Jay Paulynice

My thoughts about life, cars, startups, and weight lifting.

Launching Oatfin

Oatfin Demo

Oatfin enables companies to deliver cloud applications faster by helping transition from manual processes to self-service automation and dev-ops practices.

Our app empowers teams to deploy, monitor, scale and secure their apps quickly without the overhead of writing, deploying, and maintaining manual scripts which can take weeks.

We started with automating AWS and Google Cloud Platform and making it a lot simpler to deploy, scale and secure a cloud infrastructure. Our grand vision is to take the data and learning to build a better cloud.

As a software engineer myself with over 10 years experience, I’ve always been frustrated with the current solutions whether that is AWS’s web console, CloudFormation, Terraform, etc.

I didn’t set out to build Oatfin as a cloud infrastructure automation platform. 2 years ago, I started working on a fintech product to connect lenders and wholesale brokers, but I realized I didn’t have the finance knowledge required and if I wanted to continue down that path, I would need to get an MBA or find someone with finance experience to work on it with me. I connected with a lot investors and startup accelerators, but nothing materialized.

I took a break, worked and consulted for many fintech and healthcare startups and that’s where I really started thinking harder about cloud infrastructure. Everywhere I worked at, cloud infrastructure was a major recurring problem. Some examples:

  • 3–4 months to deploy an infrastructure
  • Lack of visibility into the apps
  • Security
  • Logging and monitoring
  • Lack of technical support
  • Expert knowledge of networking/infrastructure
  • Manual, tedious, and time consuming process

What eventually formed the basis of the app was a simple python script I wrote to automate the deployment of an infrastructure. The app uses Flask as a backend while the frontend uses React with Typescript.

How To Find Users Using Job Boards

It goes without saying that selling is hard and most of us are terrible at it. What’s worse is a lot of platforms exist to sell us ad premiums that return no value. For example, a few years ago, I was working on an app and I was desperate to get users and to show people what I was working on. I put some ads on LinkedIn, Facebook, and Twitter. The ads were cheap, but it was a complete waste of money. No one came to my website.

If you follow Hacker News and Paul Graham, one of the things he mentions is you have to do things that don’t scale at first. For example, the Airbnb founders were on the ground in NYC talking to their users and actually helping them take better pictures in order to make the website more appealing to users. This is also true for Stripe when they started. They processed a lot of things manually until they had a good handle on payment infrastructure.

While working on Oatfin, a cloud infrastructure automation platform, one of the things we’ve been doing is going through job boards and finding companies that are looking for DevOps, DevOps Manager, AWS Architect, etc. This has been a huge help for 2 reasons. One, by reading the job postings, we understand the kind of company we’re targeting, the kind of challenges they are facing, who their customers are, and most importantly how they make money (and how we can help them make even more money.) Second, we can develop a rapport and tailor our message to pitch our product.

This has been pretty helpful at least to us so far. I hope to write some more and share more learning.


Bringing The Blog Back

Just getting my blog back up so I can write about things I find interesting! The last few years have been a period of high growth and learning. One of the best things I did was getting off social media in general and instead spending more time in the gym, reading, meditating and learning. I recently tried to resurrect my LinkedIn profile only because otherwise people don’t think I exist.

Today I finished reading the book, “The Instant Millionaire” which I found very interesting. It’s about a young man who despite several disappointments and setbacks, sets out to become a millionaire. He meets an old gardener who gives him the formula to become an instant millionaire.

I also recently read “The Alchemist”, along the same lines. The book is about a shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found. He meets an Alchemist who guides him on his journey.

There are several key messages in these 2 books and perhaps, the most important one as stated in “The Instant Millionaire”, is:

“When the student is ready, the teacher will appear!”

The opposite is also true. If the student isn’t ready, the teacher will never be able to convince the student. Instead, they will become each other’s nemesis. The student has to set out in search of the light and also be in a state of acceptance! It’s worth saying the teacher could be a 5 year old and the student a 60 year old and vice versa. While the acceptance state can start anytime, it can be influenced by involving the subconscious mind. Once the subconscious mind accepts the message, it’s then easily executed by the conscious mind.

This message rings true in just about every walk of life. It’s also the source of every human struggle as illustrated by the story of Jesus in the Bible. When the teacher shows up before the student is ready, it causes a struggle between logic and emotion whereby emotion always wins!

When I set out to become stronger several years ago, I had no clue what I was doing in the gym, but I was “lifting.” Should someone tell me I was doing something wrong, I would be pissed at them! It’s only recently that I learned to lift properly having picked up the book, “Starting Strength”.

Back to the lessons in these books, the most important message is:

“Financial prosperity and a fulfilling life are goals we can all achieve if we understand the principles of success!”

I just started reading “Choose Yourself!” I’m hoping to write more about these books. Hopefully soon! Cheers!

© 2021 Jay Paulynice