“It was so simple and so easy it was uneventful… it was quite a breath of fresh air.” – Ramin Keene, StockX CTO
StockX is the world’s first “stock market of things”, a two-sided marketplace that satisfies the three core tenets of a stock market: anonymity, authenticity, and transparency. Using the StockX platform, one can buy or sell commodity items and consumer goods exactly how one would buy or sell shares at a stock exchange. Since their founding in 2016, StockX has seen huge success being the “Stock Market for Sneakers”, and will be expanding to other product categories in the near future.
After the StockX team had built out their core platform, a business opportunity presented itself in which adding realtime functionality would be fundamental for success. Recalling the painful experience of building realtime streaming and stream processing infrastructure in-house at a previous company, Ramin remarked PubNub “was very obviously the right choice,” and in two days, the engineering team was able to deliver on the opportunity with realtime functionality powered by PubNub. “The time to implement was negligible, it probably took longer to clarify we were using a service called PubNub and having people try and decode what I was saying with my English accent. We support three clients, web, iOS and Android, and everyone was up and running ‘in a jiffy’ as we say,” Ramin continued.
“What was potentially going to be the biggest headache – in terms of implementation, infrastructure, and ops (managing a sudden burst of scale we had no experience or time to capacity plan for) – suddenly become something we could, I’m scared to say, take for granted as just working.”
When a new product is first is introduced on the market, a “StockX Product Offering” or SPO occurs. Just like a stock being offered on the public markets for the first time, sudden bursts of interest come in as the timer counts down to product launch, while other customers sit and watch the positions move on the leaderboard as the bids continue to roll in. PubNub powers the realtime bidding and leaderboards behind SPO pages, as well as for communication between some data processing microservices in the backend, outside of client delivery.
“Our last SPO was with Nike, Lebron James, and the Cleveland Cavaliers, we were on the cover of the New York Times and featured on ESPN sportscenter all morning, no one got paged. How do you put a measure of ‘time’ on that?”
In closing, StockX remarked how PubNub and BLOCKS provides them with an environment for success in architecting applications of the future, which require a shift to thinking in terms of data streams.
“We can focus on the things that are key differentiators in our application and service, instead of investing time in getting to the starting line.”