Black Friday is coming: embrace performance-driven growth with Blackfire

By Thomas di Luccio, on Jul 03, 2024

Black Friday is coming! This could be the motto of one of the great houses of the seven kingdoms of the tech industry. If most are equally interested in performance and reliability,  not everyone feels the same urge to anticipate and plan for the inevitable.

Those who suffer massive downtimes during the busiest periods of the year are usually more prone to learning from that experience. Whether we want it or not, Black Friday is coming. The question is not if we must prepare our applications, but when to start.

A study conducted by Akamai concludes that there is a direct correlation between the time end-users wait for an application to respond and conversion rates. Performance is critical and has direct consequences on company revenue.

Performance optimization is a marathon, not a sprint

This means that we know surges in demand are inevitable and that response time is critical all year round. Therefore, battle plans to tackle this challenge will make a difference.

The closer to the deadline you start, the more likely you are to be in a firefighting mode, trying to apply as many patches as you can. Those urgent fixes often come at a great cost since they require more refactoring later on and might not entirely fit the engineering roadmap and standards.

We recommend adopting a more sustainable iterative approach to incremental and long-lasting improvements. Fully embracing observability in your processes can help you win the quest for performance. One step at a time, integrate observability tools into the development and deployment workflow until they become standard practices.

Proactively identify existing bottlenecks

Blackfire Monitoring and Continuous Profiling can provide a birds-eye view of the applications’ health and dynamics. The alerting system gives you a critical head start in many difficult situations. The health report provides a convenient summary of performance and activity trends.

Once issues or improvement opportunities have been identified, the deterministic profiler allows you to dive deep into the code execution and identify the bottlenecks’ root causes at the function or service call level.

Any performance improvement is good. But the long-lasting ones are the best. Blackfire has a built-in comprehensive performance tests suite that allows you to assess the consequences of any changes before they reach production.

Project the impact of changes before they reach production

Even more powerful, tests can be integrated with your development and deployment pipelines, running them with every pull request (PR) and deployment. Blackfire empowers engineering teams to future-proof their applications – tests prevent performance improvements from circumvention when new features are released, establishing a consistent performance budget to respect. 

Embracing a performance-driven approach does not require drastically changing the way your teams build and ship products. It’s about continuously making improvements with optimizations and securing  more of your application with performance tests. 

If you are unsure of how to start, I recommend starting small. Focus on the low-hanging fruit, either the critical parts of your applications or the ones you already know are flaky.

Then, make some improvements there, write a few performance tests, automate those, and build from there. This is the foundation of your performance-driven growth. Every improvement made will incrementally increase your grasp of the performance and reliability of your applications and, therefore, your business.

Reclaim revenue loss and improve cost control

One last concern might be the cost associated with proactively embracing performance optimization. This investment must be weighed against the potential revenue lost during critical times and the reputational damage that can ensue.

Every minute your site is down or struggling results in lost sales and frustrated customers who may turn to competitors. The cost of such challenges exceeds the investment required for proactive performance optimization.

To put this into perspective, let’s examine our pricing page and estimate how many hours Blackfire needs to save your engineering team each month to be cost-effective. Investing in continuous observability and optimization with Blackfire is not just a cost; it’s a strategic move to safeguard your revenue, protect your brand’s reputation, and ensure long-term success.

Blackfire Friday is coming, so let’s get ready. Choose the plan that best suits your engineering team and start on your performance optimization journey.

To better observability and beyond 

Thomas di Luccio

Thomas is a Developer Relations Engineer at for He likes nothing more than understanding the users' needs and helping them find practical and empowering solutions. He’ll support you as a day-to-day user.