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Our Story

tribe29 – a brand committed to supporting the open-source community


How it all started

Our IT monitoring product ‘Checkmk’ was born out of a consulting business. Back then Mathias Kettner worked as a Linux and Open Source consultant and often encountered IT monitoring tools at his clients.

These tools, however, could no longer fulfill the requirements of increasingly complex and large IT environments. They took ages to set up and configure, were hard to maintain, and often demanded steep subscription or license prices.

Mathias decided to change this and set out to build a completely new IT monitoring solution that was simple to set up and maintain, ultra-scalable,  and would deliver great value at a low total cost of ownership to clients.

The development approach was, and continues to be, very customer-centric. Every feature was developed with and for a group of customers to ensure great product-market fit.

In addition, Mathias focused on solving customer problems in the best possible way, always incorporating creativity in his approach rather than replicating what others did. This led to new revolutionary technical solutions in many areas.

Checkmk started as a full open source product, around which Mathias began forming a great team. An “open core” open source business model was established, with an Enterprise version funding the continuous development of the open source version.

‘Open Source’ and the collaborative way we interact with the open source community and our commercial customers, however, stayed at the heart of the company.

The name

tribe29 – the “why”

Since the company started as a consulting business it has been called ‘Mathias Kettner GmbH’ for quite some time. Nowadays, however, the company is built around a much larger and passionate group of people and a broader management team. As such, we renamed the company to account for this evolution.

When choosing a new name, we decided to center it on the most important question – the “WHY”. Why do we love to work here? Why are many customers passionate about the product and about working with us?
There was one overwhelming answer to this question: the community. The community has many dimensions: Being part of the open source movement, working collaborative with the open source community and our customers, and enjoying the familiar atmosphere within the company.
One modern word for the community in the digital age is a “tribe”. In the social network world, it describes a group of people working towards a common goal. In a form of agile software development that was shaped and coined by Spotify, a tribe is a group of smaller software development teams that work in the same feature area. “tribe” thus seemed a fitting name for our “WHY”.
In addition, however, it was important for us to stay true to our roots in how we work and how we engage with each other, even as we rapidly grow. To stay grounded, we chose the place where a consulting-born idea became a product company as the symbol.
This happened in Kellerstrasse 29 in Munich. Thus, the ’29’ in our company brand: tribe29

The logo

What the logo means

Our logo summarizes our mission “to ensure that the world’s IT backbone never fails”. The arrow pointing up stands for high performance & availability and while the green color signals that everything is “OK”.

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