Startup Tooling

Tool gif

As the first product hire at Observe Inc., I was tasked with bringing in a lot of tooling to solve problems. I’ve put together this list in the hopes of making the journey easier for others. Feel free to submit a PR if there’s more you think I should add.


  • Notion - Fun fact: For a short time we used notion databases as our project management tool but outgrew it.

Observability & Monitoring

  • Observe - Shameless plug 😜
  • Uptimerobot - No frills synthetic monitoring. Pings all of the things.


Video Conferencing Equipment

  • - Most of the hardware suppliers require you to go through a local reseller and buy separate components. This company is a one click stop for getting integrated zoom equipment.

Project Management

  • JIRA - We probably complain about it on a daily basis but it feels too risky to try one of the upstarts at this time.

SOC2 Compliance

  • Vanta - SOC2 in a box. This company saved my ass as someone who had never run lead this process before.
  • Checkr - We are required to do background checks as part of our SOC2 controls.
  • KnowBe4 - Security awareness training works.

Billing & Usage

  • Ordway Labs - Observe has a usage based pricing model so we could not use the traditional billing system vendors. Ordway caters to B2B companies and has a tight integration with Salesforce.
  • - Before we had any systems in place we would manually bill using this company.

Business Intelligence

  • Metabase - This is an open source BI tool that I used to quickly iterate on usage dashboards for sales. It got the job done well since I was game to write a lot of SQL.
  • Snowflake - We dump all of the datas here.

Customer Success

  • Intercom - We use a custom embed so that there is no floating bar in our app.
  • Slack - All of our customers get invited to a separate user group slack workspace.


  • Gong - Out of all of the tools this is the one I didn’t know I needed. It records and transcribes all of the sales calls. It’s been an invaluable tool for tuning our messaging and hearing from customers.
  • Salesforce
  • Salesloft


  • Marketo - I can’t believe this is still best in class in 2022 but here we are.
  • Google Analytics - I’ve still barely scratched the service with what this can do.
  • Reprise - This lets you build interactive click through demos.
  • Closefactor - Enriches our account lists with special factors we can use for targeting and prioritization.
  • Zoominfo
  • Hootsuite


  • Livestorm - I really wanted a webinar platform that worked in a browser and had good looking forms. This checks all of the boxes at a very reasonable price point.
  • - Video review software we use to give feedback to video editors.
  • - High quality video interview recording. If you’re using zoom to record a customer interview you’re sacrificing a lot of quality.