puppetPortland, Oregon-based Reductive Labs makes Puppet, a tool for automating IT resources. Can we just say it? Puppet lets companies cut the sizes of their IT staffs. In a shrinking economy, that’s a hot ticket. Valley early-stage investor True Ventures led Reductive’s A round, which was rounded out with angel money. Reductive claims that Puppet’s users include Google, Digg, Twitter, The New York Stock Exchange, Barclays Capital, Oracle, Sun, Red Hat, Harvard Law School, and Stanford University.

Reductive doesn’t talk about its management team on its site, but CEO Luke Kanies is a former consultant and O’Reilly blogger who specialized in Unix automation and configuration management. Reductive is Kanies’ attempt to build his personal know-how, experience and contacts into a product and a company instead of more consulting work.