Is it possible for an older Terminal to learn new tricks? Fig, a company out of Y Combinator’s S20 class, has raised a $2.2M seed round to prove that it can. They aim to augment the command-line terminals that many users use daily, but not replace them. This is especially important for teams.
Autocomplete is the first of these enhancements. It will respond to your request by typing it in, providing a list of possible options that may complete the command. This saves you time, effort, and mental energy needed for you to remember all the terminal commands you use during your day.
It can assist you in changing directories. Git can track your most recent tapped branches. It will let you know if it is possible to type the exact same AWS or Google Cloud commands 10 times per day. The autocomplete functionality tied to each command line tool can be tweaked to your liking and shared with the wider community. For those people who are unable to reach for the mouse, everything can be accomplished without having to use your fingers.
Although Autocomplete is an excellent feature that can be used to drive a company, it may not provide enough. However, the team says that this is only step 1. Brendan Falk, founder of Fig, tells me that the aim is to create an app ecosystem for companies who use the terminal in their day. Teams will be charged a monthly fee. The platform allows users to share Markdown-based apps from their terminal. This gives them an easy way for people to fill out forms and adjust settings before the output is sent back to the terminal. According to them, Autocomplete is only one step in the right direction.
Falk says, “Suddenly, I have a script. It’s visually, discoverable and I can share it with my team.” Building these tools internally for your development team, such as sharing scripts and sharing deployment workflows or sharing monitoring commands, is where we really want to be. This is all the boilerplate information that’s spread across your system and needs to be kept within your terminal.
This is Fig’s tweet showing the visual interface in motion.
They didn’t set their sights on the terminal when they started. Falk told me that Matt Schrage, his cofounder, had been pivoting from one idea to the next for several months. They built a personal CRM and prediction markets, as well as a stock exchange and stock market for creators. Falk said that he and Matt Schrage had “all of the bad college student ideas”, but they weren’t problems. These were not problems that people faced, but ideas.
Falk says that they discovered after a few pivots, each one had them back at the terminal, typing the exact same commands and following the complicated workflows to create a new project. Falk notes that the last significant changes made to the terminal was in 1978 and have not changed much. Falk notes that “Yet practically every hardware engineer and software engineer is using it.” Is this the issue they were trying to solve?
The audience seems to be there; Fig is currently in private beta. Falk says that they have tens or thousands of people on their waitlist for access.
General Catalyst led the round, with support from YC and SV Angel as well as Kleiner Perkins. Other tech execs included Scott Belsky (Adobe CPO), Will Gaybrick (Stripe CPO), Olivier Pomel CEO of Datadog, Adam Gross (Github CEO), Calvin French-Owen, Kevin Hartz, Eventbrite founder Kevin Hartz, and Segment cofounder Calvin French-Owen.
Fig is compatible with macOS’ native terminal app. However, they have add-on integrations that allow it to work in VSCode Hyper, iTerm, and Hyper. Although it won’t yet work with Linux or Windows, the team claims that they are working on support.
Publiated at Wed 25 August 2021, 18:09:23 (+0000).