Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Web2.0 NY Participation -- Better Late...

About 15 days ago, James and I attended Web2.0 Expo and Interop in NY city. We have been very busy since the conferences building our business so, there really has been little time for reflection. However, it is worth a post to quickly recap how these shows acted as validation for our new venture. Over and above just meeting many great people and having several in depth discussions, there were several moments that further solidified our belief that we are definitely onto something big and more importantly, valuable here.

First, we attended a panel discussion called Building in the Clouds: Scaling Web 2.0. Although it was a pretty general talk about PaaS and Cloud computing what was positive was the panel make-up.

The panel members represented the large and the small, the established and the emerging and they all had a singular message...

Cloud/Platform Computing is going to continue to provide more and more value to those who develop and deploy web applications.

The conversation focused on the value proposition of the cloud and many strong points in favour were made. However, despite the bias of the panel, there were also many valid concerns brought to the forefront with guidance for navigating these concerns.

At Interop, I was fortunate enough to catch Peter Laird's talk on The Taxonomy of On-Demand Computing, where he did a fantastic of organizing the mess that is, the term cloud computing. Anyone who is interested in figuring out who sits where in the cloud needs to check out his blog post where he graphically illustrates the industry (unfortunately I do not think he included Reasonably Smart yet - we are eagerly awaiting the October update).

We were also fortunate enough to carve out 30 minutes of Tim O'Reilly's time to bring him up to speed on what we have completed since his keynote mention of us at this year's OSCON in July. He told us to keep him informed of our progress and we certainly will.

There was what could be considered a 'meeting of the minds' when we sat down with Dwight Merriman, CEO of 10gen. 10gen is easily our closest competition in the PaaS space but, this did not stop us from leaving our discussion agreeing to work together moving forward. How, you ask? Well the starting point is to get together to begin defining JavaScript on the server standards. It's a good idea for both of us and funny enough while speaking with Paul Colton, CEO of Aptana yesterday, he also expressed interest. We are targeting late October to kick this project off.

Finally, we were invited to moderate the cloud computing component of Interop's Unconference by Alistair Croll. At its most intense, there were 20 - 25 people hotly debating issues like security within the cloud, the differences between clouds and whether or not it would really be possible to broker the world's excess server capacity.

One thing that nobody was debating... if there is value in the cloud. This, for us, is a good thing.

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