How Idit Levine’s Athletic Past Fueled Solo.io‘s Startup
The New Stack Podcast
Idit Levine’s tech journey originated in an unexpected place: a basketball court. As a seventh grader in Israel, playing in hoops tournaments definitely sparked her competitive side. “I was basically going to compete with all my international friends for two minutes without parents, without anything,” Levine said. “I think it made me who I am today. It’s really giving you a lot of confidence to teach you how to handle situations … stay calm and still focus.” Developing that calm and focus proved an asset during Levine’s subsequent career in professional basketball in Israel, and when she later started her own company. In this episode of The Tech Founder Odyssey podcast series, Levine, founder and CEO of Solo.io, an application networking company with a $1 billion valuation, shared her startup story. The conversation was co-hosted by Colleen Coll and Heather Joslyn of The New Stack After finishing school and service in the Israeli Army, Levine was still unsure of what she wanted to do. She noticed her brother and sister’s fascination with computers. Soon enough, she recalled, “I picked up a book to teach myself how to program.” It was only a matter of time before she found her true love: the cloud native ecosystem. “It's so dynamic, there's always something new coming. So it's not boring, right? You can assess it, and it's very innovative.” Moving from one startup company to the next, then on to bigger companies including Dell EMC where she was chief technology officer of the cloud management division, Levine was happy seeking experiences that challenged her technically. “And at one point, I said to myself, maybe I should stop looking and create one.”Learning How to PitchWinning support for Solo.io demanded that the former hoops player acquire an unfamiliar skill: how to pitch. Levine’s company started in her current home of Boston, and she found raising money in that environment more of a challenge than it would be in, say, Silicon Valley. It was difficult to get an introduction without a connection, she said: “I didn't understand what pitches even were but I learned how … to tell the story. That helped out a lot.” Founding Solo.io was not about coming up with an idea to solve a problem at first. “The main thing at Solo.io, and I think this is the biggest point, is that it's a place for amazing technologists, to deal with technology, and, beyond the top of innovation, figure out how to change the world, honestly,” said Levine. Even when the focus is software, she believes it’s eventually always about people. “You need to understand what's driving them and make sure that they're there, they are happy. And this is true in your own company. But this is also [true] in the ecosystem in general.” Levine credits the company’s success with its ability to establish amazing relationships with customers – Solo.io has a renewal rate of 98.9% – using a very different customer engagement model that is similar to users in the open source community. “We’re working together to build the product.” Throughout her journey, she has carried the idea of a team: in her early beginnings in basketball, in how she established a “no politics” office culture, and even in the way she involves her family with Solo.io. As for the ever-elusive work/life balance, Levine called herself a workaholic, but suggested that her journey has prepared her for it: “I trained really well. Chaos is a part of my personal life.” She elaborated, “I think that one way to do this is to basically bring the company to [my] personal life. My family was really involved from the beginning and my daughter chose the logos. They’re all very knowledgeable and part of it.”
Robby speaks with the Founder and CEO of Solo.io, Idit Levine about scenarios where rewrites are appropriate so that you can pivot your technology startup, why cleaning up technical debt early-and-often is vital, and fostering collaboration within your open source community.Additionally, Idit introduces us to tools such as Istio for managing your Service Mesh.Helpful LinksIdit's TwitterIdit's LinkedInSolo.io and on twitterIdit's GithubIdit's Book Recommendation: The Hard Thing About Hard Things: Building a Business When There Are No Easy Answers by Ben HorowitzSubscribe to Maintainable on:Apple PodcastsOvercastSpotifyOr search "Maintainable" wherever you stream your podcasts.Join the discussion in the Maintainable Discord Community
The Power of Passion to Develop Technology with Idit Levine, Founder and CEO, Solo.io
Certain types of technology are easier to understand for some people than for others, and that’s okay. Passion is contagious; iIt attracts employees and customers. Strong, passionate leadership with clear vision increases employee satisfaction that then translates to satisfied customers. Developers who make products that build and maintain infrastructure toil to solve problems so their customers can pursue their own desires. Idit Levine, the Founder and CEO of Solo.io, shares her zeal for her company’s work as well as a belief in her team’s competitive nature.Main TakeawaysThe Power of Passion: Passion is often underrated. It is the engine of creativity and accomplishment. Lean into passion in order to educate others, gather phenomenal employees, and attract customers. Creation from Competition: Competition can be something that people shy away from. Perhaps this is because they wrongly equate it to being domineering. True competition is about striving to be the best version of oneself and creating an environment for one’s entire team to do the same. Embrace competition to win.Knowing the Why of Founding: Founding a company is a huge endeavor. Knowing the reason to be a founder is essential. For Idit Levine, founding was about building on the successful things she had learned from previous stops but also learning from experiences she found wanting and believing she could do even better. Supporting the Team: A CEO should be obsessed with their employees. Leaders must make sure their employees are content and empowered to be their best. Happy employees lead to satisfied customers. Listening to the Market but Pushing Too: Listen to the market, but don’t just listen to the market. Customers don’t always know what they need or the direction of where a technology must head. It’s the job of a CEO to lead and determine the company’s course and the products they must build.IT Visionaries is brought to you by the Salesforce Platform - the #1 cloud platform for digital transformation of every experience. Build connected experiences, empower every employee, and deliver continuous innovation - with the customer at the center of everything you do. Learn more at salesforce.com/platform
