Share:

  • Facebook
  • Hacker News

Follow:

  • Twitter
  • Facebook
  • RSS
Chris Cardell

Interview with Leah Culver (Grove.io)

Grove.io is a service that provides private hosted IRC, plus more, for as little as $10/month. I interviewed Leah Culver, Grove.io founder to find out more. This interview is the forty seventh in a series of DW interviews. Big thank you to Leah for the interview!

How would you describe Grove.io in under 50 words?

Grove is hosted IRC (group chat) for companies. We provide a better way to communicate about your projects.

When did you realise you wanted to be a developer?

I made my first webpage when I was 15 but I didn’t figure out that I loved coding until I took a programming class in college.

How did you become an author of OAuth 1.0? What did you take away from the experience?

I got involved with OAuth in 2007 when I was looking to build an API for my first startup, Pownce. I heard that a few people were working on a new authentication specification based on Flickr’s flavor of token-based auth. I volunteered to write the first implementation of OAuth based purely on the spec. My implementation sucked. OAuth is so much better now!

You co-found Pownce in March 2007 and led the development. How did you meet co-founders Kevin Rose and Daniel Burka?

I met Kevin and Daniel at a bar in San Francisco. No joke.

What made you decide to start working on Grove.io?

I’ve always been passionate about communication products and I think Grove fills a real need right now for better company communication. Grove allows teams to work with less email and face-to-face meetings. It also provides an invaluable tool for working with telecommuters.

What technologies have you used to build Grove.io?

The IRC server is custom and written in Python. The web application is Python/Django and the web chat client uses Backbone.js for it’s fancy UI. We also use Redis for message passing.

What was technically the most challenging part of developing Grove.io?

The most technically challenging aspect was building an IRC server that works like a web application and also plays nicely with IRC clients.

There are IRC clients for every platform (Mac, Windows, Linux, iPhone, Android, etc.) and it’s very important to us that Grove works well for everyone.

You were funded by Y Combinator winter 2011. Would you recommend applying?

Yes! I recommend applying to everything as long as you think it can help your company. YC won’t make or break your startup but it’s an extremely valuable resource. The best part is the alumni network.

Who is Grove.io’s biggest competitor?

Our competition is someone setting up and running their own IRC server. Grove makes it so much easier to just start chatting. We’ve also added a ton of features on top of IRC like daily archives, search, a web client, and GitHub integration.

Are you trying to introduce IRC to a non technical audience?

It’s about getting customers who are already know the value of IRC to share it with their teammates.

You’ve had a varied career. What one piece of advice would you give to your past self 6 years ago?

Relax and don’t worry too much. Everything will work out just fine.

What are you most excited about at the moment?

I’m surprised to find that I really enjoy working with business customers.

Can you convince the reader to start using Grove.io in under 50 words?

If you’re looking for a better way to communicate with your team on projects, try Grove.

Finished reading? Check out Grove.io!

This entry was posted on Monday, February 6th, 2012 at 8:39 am GMT. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.



Quick links

Print | Email this story

You might also like

    None Found

Most Popular


Recent Articles



What are you most excited about at the moment?

Answering all of my emails. AND, we’re about to launch $30M endowment campaign for Ubuntu Education Fund, a campaign for Seeds of Peace...
Jenna Arnold (Press Play)

Jenna Arnold
Press Play

Building a community isn’t easy, how are you getting people on board?

We are trying to get some exposure on sites and food blogs. We also suggest users to share their recipes on social networks. I think social spread...
Matteo Alessani (Recipefy)

Matteo Alessani
Recipefy

You are responsible for marketing and business development. How have you promoted Paymo?

Our main focus is building a quality product that people love to use and recommend. I truly believe this is the best marketing strategy a company...
Jan Lukacs (Paymo)

Jan Lukacs
Paymo

Swydo has 5 different pricing packages, which has been most popular?

The free one :) But seriously. People are migrating slowly up in the pyramid of our plans, starting with free and then choosing a paid plan to...
Jeroen Maljers (Swydo)

Jeroen Maljers
Swydo

What piece of advice would you give to startup founders?

Stick with what you know. Solve a problem you have had and build the solution with a technology you already know and understand. Your chance of...
Jay Wadley (Mail Monitor)

Jay Wadley
Mail Monitor

You and your team grew iPipeline’s revenue from $5.3 million to $24.3 million over the last 3 years. What are the main factors that have led to this success?

Actually we will hit $60 million this year. Our growth is a direct result of taking solutions to a market place where there is a need. Our...
Tim Wallace (iPipeline)

Tim Wallace
iPipeline

Tell us about Plurk Inc. and Wedoist, and how you got to be where you are now.

I co-founded Plurk in the end of 2007 and we grew it to be one of the top 1000 sites in the world – with millions of users, billions of pageviews and...
Amir Salihefendic (Todoist)

Amir Salihefendic
Todoist