Heroku, founded in 2007, was (and is) one of the first cloud platforms as a service. Heroku makes it easy to build and run applications in the cloud without the need to set up or manage your own infrastructure.
Though easier than in the past, setting up your application today requires a good deal of configuration and maintenance
Standard infrastructure as a service offerings (AWS EC2, etc.) have lots and lots of knobs and buttons to nail down (flexibility comes at a cost!)
Heroku (and PaaS like it) greatly simplify everything for developers and makes it easy to deploy and run apps
Key Heroku features: auto deploy from GitHub, straightforward CLI, simple pricing, plugin ecosystem
In many ways, Heroku was ahead of its time: they were acquired by Salesforce in 2010 (12 years ago!), and since then have mostly gone downhill. It’s hard to find a product as beloved by developers as Heroku (and as tragic), so it’s worth understanding what they do.