AWS News Blog

Entrepreneur’s Perspective on Amazon S3

I’ve known Scott Johnson for quite a while now. He did some really great work at Feedster, and he’s a diligent podcaster. Scott is never at a loss for words, so I asked him what he liked about Amazon S3, and how it helped him to architect and to build Ookles. Scott responded with a great blog post, “Why Ookles Used S3 and why your startup should too.”

Scott’s rationale for why Amazon S3 is helping him to build his startup more quickly and with less cash is a must-read. This part in particular caught my eye:

Now being a startup there is nothing more important than cash on hand. If you dont have cash then youre effectively out of business. And since Amazon now offers S3 we can conserve our cash and buy gear only as we need to grow, not proactively in the face of the usage which isnt there yet

All too often when people ask about scalability, what they mean is “How big can you grow?” There’s another side to scalability at the low end of the growth curve, and a better question should be “How small can you start, and from that start how big can you grow?”

It seems to me that the availability of pay-as-you go services is an important part of the answer to this question. Not so long ago, any startup needed to make a huge up-front investment in server hardware in order to be ready for growth that might or might not materialize. Now, the model is different: Build your startup using someone else’s web-scale infrastructure, avoid the up-front costs, and pay for what you actually use, not for what you might or might not need in the future.

Don’t take my word for it, though. Be sure to read Scott’s brilliant post.

— Jeff;