Julia Austin is the CTO of DigitalOcean and a Senior Lecturer at Harvard Business School of Entrepreneurial Management.  Hear about her experiences scaling at rocket ship speed leading DigitalOcean’s engineering and product teams.

Find Julia on twitter at @austinfish and find DigitalOcean at DigitalOcean.com

Favorite quotes:

Build a low fidelity MVP as soon as possible to get your product in front of a customer.

The best way to learn how to build product is to *actually* build product.

At DigitalOcean, we follow elements of Agile, but aren’t super rigid about a specific flavor. A lot of what we do depends on the use case.

Early stage startups are fascinating because they’re dealing with *all the things*. How to raise capital; how to deal with personnel issues; personal issues; building a board; hiring; building a product.

As you start to build your company, you have to think about have to dos, want to dos, and good ats are. When you first start, you’re doing all the have to dos. But when you grow, your first hires can be things that you have to do, but you’re not good at.

Having business acumen and understanding how business’ run is important. There are multiple ways to do that. Night school, MBA bootcamps, Techstars. Go for a program that isn’t just about the reputation of the school or the degree, but a program that gives you experience in what you want to do.

My engineering values are
– dont put process in for the sake of process. Process should be elegant and light.
– collaboration has a ton of value. Teamwork is really important.
– the customer experience is about simplicity and elegant.


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