Removing Obstacles: Why we integrated Conveyor with GitHub

As we've been opening up Conveyor to more people, we continue to get good feedback. With an early product, focusing on roadblocks is a natural reaction. If you get feedback that someone can't use your product due to a missing feature or compatibility issue, the instinct is to quickly remove those obstacles by adding features or fixing the product. This is also a dangerous game that can send you in a million directions at once. Focusing on the correct obstacles is key, and that all depends on the initial audience you are serving.

With Conveyor, two recent examples are the Windows Client and GitHub Integration. Right now Conveyor is Mac only. For teams who have a mix of Windows and Mac, the product just won't work. On the other side, many teams are already embedded into GitHub, and the switching cost of migrating an entire team's repo hosting to another provider is intense, especially when you are just testing the product. Both of these are highly requested, but choosing which one is more important is difficult.

When looking at both scenarios, we had to decide: Which effort will bring us more adoption? The product is so new that we are still looking for validation, not market expansion. We already know the market of Mac-only teams is large enough, so expanding into teams with mixed environments is too early. We needed to make testing Conveyor easier — to remove the effort it took to try it out as an individual or a team.

Integrating with GitHub makes it easier to try Conveyor, while also pushing off the problems that are already solved - repo hosting. We can let GitHub handle that for now, and if the user prefers, they can switch to our hosting later.

We just released the integration, and it's working extremely well. It's kind of magic how backend Git just makes everything work. A portion of people on a team can use Conveyor, while the rest still use GitHub. This allows testing and adopting the product less effort, helping us validate the Conveyor to a larger audience.

While this seems like such a small decision, the impact is drastic. It could have sent us down a path taking months of engineering effort on a Windows client, spreading us thin and not getting the early results we needed.

Have a look at how the integration works. And if you're currently on GitHub and want to give Conveyor a try, sign up!

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