Your browser is out-of-date!

Update your browser to view this website correctly. Update my browser now


Mike Long

Fintech Friends

Meet today's guest: Mike Long, CEO of Merkely - the newest addition to the cluster.

Mike was born down-under in Australia, grew up in Scotland, and now lives in Norway where he spends his time skiing in the mountains and developing DevOps tools. Merkely is his vision.

Pitch Merkely in one sentence:

Merkely is a DevOps collaboration platform that allows teams in regulated industries to deliver compliant software on demand while meeting their change management requirements.

What is DevOps exactly?

It’s an approach to delivering software that’s based on frequent and early collaboration between all of the participants in the delivery process. It’s about building a strong team culture through open communication, quick feedback loops, and shared responsibility

How did you come up with this idea?

Before Merkely I was a CTO in a DevOps consulting company where I did a lot of work with clients in regulated industries where there are lots of extra constraints concerning the delivery of software.

Why will Merkely succeed?

We have a simple, automated solution to a very costly, manual problem that affects many different industries.

What has been the biggest challenge so far?

Putting the team together and onboarding our early adopters.

Where is Merkely in 3 years?

We have an international presence and are seen as the go-to platform for managing change in DevOps organizations.

What is the best part of being an entrepreneur in Norway?

The ecosystem around startups is very supportive. We have Innovasjon Norge, Startup Lab, Oslo Innovation Week, NCE Finance Innovation of course, and all the available soft funding options make it a great place to be a founder.

What startups do you look up to/are you inspired by?

First of all, our own customers. We have MiraEx who has become a really big player in cryptocurrency in a very short time. Internationally, DevOps tools companies like LaunchDarkly and JFrog are really inspirational for us.

What's being a founder really like?

It’s the best job in the world. I've enjoyed every job I've had, but this is great. There's a brilliant book called The Pragmatic Programmer and it has this great story about stone soup. You start with a big pot, put some water in it, add a big stone, and start boiling it up. Creating a startup is a lot like making stone soup.

What do you do when you're not busy being a founder?

Spending time with my family is where my spare time goes. We’re lucky to have some incredible natural beauty on our doorstep, so most weekends you’ll find us in the forest or up a mountain. I’m sure that sounds lovely. The reality is I usually injure myself skiing and then complain about it a lot.

What is your biggest pet peeve?

Companies that talk about “innovation” without practicing it.

Share your favorite meme with us?

The fist pump baby. Get in!

What is your best investor pickup-line?

We’re expecting term sheets from three other VCs this week.

How would your colleagues describe you?

You’d have to ask them. Fair, I hope!

What is your most played song on Spotify?

Jimmy Hendrix - All Along the Watchtower, but Nessun Dorma has also had a lot of play this summer.