Listen Here

| |



Welcome to another episode of Unicorn Builders. In this episode, we’re joined by Milin Desai, CEO of Sentry, a developer-first application monitoring platform that has raised over $200 Million in funding.

  • Sentry’s mission to help developers quickly resolve issues in production by providing real-time alerts and context down to the line of code and committer

  • The evolution of Sentry’s market category from error monitoring to a broader focus on observability and developer-centric solutions

  • Sentry’s bottoms-up, community-led growth model and the importance of being authentic, present, and helpful to the developer community

  • The company’s thought leadership strategy, which emphasizes building a great product, contributing to open source, and enabling the community through initiatives like the Syntax FM acquisition

  • Sentry’s focus on solving for the developer persona and the role of a strong team culture in driving the company’s success

  • The vision for Sentry to become an indispensable assistant to developers, enhancing their day-to-day work and solving intricate problems they face


Prioritize Product-Market Fit at Scale:

Sentry's growth can be attributed to achieving what Milin calls "at-scale product-market fit," where the company becomes the go-to solution for a specific problem (in their case, error monitoring for developers). B2B founders should focus on iterating until they reach this level of market recognition and pull from their target audience.

Embrace a Bottoms-Up, Community-Led Growth Model:

Sentry's success stems from its deep understanding and engagement with the developer community. By being authentic, present, and helpful to their target users, the company has built trust and advocacy that fuels its growth. B2B founders should consider how they can foster a strong community around their product and leverage that as a growth engine.

Invest in Your Ecosystem's Success:

Sentry's acquisition of Syntax FM demonstrates the value of supporting and enabling the broader ecosystem in which your company operates. B2B founders should look for opportunities to elevate their industry through initiatives like sponsoring events, funding research and education, or acquiring respected media properties. The key is to prioritize authenticity, independence, and alignment with your mission to create long-term value for your target audience

Stay Focused on Your Target Persona:

Despite the temptation to expand into adjacent markets or customer segments, Sentry has remained laser-focused on solving for the developer persona. This focus has allowed them to build a best-in-class product and establish a strong market position. B2B founders should resist the urge to be everything to everyone and instead double down on serving their core target audience exceptionally well.

Future-Proof Your Company by Focusing on Essential Tools:

Looking forward, Sentry aims to be as integral to developers as Git. For founders, consider how your product can become an essential tool in your customers’ daily lives. This involves deep integration into existing workflows and continuous innovation to stay relevant and indispensable.

Redefine Your Category as You Grow:

Sentry began by dominating the specific domain of error monitoring but recognized the opportunity to expand into a broader category of observability and developer-centric solutions. As they grew, they redefined their category to better align with their evolving product offerings and the changing needs of their target audience. B2B founders should be proactive in assessing their market category as they scale and be willing to redefine it to capture new opportunities and better serve their customers.

Recommended Founder

Arvind Jain

CEO of Glean

Arvind Jain: the Story of Glean ($1 Billion Valuation)

Tony Jamous

CEO of Oyster

Tony Jamous: the Story of Oyster ($1.1 Billion Valuation)

Steffen Tjerrild

Co-Founder, CFO & COO of Synthesia

Steffen Tjerrild: The Story of Synthesia ($1 Billion Valuation)

Jean Paul Chauvet

CEO of Lightspeed

Jean Paul Chauvet: the Story of Lightspeed ($2+ Billion Valuation)

Marcelo Lebre

President of Remote

Marcelo Lebre: the Story of Remote ($3 Billion+ Valuation)

Johanna Småros

Co-Founder & Chief Sustainability Officer of RELEX Solutions

Johanna Småros: the Story of RELEX Solutions ($5.7 Billion Valuation)

Gary Hoberman

CEO & Founder of Unqork

Gary Hoberman: the GTM Story of Unqork ($2B+ Valuation)

Spike Lipkin

CEO and Co-founder of Newfront

Spike Lipkin: the GTM Story of Newfront ($2.2 Billion Valuation)

Jerome Ternynck

Founder and CEO of SmartRecruiters

Jerome Ternynck: the Story of SmartRecruiter ($1.5 Billion Valuation)

Henrique Dubugras

Co-Founder and Co-CEO of Brex

Henrique Dubugras: the Story of Brex ($12 Billion+ Valuation)

