AWS Summer Startups: Discovr
Over the summer months, we’d like to share a few stories from startups around the world: what are they working on and how they are using the cloud to get things done. Today, we’re profiling Filter Squad from Perth, Australia!
In one of Werner Vogels‘ many travels through Australia this summer, he tweeted about a lean startup he had met, Filter Squad. Lean startups, not to be confused with bootstrapped startups, are built by adapting agile software development methodologies to business. Some of the concepts include building a minimum viable product, testing business assumptions with real market data, measuring results, and then quickly iterating or pivoting depending on what that data shows you. The concept of a “lean startup” was coined by entrepreneur & author Eric Ries.
I reached out and spoke to Stuart Hall, CTO of Filter Squad, and creator of, among others, the Discovr Apps and Discovr Music for the iPhone & iPad.
- Low maintenance
- Easy to scale
- Simple to setup
- Provided good redundancy
- Amazon EC2 – because we had no idea of the market reaction to the application when we launched, flexibility in adding and removing virtual servers based on demand was key.
- Amazon RDS – we needed a database that would also be easy to scale and be easy to maintain. Amazon RDS provided easy scaling, easy replication for slave instances, and a system where minor software updates are handled entirely by AWS.
- Amazon S3 – S3 provides a great and cheap way to host static resources, one with which we had worked before and found ideal for our use case.
- Amazon Elastic Load Balancer – the load balancer is provided straight out of the box: it doesn’t require any installing and it needs very little configuration. The load balancer provides built in health checks and takes out instances that are not behaving. Elastic load balancing has been faultless since we launched.
- Caching: the only thing missing was a caching solution, which AWS has since launched and we will be soon moving to. This was also a big consideration, the pace at which AWS are iterating and improving their service matches our philosophy to application development.
- Build a great product, then don’t forget to market it!
- Treat your customers like precious gold.
- Make it easy for your customers to talk to you and listen to what they say.
- Cross-promote your app with other apps that youve also built.
We’ve collected some lessons learned on our blog: how we got 250k downloads in 4 days.
8 Days Left to Enter Your Startup in the AWS Start-up Challenge!
This year’s AWS Start-up Challenge is a worldwide competition with prizes at all levels, including up to $100,000 in cash, AWS credits, and more for the grand prize winner. Learn more and enter today!
You can also follow @AWSStartups on Twitter for startup-related updates.