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The “Eco-Friendly” Data Nerd

Paper Culture


Paper Culture enhances its customers’ life events by creating fun, personalized stationery and wall art for specific occasions such as a new baby, baby showers, holidays or any other event that may call for special stationery or a lasting visual memory piece. The eco-friendly company uses fast growing bamboo for its wall art and every card the company prints is on 100% postconsumer recycled paper. Taking their commitment to the environment even further, Paper Culture plants a tree for every order the firm receives. Paper Culture has planted over 400,000 trees and believes it’s on its way to planting 1,000,000 and beyond.

Jon Wu

Director of Engineering

Millbrae, California

Head Quarters
"Since New Relic was deployed, we’ve saved days, even a few weeks, of time on QA and troubleshooting issues. Today, we spend more time on development and less time on worrying."

When and why did you start using New Relic?

The Paper Culture technical team was frequently frustrated with the complexity of diagnosing and solving performance problems in their existing environment. When we discovered New Relic, we were delighted, especially since it was a SaaS offering that would require no additional hardware, software, or technical staff.

How did you become a Data Nerd? What challenges were you facing that made you turn to New Relic?

Prior to using New Relic, when problems occurred anywhere in the process we had to review logs with rows and rows of data. It was time consuming and, often, was not even valuable. There was too much data to parse at once.

Even when we could get all the right data, it was nowhere near as accessible as New Relic’s easy to use graphs.

How did you use New Relic to address and conquer your challenge? What were the results?

Now our team starts its work with the New Relic Dashboard which gives them a high level view of the app and aggregates details that show possible bottlenecks. This ability to see cause and effect is invaluable in isolating and resolving performance problems.

What cool things are you doing with New Relic today?

Today, New Relic monitors the complete end-to-end application for Paper Culture’s customer-driven stationery design and creation. New Relic is designed to make it easy to pinpoint the source of a problem, regardless of whether its source is Paper Culture’s code or customer created. Transaction Traces and Error Reports take the guesswork out of detecting slow code and determining root causes whether a line of code or SQL Query. Query optimization often yields time savings of milliseconds, even seconds — all of which add up to an improved customer experience and Paper Culture is just as fanatical about the customer’s experience as they are about the stationery they create. New Relic Browser is helping Paper Culture monitor real user performance and unlike many performance tools, is able to alert Paper Culture’s engineers when frontend performance deviates from the norm. Paper Culture turns to New Relic Insights to monitor traffic, customer actions, and fulfillment in real time.

How will New Relic help you in all your future Data Nerd endeavors?

New Relic has allowed the team to become more proactive with performance issues through such features as the Slow SQL transactions which pointed them to slow SQL queries that were adversely impacting performance. We’ve optimized some functions we didn’t realize were slow, especially within our eCommerce suite where New Relic revealed queries that we could make faster.

Anything else you want to tell us?

We consider the discovery of New Relic a lucky break for Paper Culture. It’s changed the way we work today. Since New Relic was deployed, we’ve saved days, even a few weeks, of time on QA and troubleshooting issues. Today, we spend more time on development and less time on worrying.

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