Amazon Web Services and the Lean Startup Ecosystem

All Is Not Well In This Cloud

One of the most interesting developments in the tech industry since the dot com days has been the emergence of cloud infrastructure like Amazon web services.

With AWS, young companies are able to scale faster and cheaper. One of the reasons the seed stage ecosystem is so flooded with cash right now is because a small investment is enough to build a viable app and test the market for consumer traction.

So it’s been a trip watching Twitter today as AWS experiences its worst outage on the East Coast in recent memory. It’s not just the little guys. Established companies like Foursquare, Aviary and Thrillist have all been affected.

Not everyone minds disconnecting for a day. “AWS outage (including @reddit) is great news for my midterm grade,” Tweeted Max  Stoller. And there are other side benefits. “Actually, we host ads on EC2. So enjoy ‘No Ads on Stack Overflow Day’,” wrote Joel Spolsky.

Chris Dixon points back to an old post he did, where he notes that he kept his first startup Site Advisor, running on two separate data centers managed by different companies.

UPDATE: Jack Groetzinger, co-founder of local start-up SeatGeek, says his company is considering moving to Amazon competitor Rackspace. “In the tech world people know this is Amazon’s fault, but the average person visiting our site is going to think we are the ones with the tech problem.”

Groetzinger says the downtime so far definitely exceeds the promise from Amazon to provide service with 99.95 percent uptime, and that SeatGeek, along with many other companies, is going to inquire about a refund for this month. “This will definitely impact their reputation and business within the start-up community.”


Amazon Web Services and the Lean Startup Ecosystem