"Canopy It" – The New Code Word for Backend Architecture
Canopy: Transforming Backend Integration. Born from experiences at Dell, eBay, and Rackspace, and co-founded with Morgan Dollard, Canopy addresses backend challenges by enabling swift, efficient data connectivity for developers, ushering in a new era of real-time, innovative backend solutions.
As a young software developer at Dell, I remember feeling boxed in and slowed down by endless backend challenges. The Dell direct model was a game-changer then, but for us developers, our reality was a daily grind of writing glue code and patching up bugs. We were in a constant battle against time and inefficiency, where weeks, sometimes months, were lost just waiting for an API — only to go back to the drawing board over missing fields and incorrect data formats. It was clear: there had to be a better way.
My journey through the tech landscapes of Dell, Rackspace, eBay, and Staples not only sharpened my focus on the pervasive issue of data integration hurdles but also offered a contrasting view of how leading companies like Meta, Amazon, and Netflix thrived. As I started building the ecommerce platform fabric in 2017 (a unicorn by 2022), I observed how these giants scaled and adapted swiftly thanks to their distributed system architectures composed of discrete services. This new architecture pattern offered a fast rate of change, local improvements and constrained issues, and most importantly teams who could work across product improvements in massive parallel, instead of the old ways of monolithic architectures where everything impacted everything else.
This realization struck a chord with my early experiences at Dell, highlighting a stark contrast: while these top-tier companies maneuvered with agility, many others, including agile startups, were still trapped in the same backend integration pain points that I had encountered at the beginning of my career.
The seed for Canopy is planted
At fabric, retailers greatly benefited from our next generation ecommerce platform, but still had to connect customer data, inventory, search, content, and financials together, which meant navigating a labyrinth of 30-50 different systems. Any change, like adding a new software vendor, turned into a full project for our customers and system integration partners (SIs).
fabric was a revelation in providing enterprise-level commerce services, akin to Amazon's dynamic, real-time capabilities. However, the integration challenges remained. Teams struggled to build custom code for seamless orchestration. We guided our SIs with precise instructions, but developers needed something more robust, something foundational – a composability platform.
The seed for Canopy was planted in these challenges.
My cofounder Morgan Dollard helped build fabric as well, and we realized that developers across various categories faced similar challenges. So we decided to build a first-principles solution: a platform that any developer could use to quickly and seamlessly compose solutions from a multitude of data sources. As someone who built internet-scale infrastructure at Google that touched hundreds of millions of consumers worldwide, I couldn’t have asked for a better cofounder to start Canopy with.
Introducing the Ghost “Buster” in the machine
From standardizing data for vector databases to simplifying SaaS implementations, from assembling cutting-edge ecommerce solutions to connecting enterprise applications for enhanced visibility, Canopy is the new backbone of innovation. It's a platform where developers can quickly and securely connect to any data source, command data through orchestration and governance, and control data in real-time so frontend applications can access an assembled backend created with Canopy.
In today's fast-paced tech environment, waiting months or years for a project completion is unsustainable. Canopy champions the new norm of days and weeks, even for a single developer. It’s not just an integration tool; it’s a speed accelerator — an abstraction layer that simplifies and removes custom backend complexities.
Our logo, a ghost trapped in the 'C' of Canopy, symbolizes our mission. In a developer's world, every day is an adventure, boldly facing the “ghosts in the machine” – those elusive bugs and scary inefficiencies that haunt our code. Canopy devours these ghosts, transforming once-haunted backends into sleek, efficient distributed architectures.
Unleashing creative potential with Canopy
Imagine an ecommerce store that adapts its product display based on local weather conditions by adding a Weather API, or using Canopy to securely connect and transform data from leading communication platforms like Zoom to improve interactions. As the world pivots towards real-time, data-centric solutions and AI/ML, the potential uses for Canopy are limitless! It’s not just about what Canopy can do, but about what developers will dream up and assemble from the array of the world’s data.
My journey from Dell to fabric, and now to Canopy, has been driven by a desire to solve a pervasive problem in the developer community. Canopy stands today as a testament to this journey – a solution that not only solves the integration challenge but, as a backend composability platform, also opens a world of possibilities for developers to innovate and drive their businesses forward by assembling the world’s data in real-time.
As we embark on this exciting journey with some great venture partners — Kindred Ventures and Village Global — our vision is clear: We're not just building a platform; we're redefining the language of backend development. "Canopy it" will become the new vernacular for simplifying and accelerating backend processes.