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Why Cribl is The GOAT

rachel
Written by rachel "pie" perkins

April 20, 2021

An exercise in crowdsourced origin stories

Sometimes when a gaming group is beginning a new role playing campaign, the Game Master (sometimes known as the Dungeon Master) will ask each player to make up answers to questions about the backstory of a different player character in the group, as a way to sort of crowdsource the origins and relationships among the group as a whole and build cohesion in the adventuring party. As unlikely as it seems, this is relevant to the subject of this blog post, as you will discover.

So, what’s with the goat thing? 

If you’ve lingered on our website or reviewed a job posting, you might have noticed that we’ve got a thing for goats. We feature a goat mascot named Ian in a few easter eggs, and we call out “A love for goats” as a desirable qualification in some key job postings.

It’s getting to the point where we’re being consistently asked what the deal is, and I’m here to spill the beans. Read on to find out why Cribl’s (unofficial official) mascot is a goat. 

Inspired by an ancient Albanian superhero

As you may be aware, two of the three Cribl cofounders hail from Albania, a Southeastern European country with a rich cultural heritage and many legends of historical bad-assery. In particular, the story of a hero named Skanderberg, who is said to have united all of Albania under one leader and helped define Albanian culture, features prominently in the tales told to young Albanian children. According to Wikipedia, Skanderberg’s sword was “so sharp that it could slice a man vertically from head to waist with little effort and cut a huge boulder in half with a single blow.” But the part of his armament that captured the imaginations of our cofounders was his helm, which is adorned with the head of a horned goat. 

The symbolism of this helmet relates to allusions that Skanderberg was considered a peer to Alexander The Great of Macedon, and its image adorns the reverse of the Albanian 5000 lekë banknote. Inspired by the mighty deeds of Skanderberg and motivated to bring our team together to do great things, our founders chose a goat as the Cribl mascot.

Cool, huh? Or maybe it’s…

Our CEO was raised on a goat farm

As a child in Arkansas, cofounder and CEO Clint Sharp was raised on the family goat farm. The goats played a central part in his upbringing as he learned to care for them and clean out their enclosure.

Several of the goats became quite attached to Clint, and would run to the fence to greet him when he arrived home from school.

By the time Clint graduated from high school, however, his family had sold the goat operation, a decision made without his input. Clint was devastated and vowed to make goats a major aspect of any business he started. 

A touching tale, but maybe the truth is instead…

A bizarre discovery on Alibaba

One day in the early times of Cribl history, Clint, Ledion, and Dritan were assembled in the Cribl office, talking about the future of the company. One thing that kept coming up was the need for a symbol, a mascot for the company as it grew; something to bring the team together and serve as a focal point for some of our sillier marketing projects. The subject of animatronic animals came up, and some googling produced a truly disturbing item for sale on Alibaba (alas no longer available): a plush animatronic goat…that spoke. Not only did it speak, it said some pretty weird things: 

 

After collapsing into gales of laughter (a few beers may have been involved) and pasting the link at…basically everyone, the words of the goat became a kind of magical incantation shared among the founders and early employees and a sort of call and response, passphrase situation emerged:

The rest, as they say, is history. 

If it fits, we sits

At Cribl, we like to build things together, and that doesn’t stop at software. Our mascot’s backstory comes from all of us, and we collectively lean into the magic (and silliness) of how we chose it. No matter what the origin story, the (not-so) humble goat is a highly appropriate touchstone and symbol for us at Cribl – for a variety of reasons:

  • Goats exist on every continent, they are ubiquitous. Cribl was founded as a fully-distributed company and our employees hail from all over the world. We intend to go(at) on as we began and become equally ubiquitous. 
  • Goats eat anything. LogStream consumes any data and streams it to any destination (the same might also be said for goats). 
  • Goats have fascinating and hyper-effective eyes. Their horizontal pupils give them a much wider visual range than other creatures, allowing them an almost 360 degree field of vision. Cribl products give you the ability to see the bigger picture across more of your data. 
  • Goats were among the first animals to be tamed by humans, and Cribl is leading the way to help businesses tame their data streams. 
  • Goats can scale seemingly unclimbable mountains, and we Criblanians (yes, Criblanians–it’s why the goat is named Ian :)) are consistently solving the hard problems so your work can be easier. 

Have an idea for a backstory for our mascot choice? Join the Cribl Community Slack and become part of the (adventuring) party  🙂

Additional Reading
Living the (Remote) Stream Life

Abby Strong May 10, 2021

A Storage Unit for Observability Data
A Storage Unit for Observability Data

Bryan Turiff May 4, 2021

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