Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots

About the show

A podcast about the design, development, and business of great software. Each week thoughtbot's Chad Pytel (CEO) and Lindsey Christensen (CMO) are joined by the people who build and nurture the products we love.

Giant Robots Smashing Into Other Giant Robots on social media


  • 224: Sharpen Your Saw

    January 23rd, 2017  |  Season 6  |  33 mins 17 secs

    Derrick takes a solo retreat to reflect on new goals for Drip, and draws up preliminary plans for scaling team size / structure, as well as speeding up velocity through parallelism. Ben shares his experience with GrowthHackers Projects, hides the lowest plan and implements an automated annual upgrade reminder, pitches a content partnership for Upcase, considers a thoughtbot products bundle, and realizes a need for a mentor.

  • 223: Work Deterrent System

    January 9th, 2017  |  Season 6  |  25 mins 12 secs

    Ben & Derrick discuss music in the workplace, optimizing Redis, reaching larger markets beyond early adopters, and standing out in job application e-mails.

  • 222: Honesty Bait

    December 19th, 2016  |  Season 6  |  30 mins 20 secs

    Derrick considers learning a new language to be prepared for scaling Drip's optimization, and gives new details on the tech used to streamline queries for large accounts. Ben breaks down his post to finding the best candidate for product Head of Marketing, and pointers on developing an entrepreneur's mindset.

  • 221: Power in Mimicry

    December 12th, 2016  |  Season 6  |  35 mins 2 secs

    Ben discusses the lessons of mimicked learning and tempering of judgmental thinking gleaned from a sports book, and muses on how to apply them to career advice. On Drip, faced with a mountain of catch-up work after the holiday, Derek confronts scalability.

  • 220: Goin' Legit (For 2017)

    December 6th, 2016  |  Season 6  |  33 mins 30 secs

    Ben decides to hire a support firm, document support processes, completes the Hound pricing change, and prepares to make products their own division for next year. Meanwhile, on Drip, Derrick addresses a performance challenge.

  • 219: Rails' Sidekick (Mike Perham)

    November 28th, 2016  |  Season 6  |  31 mins 20 secs

    Ben is joined by Mike Perham, author of Sidekiq, to discuss running a business solo, taking a side project from hobby to full time job, and scaling support as an app grows.

  • 218: A Spark of Inspiration

    November 21st, 2016  |  Season 6  |  35 mins 37 secs

    On Drip, Derrick launches a free tier, and utilizes credit card anti-fraud measures. Ben publicly launches FormLinter, pauses exploring new product ideas in favor of giving attention to existing ones, and starts to rebuild the product team. They also discuss the merits of remote vs in-person collaboration, the pros and cons of open offices, and dealing with interruptions from notifications and meetings.

  • 217: The Object Object Object

    November 14th, 2016  |  Season 6  |  50 mins 51 secs

    Ben and Nick get super nerdy this week and chat about Meetspace's architecture using Go, Postgres, and HMAC including custom cookie signing, rendering, error handling, tooling, and more!

  • 216: The One With Laila & Brenda

    November 7th, 2016  |  Season 6  |  38 mins 54 secs

    Sadly, Ben is stuck in hammock somewhere, and we are without a new episode this week. However, we would love you all to check out thoughtbot's newest podcast, interviewing inspirational designers, developers, and other makers in tech, The Laila & Brenda Show!

    Give their latest episode a listen here, and if you like it subscribe to their feed however you listen to podcasts!

  • 215: SaaS is a Marathon, Not a Sprint

    October 31st, 2016  |  Season 6  |  37 mins 11 secs

    Ben and Nick chat about ways to pitch your product, working solo as well as sustainably, and the costs of doing business.

  • 214: My Cat is VP of Marketing (Nick Gauthier)

    October 24th, 2016  |  Season 6  |  42 mins 52 secs

    Ben talks to Nick Gauthier, founder of MeetSpace, about the importance of validating ideas, reading through API documentation, and pricing surveys.

  • 213: Madness Free

    October 17th, 2016  |  Season 6  |  40 mins 59 secs

    Derrick finds some new areas to improve after walking new hires through Drip's architecture, and discusses his custom billing engine. On Hound, Ben delegates the new-pricing project, and validates a new product idea.

  • 212: Good Enough, Namaste

    October 10th, 2016  |  Season 6  |  38 mins 23 secs

    Derrick brings a few more new hires onto the team, and ships a change to make clients' Javascript snippets more performant. On Hound, Ben does some direct outreach sales, considers bringing on someone to help with marketing, and muses on the balancing act between product manager, developer, and marketing.

  • 211: Battle Hardened Over Time

    October 3rd, 2016  |  Season 6  |  39 mins 45 secs

    On Hound, Ben sends out announcements for pricing changes, questions when a decision is the "right" decision when it comes to customer feedback, and toys with per-seat pricing model feasibility. Derrick has a successful first week on-boarding the new dev-ops hire, offers Ben some advice on balancing features with price, and discusses some customer acquisition campaigns.

  • 210: s/Walden/Andover

    September 26th, 2016  |  Season 6  |  32 mins 19 secs

    Ben plans a camping trip, acquires a new Twitter account, releases his notes on giving great conference talks, and begins to tell users of Hound's new pricing. Derrick reacts to the announcement of Github Projects and what that means for Codetree, ships the new form design on Drip, and muses on the ramifications to Google's announced penalizing of intrusive mobile pop-ups.

  • 209: Playlist Driven Development

    September 19th, 2016  |  Season 6  |  33 mins 54 secs

    On Drip, Derrick deals with a high-bandwidth customer and hires a new devops team member. Meanwhile, Ben brainstorms new pricing structures for Hound.