We burnt $72k testing Firebase + Cloud Run and almost went bankrupt

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This is the story of how close we came to shutting down before even launching our first product, how we survived, and the lessons we learnt. By Sudeep Chauhan.

In March, 2020, when COVID hit the world, our startup Milkie Way too was hit with a big blow and almost shut down. We burnt $72,000 while exploring and internally testing Cloud Run with Firebase within a few hours.

Having a very small team, our focus was on writing code, designing the UI and getting product ready. I spent minimal time in Cloud management, just enough to make us go live, and have basic development flow (cicd) going.

The article then describes:

  • Some technical details
  • Nightmare begins
  • Nightmare continues
  • Some Breather : GCP loopholes
    • Automatic upgrade of Firebase account to paid account
    • Billing “Limits” don’t exist. Budgets are at least a day late
    • Don’t rely on Firebase Dashboard!

Having been a Googler for ~6.5 years and written dozens of project documents, postmortem reports, and what not, I started a document to share with Google outlining the incident, and adding the loopholes from Google’s side in a postmortem. Google team would come back to work in 2 days. Interesting read!

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Tags nosql cio management teams startups google