First Six Months with Storify

Storify HQ: the sign is seen from our penthouse office

Time goes fast! It’s been six months since I’ve joined Storify in December 2012. Many cool things have happened, including a bunch of new releases, a company retreat and a hackweek.

Storify + Node.js = <3

Storify + Node.js = <3[/caption]

Rapid Team Growth

Soon after I joined Storify, it hired Don Loeb, Raquel Velez, Skyler Rogers and Philippe Modard. Then, a few months later technical wizards Ari Lerner and Devon Govett came on board. Storify’s team member count climbed over 10 for the first time since its inception more than two years ago!

From Destination to Curation

After the Mendeleev release (more about it at Storify launches redesigned site around media search), Storify looked back into what made it so successful — the social media curation tool for journalists and reporters. With this new direction in mind, our team quickly built a set of features (requested by our top users) and packaged them into the Business plan. In the meantime, the Storify VIP plan was already used by our top super users. Both plans were promoted vigorously via VentureBeat, TechCrunch and TheNextWeb. Our kick-ass head designer Ben Clemens re-thought the editor and the website to much acclaim.

Twitter API v1.1

As usually is the case with startups, Storify engineering team waited until the last month of Twitter API’s v1.0 existence. Nevertheless, the update to 1.1 went smoothly, resulting in a better tweet search for our users; now the requests to Twitter are submitted by Storify on their behalf (with the mandatory authentication).

Company Retreat

We went to the Rodeo Beach with Tony Deifell where we opened our hearts in:

  • answering why do you do what you do? (WDYDWYD)
  • doing writing meditation
  • conducting one-on-ones
  • building drip-sand castles
  • hiking
  • taking a photo session — we actually have normal photos as well, not just the goofy ones ;-)

This one-day trip helped me to understand my colleagues much better. I got in sync with the founders’ ideas and visions.

[caption id="attachment_1018" align="aligncenter" width="640"]ZeroCatered lunch from my favorite Little Delhi SF ZeroCatered lunch from my favorite Little Delhi SF


The first week of June was the first hackweek during which we worked on exciting crazy things related to Storify, but which for one reason or another are not on the roadmap. For example:

  • auto-drafting of tweets based on a hashtag
  • grid elements layout in the editor
  • advanced search without Elastic Search (which is a beast to tame)
  • mongoui (a phpMyAdmin for MongoDB written in Node.js and Derby)

Don and other non-technical team members provided us with snacks, drinks, ideas and support!

Storify Hackweek Wrap-up

Storify Hackweek Wrap-up


I learned a lot about South of Market (SoMA) district in San Francisco, its homeless inhabitants, drug dealers and stinky fast-food joints. All of them are plenty near our office and might have been the cause of four (4!) break-ins (well, not the Burger King though). On the bright side, Twitter and Yammer are just a block away, on Market Street and often do fun and useful events for developers and the startup crowd.

Storify team also had some great outings at Kama Japanese restaurant, Samovar and Azucar Lounge.

Storify HQ: the sign is seen from our penthouse office

Storify HQ: the sign is seen from our penthouse office

Best Regards,
Azat Mardan
Microsoft MVP | Book and Course Author | Software Engineering Leader
Azat Mardan avatar
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3 thoughts on “First Six Months with Storify

  1. Pingback: One Year with Capital One: Lessons Learned

  2. Pingback: Time to Up Your Node.js Skills

  3. Pingback: Good Bye Storify | webapplog

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