services I like

This Blogpost contains a number of services and tools I’ve used in the past either at Codeship or on my own and which I enjoy greatly. They have a short description and mention other tools they work well with. I will update the list over time.

This should serve as an easy to use index for services you want to use with your team or on your own.

Last Updated 11th December 2014



Very simple Hosting for various languages and frameworks. Together with their Postgres hosting a very compelling offering that we still use at Codeship after being a customer for years. The only disadvantage is that you’re very tied to their infrastructure and AWS us-east, so when they are down, you are down (which happens very rarely).

 AWS Elastic Beanstalk

Platform as a Service offering by AWS. Easiest way to get started on AWS but still be able to use the full power of AWS and all of it’s

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Don’t be too frugal when starting your company

Most founders I’ve met are frugal, which is a great quality to have for building a successful business. The problem with it though is that I’ve seen too many founders optimise for expenses way too early.

At the beginning we don’t value our time highly enough and vastly overvalue small amounts of money we are spending.

I’ve had way too many discussions with people building the first iteration of their product who went with Hetzner or another server provider instead of Heroku or AWS because it’s cheaper. Rarely is the time it needs to set up the infrastructure and maintain it taken into account.

And we’ve certainly over optimised for expenses in the past. The number of hours I’ve spent debugging our worker processes on Heroku just because I tried every trick to optimise was endless. The saner way would have been to pay a little more money every month and spend those hours on building

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Build for Change

Change is how we evolve and how we improve. Change is how we learn and how we adapt.

Change is our biggest strength, our strongest weapon and most loyal ally.

Ignoring and mismanaging change is our biggest weakness. Without guidance it will erode our bones, weaken our muscles and crush our will.

Only a team that embraces change can use it’s full potential. Intense focus, an aversion to distractions and the never ending will to take the next step are what let’s you drive change and not be driven by it.

Make sure everyone in your Team pushes for the Next, the Unknown, the Uncharted.

So build your Team for change.

A team ready for change with a process built for stagnation is a sad waste of time. It strengthens your inertia and silences the voices calling for the future. Those voices will be heard, but it won’t be you benefitting from their insights.

So build your Process for

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