How Elixir Helped Chase Granberry Launch and Grow Digital Products

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Cynthia  Gandarilla

Marketing Manager

Cynthia Gandarilla

Curious what Elixir can do for your digital product? Hear from Chase Granberry about his experience on the Elixir Roundtable. Or book a free consult to learn how we can put it to work for you.

When it came time to launch his log management startup Logflare, Chase Granberry chose Elixir from the jump, even though he’d never written a line of it. Within weeks he’d created a modern proof of concept.

Even as an engineering manager who hadn’t written a line of code in Elixir—or any other language—Chase saw not only the technical potential of Elixir to handle huge amounts of data but also its simplicity compared to other, competing tech stacks. He capitalized on the latter to quickly launch Logflare, the startup that would eventually be acquired by Supabase, where Chase now works.

Switching from Ruby to Elixir

Chase’s experience with Elixir began in 2009, with a bootstrapped startup called Authority Labs. That team originally built their marketing software product in Ruby, but found managing the hundreds of instances of running browsers and frequent results downloads was very difficult.

So, on the recommendation of a senior engineer, Authority Labs shifted away from Ruby to Elixir. Chase was drawn largely to the fact that Elixir is built on Erlang and comes with the long, battle-tested foundation Erlang provides.

Of course, it’s possible to build most digital products in most tech stacks, Chase acknowledged. But with Elixir he was able to take Logflare from what was essentially a one-man-show to a proof of concept in just weeks instead of months.

“Because Pub/Sub was just a built-in thing, we had log streaming to the browser in like two weeks. And going from nothing to an advanced, modern-feeling proof of concept, I think it would have taken a lot longer in another stack, for me at least.”

Benefits of Building with Elixir

With the Elixir feature set, it’s far simpler and easier to build elements of a digital product that would be significantly more difficult to create with another language. And benefits of that simplicity extend beyond building new features.

In other languages, like JavaScript, it’s difficult, if not impossible, to be a full-stack developer with all the skills needed to launch a modern digital product. The breadth of the tech stack, disparate tools, and vast number of libraries make it untenable to quickly learn everything for front and back-end development.

“You know, they talk about the full-stack developer these days, and it’s just so difficult for anybody to be full-stack anymore because of the depth of each technology,” he said. “I’d rather pick Erlang to become an expert in because it gives you everything, rather than trying to have to be an expert in 10 different Erlangs.”

That unified code base helped Logflare grow, and the fact that the product was built with Elixir smoothed the way for Supabase to acquire the startup less than two years after he founded it, Chase added.

Throughout his career, Chase saw the benefits of Elixir at three distinctly different companies. At Authority Labs, it gave them the concurrency necessary to serve users. At Logflare, the simplicity of Elixir gave the startup the runway to grow. And now at Supabase—which has seen its own growth spurt—he continues to see it in use to fuel an open-source alternative to Firebase.


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