Jack Newton

CEO and Co-founder of Clio

Jack Newton: the Story of Clio ($100M+ in ARR)

Kyle Clark

Team Member of Beta Technologies

Kyle Clark: the Story of Beta ($1.2 Billion Valuation)

Tom Jermoluk

CEO of Beyond Identity

Tom “TJ” Jermoluk: The GTM Storyteller of Beyond Identity ($1.1 Billion Valuation)

Tomer Shiran

Founder of Dremio

Tomer Shiran: the Story of Dremio ($2 Billion Valuation)

Karl Siebrecht

Co-Founder & CEO of Flexe

Karl Siebrecht: the Story of Flexe (1+ Billion Valuation)

Michael Witte

CEO & Co-founder of Workrise

Michael Witte: Workrise: the GTM Story of Workrise ($3 Billion Valuation)

Raj De Datta

CEO & Co-founder of Bloomreach

Raj De Datta: the GTM Story of Bloomreach ($2.2 Billion Valuation)

Federico Larsen

CTO and Co-Founder of Copado

Federico Larsen: the Story of Copado ($1.2 Billion Valuation)

Michel Tricot

Co-Founder & CEO of Airbyte

Michel Tricot: the Story of Airbyte ($1.5 Billion Valuation)

Martin Mao

CEO of Chronosphere

Martin Mao: The Story of Chronosphere ($1.6 Billion Valuation))

Jeremy Johnson

CEO & Co-Founder of Andela

Jeremy Johnson: the Story of Andela ($1.5 Billion Valuation)

Kevin Busque

CEO and Founder of Guideline

Kevin Busque: the Story of Guideline ($1.1B+ Valuation)

Hari Ravichandran

CEO & Founder of Aura

Hari Ravichandran: the Story of Aura ($2.5 Billion Valuation)

Justin Borgman

CEO and Co-Founder of Starburst

Justin Borgman: the Story of Starburst ($3+ Billion Valuation)

Sean Duffy

Co-Founder & CEO of Omada Health

Sean Duffy: the Story of Omada Health ($1+ Billion Valuation)

Abhay Parasnis

Founder and CEO of Typeface

Abhay Parasnis: the Story of Typeface ($1 Billion Valuation)

Ajay Kulkarni

CEO of Timescale

Ajay Kulkarni: the Story of Timescale ($1+ Billion Valuation)

Michael Wax

CEO & Co-Founder of

Michael Wax: the Story of Forto ($2.1 Billion Valuation)

Dave Wessinger

CEO and Co-Founder of PointClickCare

Dave Wessinger: the Story of PointClickCare ($5 Billion Valuation)

Arik Shtilman

CEO of Rapyd

Arik Shtilman: the Story of Rapyd ($15 Billion Valuation)

Rodrigo Liang

Co-Founder and CEO of SambaNova

Rodrigo Liang: the Story of SambaNova ($5+ Billion Valuation)

Barr Moses

Co-Founder & CEO of Monte Carlo

Barr Moses: the GTM Story of Monte Carlo ($1.6 Billion Valuation)

Jeff Denworth

Co-Founder of VAST Data

Jeff Denworth: The Story of VAST Data ($9.1 Billion Valuation)

Arif Nathoo

CEO and Co-Founder of Komodo Health

Arif Nathoo: the Story of Komodo Health ($3 Billion Valuation)

David Blake

CEO of Degreed

David Blake: the Story of Degreed ($1.3 Billion Valuation)

Tom Livne

CEO & Founder of Verbit

Tom Livne: the Story of Verbit ($2 Billion Valuation)

Joseph DeSimone

Chairman and Co-Founder of Carbon

Joseph DeSimone: the Story of Carbon ($2.5 Billion Valuation)

Doron Myersdorf

CEO of StoreDot

Doron Myersdorf: the Story of StoreDot ($1.2 Billion Valuation)

Harrison Rose

Co-Founder of Paddle

Harrison Rose: the Story of Paddle ($1.4 Billion Valuation)

Guy Tytunovich

CEO & Co-Founder of CHEQ

Guy Tytunovich: the Story of CHEQ ($1+ Billion Valuation)

Marc-Alexander Christ

Co-Founder of SumUp

Marc-Alexander Christ: the Story of SumUp ($8.5 Billion Valuation)