Modern Application Connectivity with Idit Levine of Solo.io
I have Idit Levine back on the show to discuss how solo.io use Istio and Envoy Proxy to provide API Infrastructure from the Edge to Service Mesh.--- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/chinchillasqueaks/message This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit chinchillasqueaks.substack.com
Episode 28 - Service Mess? Service Mesh Mastery with Idit Levine (Solo.io)
The POPCAST with Dan POP
Timeline/Topic:00:43 - Idit's Journey to starting Solo.io05:29 - What is Service Mesh and why is it important?.. (Idit breaks this down in both simple and technical terms) 09:43 - Idit talks about WebAssembly and Solo's WebAssembly Hub 13:45 - Gloo Federation for management of Gloo deployments17:08 - Istio now part of Open Usage Commons23:25 - Amazing Israeli tech companies and Idit's work ethic 26:19 - Idit Played Professional Basketball?28:09 - Work Idit is most proud ofEpisode LinksGloo Getting Started Guide https://docs.solo.io/gloo/latest/getting_started/Vonage Case Study https://www.solo.io/blog/customer-case-study-vonage-api-gateway-migration/Gloo Federation Tech Deep Dive: https://www.solo.io/blog/gloo-federation-technical-deep-dive/Show LinksWatch (YouTube): http://youtube.com/user/tonyladdie Listen (Apple PODCAST and others): http://popcast-d9f7b6dc.simplecast.com Follow us on (Twitter): https://twitter.com/PopcastPop Follow us on (Linkedin): https://www.linkedin.com/company/the-popcast-with-danpop
In a new episode of Semaphore Uncut, Solo.io founder and CEO Idit Levine (@Idit_Levine) shares insights on what’s next in service mesh solutions. We dig into the importance of network for distributed systems, the evolution of API gateways, the cutting edge of service mesh infrastructure, and more. Idit was very kind to share many details from her journey in discovering and developing Solo's products.Key takeaways:When everything is distributed, everything has to go on the network wire.Gloo is a feature-rich, Kubernetes-native ingress controller, and next-generation API gateway.Service Mesh Hub lets you group multiple service meshes into one virtual service mesh that you talk to.WebAssembly Hub is a place for the community to share and consume service mesh or API gateway extensions.About Semaphore UncutIn each episode of Semaphore Uncut, we invite software industry professionals to discuss the impact they are making and what excites them about the emerging technologies.
Idit Levine Discussing Gloo, Service Mesh Interface, and Web Assembly Hub
The InfoQ Podcast
Today on The InfoQ Podcast, Wes Reisz speaks with CEO and founder of Solo Idit Levine. The two discuss the Three Pillars of Solo around Gloo, their API gateway, interoperability of service meshes (including the work on Service Mesh Interface), and on extending Envoy with Web Assembly (and the recently announced Web Assembly Hub).Why listen to this podcast: - Gloo is a Kubernetes-native ingress controller and API gateway. It’s built on top of Envoy and at its core is open source. - The Service Mesh Interface (SMI) is a specification for service meshes that runs on Kubernetes. It defines a common standard that can be implemented by a variety of providers. The idea of SMI is it’s an abstraction on top of service meshes, so that you can use one language to configure them all. - Autopilot is an open-source Kubernetes operator that allows developers to extend a service mesh control plane. - Lua has been commonly used to extend the service mesh data plane. Led by Google and the Envoy community, web assembly is becoming the preferred way of extending the data plane. Web assembly allows you to write Envoy extensions in any language while still being sandboxed and performant. - WebAssembly Hub is a service for building, deploying, sharing, and discovering Wasm extensions for Envoy. - Wasme is a docker like an open-source commandline tool from Solo to simplify the building, pushing, pulling, and deploying Envoy Web Assembly Filters.More on this: Quick scan our curated show notes on InfoQ https://bit.ly/37sYIoEYou can also subscribe to the InfoQ newsletter to receive weekly updates on the hottest topics from professional software development. bit.ly/24x3IVqSubscribe: www.youtube.com/infoqLike InfoQ on Facebook: bit.ly/2jmlyG8Follow on Twitter: twitter.com/InfoQFollow on LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/company/infoqCheck the landing page on InfoQ: https://bit.ly/37sYIoE
How's your service mesh game? Do you feel like it's strong? Like you know what you need to in order to leverage it effectively within your company's IT environment? Whether it is or not, this is the episode to listen to if you want to learn more about service mesh.In it we talk to Idit Levine, founder and CEO of solo.io about some of the central benefits of employing a service mesh, some of the challenges you'll run into, solutions to those challenges, and her thoughts on where service mesh and Envoy are headed in the near future.
A discussion with Idit Levine, founder of solo.io, at Kubecon
In this podcast, we covered API management and service meshes for microservices--and why microservices can be challenging. We also got into the business side to talk business models around open source and the creation of communities.