Today I joined Testim.io as President and COO. Testim has the potential to disrupt a massive, $8B+ market for web and mobile QA automation. Testim has built an insanely powerful product that seeks to alleviate the pain associated with test automation — current solutions suck. Testim has achieved product market fit (you might want to read more about that below), has a great team and culture spanning our Israel and San Francisco offices, and needed a business leader to help scale the company to the next level.
How I met Oren Rubin
Throughout the years, I’ve seen hundreds of customers struggle to transform agile. QA was the main bottleneck, specifically the creation and maintenance of automated test cases. I’ve seen organizations fire managers and vendors as a result of failure to meet automation goals. Scripting full test suites took months, during which organizations would depend on one or two skilled automation leads. This had impact on time and money. This is a problem worth solving.
Several months ago, a friend told me about an interesting tool they were assessing. He suggested that I have a call with Oren, the founder and CEO. A few weeks later, I was driving on 101, when Oren called me, The next 45 minutes were invigorating. His description of the need was music to my ears. The way he described Testim’s approach to the maintenance of test scripts intrigued me.
A few weeks later I stopped by Heavybit, a San Francisco based accelerator for developer related startups, to meet Oren. We immediately hit it off. He showed me a demo and I loved it! It was exactly the type of tool that was required to help companies automate release cycles generally and quality assurance specifically. It was cloud based, required little scripting and was visual and easy to use. And developers loved it! It took 3 minutes to create a test. I started firing questions at Oren: about Testim’s product roadmap, current customers, personas, integration with other devops tools, etc. Over the following weeks, we had a number of similar discussions.
So why did I join Testim?
Over the last few years, I’ve met hundreds of startups. There are a few ingredients that make a great startup.
Deep and identifiable Pain Point — “Make sure your product is a pain killer. Not a vitamin.” If you help customers address a great need that is making their job more difficult, they will give you the time of day, and more often than not, will be ready to pay for it. I’ve seen that pain point around Continuous Delivery & Continuous Integration and specifically around test automation: the time to author a single test case, the effort required to maintain these test suites and the challenges around the required expertise. Test automation is a big pain point to a vast majority of the development teams I’ve met.
Superb Team with Domain Expertise — Many investors have articulated the qualities of a great team and more importantly a great founder. It is difficult to define one until you meet one. Oren is that kind of founder. Oren has spent the past two decades living and breathing the problem which Testim is trying to solve. He experienced the challenges of agile transformation and built a product based on his unique insights. He largely bootstrapped the company for the first two years with his own money and that of a few prominent Israel angels. He was able to attract a strong, highly technical team of engineers. Based on his product vision and early customer traction, he was also able to attract a prominent group of Silicon Valley and Israel venture funds. And Oren believed that for the company to realize its full business potential, the corporate HQ would have to be based in Silicon Valley. So he packed up and moved to San Francisco.
Oren also possessed certain founder attributes that I value, including being a good listener, open to feedback, and actually implementing product suggestions based on our discussions. The discussions I had with each person on the team also reinforced my excitement. My discussion with Gil, our VP R&D who leads our Israel development office, lasted two hours, where we covered product roadmap and the rapidly changing market. The meeting with Michael Neril, the Founding Partner of Spider Capital, one of Testim’s investors, was a joy. Michael is an ideal investor in my view: He is constantly looking to add value with introductions to consultants, partners, customer prospects and candidates. We speak frequently and he is a great sounding board on strategy.
Clear Product/Market fit — Over the last couple of weeks, I spent time talking to Testim’s customers as well as folks I know and respect. I remember a specific conversation that happened while waiting in line at a coffee shop. A friend who was also in line for coffee introduced me to his CTO. We somehow got to talk about quality and Testim. “I love the product. It’s awesome. They are onto something.” I heard similar reactions from customers. Just today, we received the following note from a new customer: “This is really a good application you have here. It’s a big help to us QAs.” P.S.: Developers love our product even more!
Scalable Channel to Market — A pain-point, a talented team and a great product are not enough. You need a scalable channel to market. Testim has hundreds of active customers and dozens of paying ones with zero money spent on sales, marketing, or a structured process. That’s why I’m excited to be part of this journey. With a structured sales process, an understanding of the pain points, clear definition of the target persona and organization, well-crafted messaging, and a few additional A players on our team, we have the building blocks to build a truly transformative company in the test automation space.
Breakthrough Technology – Many companies approached the challenge of QA automation by focusing on simplifying authoring using GUI based play and record. Testim’s approach, focusing on stability and reliability first is refreshing. The evolution of real-time machine learning powers the ability to analyze hundreds of elements and thousands of attributes, enabling Testim to deeply understand the Document Object Model (DOM) in order to create dynamic test suites which are adaptive to changes in the application.
That brings me to my last two comments:
1.If you are looking for a powerful, stable, yet simple automation tool — please reach out.
2.I’m also hiring. If you or someone you know is talented, highly productive, thrives in a fast moving startup, and is a team player — please reach out.
Testim uses machine learning for the authoring, execution and self-maintenance of automated test suites. Testim learns from every execution, self-improving the stability of test cases resulting in a test suite that doesn’t break on every code change.
A developer can author test cases in minutes. Testim powers the transition to agile and shift left, giving organizations the tools to maintain maximum coverage over every release. Testim, headquartered in San Francisco, is backed by a leading group of U.S. and Israel venture capital funds.