Touca Advisors Update - Issue #3

Hello, I hope you are safe and well. Here are a few brief updates on Touca.

Taking the Leap

I have decided to leave Vital Images to focus on building Touca. My last day is less than two weeks away.

I am grateful to my colleagues from whom I learned so much in the past four years. I am also grateful to those of you who spared time and provided advice during the past few months.

This has been a difficult decision to make. What may have convinced me is the realization that pursuing Touca is the fastest way that I know to grow my personal and professional skills.

I am well aware that turning Touca into a business product will be challenging. I heard long ago that “starting a company is like driving a car off a cliff: while you still can, you better figure out how to make it fly”. So, to survive, I like to ask your help to be my mentor: given my lack of experience, a 10-minute phone chat every two weeks may go a long way in helping me navigate this adventure.

The Plan Ahead

I am setting the following six-month milestones for Touca.

  • Touca should have at least one paying customer by September.
  • Touca should have ten or more paying customers by March next year.

I am committed to concede that failure to meet either of the two milestones would suggest a possible lack of traction and serves as a signal that I should stop and go back to being a full-time engineer.

Finding one paying customer may not be an adequately ambitious first milestone. This is because I have accepted an offer to work part-time (3d/w) for six months at the @MightyApp startup in hope to learn what it takes to build a company. This too was a difficult decision to make.

Making The Case

Touca’s mission is to make it more efficient to build and maintain software products.

Touca’s value proposition is to help engineering teams compare behavior and performance of different versions of their software workflows, without the need to manage any test result.

Touca’s first customers are established enterprise companies in the medical software industry with large and complex codebases.

While software is eating the world, the labor of building and maintaining it remains largely manual. On average, every engineer spends 17 hours every week on maintaining existing code. With more code written every day than removed, maintaining products will only get more costly. Better and smarter developer tools can easily make this job 10x more efficient in the next 5 years by automating mechanical and time-consuming tasks.

If my conjecture is true that testing software for regressions is as manual, mechanical and error prone as in the companies I have worked at, Touca could become one of these tools.

Product Updates

Here are a few noteworthy newly-released features:

  • Touca now creates and populates a test suite with sample test results when a user creates an account. This feature lets users explore the product and understand how it works without the need to use Touca client libraries and write any code.
  • Onboarding workflow and user interface were redesigned. Users can now sign up just by providing their email address.
  • Client Library for C++ now only requires CMake to build and all its third-party dependencies are now header-only.

Check out touca.io to see other new features and improvements for yourself.

Finally, I recorded a 7-minute product demo that I am not/less embarrassed to share with you.

Apologies if this issue got longer than usual. If it keeps you from unsubscribing, no more qualifying life events are anticipated for next month.