Work Metrist Branding


I partnered with the co-founders of Metrist on a One-Day Commit, a single day of branding and copywriting work, to give them confidence in their messaging. Along the way, we found a novel and rallying way for them to commit to the innovative company they're building.

Copywriting and content work for Metrist


The scene: Two startup co-founders, both with deep development, product, and executive experience, receive a seemingly innocuous Google Sheet from their VC investors and advisors.

The request: Write a messaging framework for your company.

The Google Sheet even came in a handy format for all the missing pieces: target audience statement, brand pillars, supporting evidence, a mission statement, and more. Sounds simple, right?

These co-founders, Jeff Martens and Ryan Duffield, who are now the CEO and CTOs of Metrist, respectively, found the task much harder than they expected. After years of experience in this area—the complex network of tools, procedures, and demands put on software developers who go on-call to support cloud products—they were too close to the problem. And they were too darn fond of their solution to explain it clearly and empathetically.

They filled out the audience- and feature-related fields and came down with a nasty case of writer's (aka founder's) block. They reached out to me to help clear their TODO list of this surprisingly tough task.

After consulting with Jeff and Ryan over a discovery call, we decided to tackle this project as a One-Day Commit. We got our calendars in sync, planned our kickoff call, and waited for the big day.


During my kickoff call and individual interviews with Jeff and Ryan, I quickly realized that they didn't just need someone to wordsmith some product-focused copy to fill out this Google Sheet. They needed a guiding light for their company—a statement about why they built their business and what impact they will generate with it.

They needed to commit to a story and a vision.

Instead of jumping straight into the copywriting their Google Sheet demanded, I started with writing Metrist a brand story using the COMMIT Framework, my tested process for brand messaging that drives commitment. While it might have felt like a diversion at the time, it started paying dividends right away.

Jeff had this to say about grounding our work in a brand story:

One of the things that I appreciated from our engagement with Joel is that he didn't just produce the work we asked him to collaborate with us on, he got us to a better product by first laying the foundations of our messaging and then applied that foundation to the rest of our work together. He helped us do what we didn't even know we needed to do, and the result was our most loved portion of the deliverables.

From there, I got to work on the rest of the required assets for their messaging framework, including headline product benefits, an elevator pitch, and statements for the Metrist mission and vision. In a single business day, we handled nearly all of this work, from interviews to research to writing to revision. That's the power of commitment—ending a work day with a massive weight off their shoulders.

During the One-Day Commit, I even had enough time to write fresh website copy for the Metrist homepage based on this brand-new branding framework to help them visualize the power of a brand that's positioned to generate commitment, not just sound good.

”Spend your time doing what you do best and let Joel save you a ton of time by doing what he does best.” — Jeff Martens, CEO, Metrist

Examples of commitment-generating branding & copy

  • Mission: Help developers build reliable products by letting them see third-party infrastructure like it’s their own with honest, real-time performance and availability data.

  • Elevator pitch: Metrist pulls back the curtain of the cloud products developers depend on. Through real-world functional testing — not basic ping checks on endpoints — Metrist notifies developers of third-party outages up to an hour faster than vendors themselves. With one real-time dashboard for third-party performance and availability metrics, developers can manage impact through alerting and build more reliable software with confidence.

  • Sample web copy:

    The metrics your third-party providers won’t let you see.

    With multiple tests per minute on more than 50 popular cloud providers and products, Metrist catches and notifies you of even moderate outages up to an hour faster than your own vendors.

    Put your third-parties in one place

    Metrist’s truthful, real-time dashboard is your definitive space for minimizing the impact of third-party incidents, whether it’s your primary cloud provider or a SaaS tool.

Jeff MartensCEO, Metrist

Joel was an absolute pleasure to work with and I couldn't be happier with the results of our engagement. As a software company building products for software developers, it is critical that we work with people that have a high aptitude for deeply technical topics, and that is exactly what we got from Joel. It's not just technical aptitude and a great understanding of the process and journey around strategic messaging, Joel was incredible with seeking empathy for our target audience, ensuring that our messaging would actually resonate with them, not just sound good to us.