PowerTools's grand plan to make the cloud easy again.

Jon Morehouse

June 24, 20218 min read

Our plan to make shipping software easy again

After over a year of hard work, we are happy to officially share PowerTools with the world. PowerTools is the world's first fully managed software platform that runs on your cloud account.

9 out of 10 companies end up building an internal software platform.

Before starting PowerTools, I had spent almost 5 years full-time and as a consultant building platforms for software teams. I've made a living building software platforms that "give you the Heroku experience on AWS". At PowerTools, we've taken this a step further and built a platform for software teams that are building on AWS, GCP, and Azure.

Amazing developer experiences - just not at work

As a solo developer, shipping your code to the cloud is easy - whether it's Heroku, Netlify or Render, deploying your side project usually takes just a few commands or a git push.

At work, deploying your code is seldom the same experience. Oftentimes, shipping a new application at work takes at least 10x as much work as deploying a side project. Whether wrangling internal tools, manually setting up build pipelines, or going through reviews - it's just not as easy.

Almost every software team told us that building on a major public cloud was non-negotiable.

We talked to over 300 companies to figure out why they weren't using the tools their developers knew and loved. Almost every single company gave us the same answer, stating that building on AWS, GCP, or Azure was a requirement.

The internal software platform

Almost 9 out of every 10 companies we talked to either had built a software platform already or were planning to. While some teams had started on a 3rd party platform (and were planning to migrate later), the vast majority were already on a major cloud.

Every team we talked to had some type of developer workflow with the following:

  • local dev tooling
  • build, test and deploy tooling
  • ci / cd
  • cloud management

Some companies had a platform automating some pieces of the workflow, and others had cobbled together a platform. Some teams still even had their CTO managing their internal dev tools.

Almost every single company had planned on hiring an SRE, infrastructure, or DevOps hire to help them build out an internal software platform and keep their team shipping. They all mentioned building something "like Heroku" that ran on their AWS account.

Why you shouldn't build an internal platform

Most companies told us that their internal tooling wasn't perfect - even if they had an infra team. The truth of the matter is simple: no internal team will ever have the bandwidth to build in support for the required best practices, security, and paradigms that modern software development requires.

"We've been meaning to rebuild our ci instance for months now"

For most software companies, building an internal software platform involves a huge investment in undifferentiated business value. Internal software platforms are hard to build and seldom have as good of a user experience as a 3rd party platform.

At a minimum, software platforms require:

  • built-in best practices for frontend, backend, and serverless
  • built-in security best practices
  • built-in infrastructure management

No matter how big the infra team, without continued budget these internal platforms inevitably always fall behind the needs of modern software development. Building a great developer experience on an internal platform ends up being a "nice to have," - slowing your team down over time.

"We can't try serverless because we don't have the tooling for it yet"

So why would any company build their own, instead of just using <insert favorite dev-tool here>?

The importance of on-cloud

Every company that told us they were building a software platform told us simply, "because we need to be on AWS, GCP or Azure." These companies, especially in security-sensitive industries, are willing to sacrifice developer productivity to be on a major public cloud they trust.

As solo developers, we always talk about the speed of development being most important. So what is so important to software teams that they would ultimately risk this speed by building their own?

"We'd rather move slower on AWS than migrate later." - VP engineering.

Software teams care about speed, but also:

  • security
  • extensibility
  • debuggability
  • operability

Ultimately, software companies build on a major cloud because they want CONTROL. These teams want to be sure they can meet compliance needs (fintech, healthcare), scale, and ultimately their rapidly changing business needs.

Introducing the world's first on-cloud platform

We're happy to announce the world's first software platform that meets the needs of modern software companies. PowerTools is a fully managed platform that runs on your own AWS, GCP, or Azure account and lets your team ship any type of application. Whether you are building a public or internal app or whether your team prefers serverless over containers you can build it with our platform.

Our business model, as a closed source on-cloud platform, ensures that we will always be able to give your team the developer experience you need without sacrificing control.

Build on a software platform with a business model you can trust.

We have combined all of the features that both software developers and teams want, into a single tool. With a single command, give your team a platform with superpowers:

  • support for static sites, serverless and containers
  • dev, build, deploy and operate with one tool
  • managed infra, workload isolation, and private networking
  • multi-cloud, multi-account, and multi-region built-in

Your PowerTools platform runs entirely on your cloud account (no dependency on our servers) and we never have access to your infrastructure - and we mean it.

We never have access to your infrastructure - and we mean it.

Get a modern developer experience for serverless, static site and container apps without sacrificing control.

Our vision

We believe the future is on-cloud, and every day more and more teams are building on AWS, GCP, or Azure first.

Our vision is to become the defacto way teams ship software on AWS, GCP, and Azure. Our platform is the first fully managed platform that can run on any cloud account and works for fintech, healthcare, and other security-aware industries.

Our vision is to become the defacto way teams ship software on AWS, GCP and Azure.

We promise to give our customers the speed and ease of their favorite tools, all on their own cloud and without ever having to give up access to mission-critical infrastructure or data.

♥️ In closing, we want to send a HUGE thank you to our early customers. Thank you for believing in our vision and choosing PowerTools.

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