Lennart Koopmann of Graylog

An exclusive Tech Tribune Q&A with Lennart Koopmann (founder and CTO) of Graylog, which was honored in our:
Tell us the origin story of Graylog – what problem were you trying to solve and why?

I began the Graylog open source project in 2009 while developing and operating a cloud app for a company in Germany. After running into usability and cost challenges when looking for a solution to collect and analyze application logs, I developed Graylog to query vast amounts of data extremely fast and quickly pivot from one query to the next to understand why the application was not behaving as intended. Due to the complex architecture of cloud apps, which are designed to automatically scale up and down as needed, this was a very difficult task.

Graylog was incorporated in 2013 and established a global headquarters in Houston, Texas. Since that time, we have grown to over 50,000+ open source users and 300 enterprise customers, meeting the needs of application developers, DevOps, and IT Ops teams.

What was the biggest hurdle you encountered in your journey?

The ability to find venture capital funding in Germany was tough at the time for open source enterprise software companies. Additionally, operationalizing the company proved challenging. We had to scale from a handful of application developers to defining and implementing a corporate strategy, and then structure the company for growth to become the size that we are today.

For me personally, moving from a software developer to founder and CTO of Graylog required a totally different skillset – I continue to learn and evolve in this journey.

What does the future hold for Graylog?

We are only getting started! We are on a rapid growth curve and expanding across the U.S., Canada, and Europe. We continue to increase our customer base and enhance our centralized log management solution to solve customer needs.

In fact, we recently announced our first user conference dubbed Graylog GO. With over 50,000 Graylog installations and hundreds of thousands of users, the time is right to bring together our Graylog community for an interactive day of learnings.

Ultimately, our goal is to be billed as the obvious choice for log management. And in Houston, we want to be known as one of the big Houston tech companies. When people think of Houston and Texas, we want them to think of Graylog.

What are your thoughts on the local tech startup scene in Houston?

Houston has been a great choice for Graylog as the city has helped contribute to the successes that we’ve achieved so far. I’ve been closely following the progress and forward-moving direction of the Houston Innovation District and how it will impact the technology ecosystem and bring more tech talent into Houston. We are happy to be a part of the early Houston tech scene and look forward to more opportunities to grow as Houston grows.

What’s your best advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

Know what you don’t know and be comfortable and open about it. If you think you know everything, you probably don’t. Learn from those who do know. I knew everything about software development but had to learn what it meant to be a Founder and CTO. I was able to and still do leverage my network in Houston to learn from those more experienced than me.

 

For more exclusive interviews, see our full Profile of a Founder series

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