Scout: Starting Up in Colorado’s “Golden Age”
By Cyrus Martin
Leveraging whatever city you’re in is the secret to starting a great company. Here in Fort Collins, it’s about meeting people and connecting.
— Derek Haynes, Co-Founder & CEO, Scout
Scout provides a leading application and server monitoring platform for modern software development teams. I had the privilege of speaking with Derek Haynes, Scout’s co-founder and CEO, to learn more about their unique service and to discover what it’s like to start a technology company in Fort Collins. With customers like Apple, NPR, The New York Times and Adobe, the company’s products are clearly well-trusted and in high demand. Based in Fort Collins, Scout expects to continue growing and hiring locally while building its impressive customer base.
The company’s story in Fort Collins began at a small, shared office in the Innosphere building alongside StatusPage, another company working to find its legs. “We did everything together — skiing, flying drones, mountain biking, rafting — all the fun things in Colorado,” said Derek. Starting up in this kind of collaborative environment played a crucial role in the success of both companies.
Derek co-founded Scout with Andre Lewis in the San Francisco Bay Area. Their goal was “to build an opposite of every business we’ve been a part of before.” The two wanted to create a lifestyle business with great, long-lasting products. And that’s precisely what they’ve done.
Scout’s products are clearly designed for longevity, geared toward solving the major development challenges faced by some of the largest companies in the country. Derek compared the “flow” of using their monitoring app to skiing down the mountain on a powder day in Colorado: “You find this patch through the trees and every turn is just perfect.” Swiftly identifying the developers behind coding issues saves big companies a ton of time, money and unnecessary stress.
When asked why he and Andre decided to set up shop in Fort Collins, Derek said, “We wanted to be able to leave on a bike ride or go skiing.” He described Fort Collins as “a strong, tight-knit community… everyone is around, whether they’re working or playing,” noting how different the region is to the Bay Area. The people have a lot to do with it. He explained how the San Francisco tech community is “a lot flakier… looking to disrupt the next major thing.” In Fort Collins, however, Derek and his team have encountered more people who want to build “long-lasting, beautiful products rather than chasing the next big thing all the time.”
We discussed the need for tech talent to fuel the growth of companies like Scout here in Colorado. He revealed that one of his favorite ways to discover “top-flight,” dependable talent is through local meet-ups. He’s a huge supporter of this style of networking and recruiting, as it allows companies to tap into the local talent pool in an intimate, focused setting rather than sifting through stacks of résumés from out-of-state applicants without knowing whether they’ll ultimately fit in with the team.
As Scout continues to grow, its focus on collaboration and transparency remains. “In technology it’s not like a political campaign where one person wins and the other person loses; that’s what’s awesome about it — it makes it very easy to share what’s working and what’s not,” Derek noted.
Overall, the Scout team seems to embody an infectious and encouraging optimism about the future of the state’s tech community: “Colorado is in its golden age right now, where it’s small enough to reach out to people and get help. Other companies are excited to see you move along.” After seeing so many great things happening across the state throughout this year’s Tech Tour, we couldn’t agree more!