CloudRail: “We Believe In A Fully Connected World.”

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CEO of CloudRail, Felix Kollmar, explains what everyday developer problems his universal API solves and what a fully connected world will look like:

Describe CloudRail in 50 words or less.

CloudRail is an universal API. It solves the problem of developers needing to spend time integrating cloud services or smart devices to their applications manually. With CloudRail, they have just one API to work with, and then they can interact with any online service or Internet enabled device.

Why did you decide to pursue your own dreams rather than someone else’s?

To change something. Working in a huge company can be fun as well but my experience was, that ideas and the willingness to improve or fundamentally change something is valued but usually not executed. There are tons of ideas in a company which are just lost due to the fact of complicated decision processes and the slowness inherent in large structures. A startup is different: You have an idea, you try it, fail, change and try again. Working in my own company on my own dreams – for me – is the only way to have a real impact which I personally consider important.

Describe your typical working day from coming to the office to leaving it.

I usually don’t have a very structured day. Tasks and new challenges are coming up so fast, that every planning would be just wasted time. Of course I have my list of things which needs to get done but I’m pretty good in prioritizing them over the day. So besides our planned team meetings, appointments and, very important, lunch with a quick round of football afterwards, it is hard to say how a typical day for me looks like.

7 years from now: How did your startup change the world?

We believe in a fully connected world. The vision of the Internet of Everything will slowly become true and CloudRail plays an essential role in making software, devices and clouds compatible. People will enjoy that their smart devices are finally compatible and their apps are working seamlessly with any cloud provider. Everything will be just connected without worrying about different vendors or standards — all powered by the CloudRail technology.

Why should developers use CloudRail?

cloudrailWhen developers manually integrate an external service into their application, time is wasted in reading API documentation, debugging, and later down the line, updating the integration if the API provider changes their implementation, such as in the case of Dropbox recently.

With CloudRail installed in an application, adding new integrations takes just a few clicks, allowing developers to add more services and features to their application faster than ever before. They also get more time during the day to work on the core of their code, instead of wasting time trying to get individual integrations to work.

In what ways do you measure your success and how do you make sure you don’t lose track?

Every day we are monitoring how many people have joined our developer community. More than that though, we are also keeping track of what people are doing with the tool. If they aren’t building apps, or adding new integrations, then we know we are doing something wrong and need to course correct. This keeps us up to date with our customers and insures that we stay on track in creating the best tool possible for the developer community.

Already pivoted? Did customers use the service like you imagined it in the beginning?

At the moment, we are still in the early stages of post-launch, so we are still discovering what the community wants from a tool such as ours. Of course, if the community tells us otherwise, we will be pivoting. Our initial results, however, is showing that developers are doing what we expect them to be doing with making additional integrations available for all other developers to use.

Bootstrapped or financed: What fuels your startup now and what will in the future?

We already secured a seed round from some VCs. That was the only way for us to develop this complex technology and build up the necessary team around it. I still think that was the right decision and I would always do it again. It is not only about the money, but also about the experience investors share with you.

With ferocious competition and a booming trend to build new companies: How do you make sure you don’t get lost in the shuffle?

Firstly, we keep a very close eye on our customers and what they are doing. This means that we can course-adjust depending on what they are doing. In fact, course adjusting is something that is key in the CloudRail DNA: If something we try doesn’t work, we drop it and move to the next thing. This allows us to keep on top of companies that stick to trying to make something that doesn’t work successful. Our thinking is that failed process, code or functionality simply shows what paths should be taken and makes picking the right one easier.

What do you look for in team members?

We want people who are excited about the CloudRail technology as we are. We want passionate people who come into work every day knowing that they are making steps into making the world a better place not just for developers but everyone. We want people who are both not afraid of failure, but will also get straight back up and try out the next thing. We are very international and hire the best talents, no matter where they come from.

Why would a talent join your team?

We give them the opportunity to create a part of the internet of tomorrow. Developing a solution which has such an impact and will improve the lives of everyone, from developers to every day users of applications, is definitely the best argument we have. Moreover we offer a vibrant and fun work atmosphere, where everyone can make their own ideas reality. All we ask is that you have a plan for what to do if what you are doing doesn’t work.

What was your most memorable moment so far?

A few weeks ago on our launch date. Launching the product and seeing what the world will do with it is why we’ve spent so many hours perfecting the CloudRail Universal API. All throughout the day we were constantly monitoring what people were saying about us online and what users were doing within the CloudRail Workbench. Having an awesome team behind you, fighting to make the CloudRail vision to come true is a phenomenal experience.

What advice would you give fellow founders for their startup?

Try things and talk to other people. The biggest mistake I did with my first startup was developing way to long “under the radar” and then launching with almost no user feedback. Always validate your idea by talking with potential customers and giving them prototypes as early as possible. Of course it is important to filter between valuable and not so valuable feedback. There are a lot of people out there claiming to be an expert without knowing anything about your product and the industry.



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