AWS & The Wizard of Oz

I will confess: I both admire and respect Amazon. If all they ever achieved was to be my go-to online store and stream TV / movies to my house, I’d be a big fan. I also appreciate their near maniacal focus on the customer, their organizational productivity at scale, the…

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Competitive Analysis

I’m not a big fan of competitive analysis. While I generally know the high-level value of different products in a market, you’re unlikely to find me taking a deep dive into a competitive product. This is a change from a decade ago, when I was convinced a key…

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Photo: My Fort Point Office

I regularly grab coffee with new & interesting people around the Boston area, and so am always on the look out for a new place to hangout. Here is a recent favorite. You have to bring your own coffee in the morning, but the view makes up for it. While…

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Conviction

Over the years of building software, I’ve acquired a handful of personal sayings that I can’t help but blurt out at relevant moments. One such saying is: “If you’re doing something completely different from everyone else, you’re either solving a completely new problem, or doing something…

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RDS Usage Reporting

Since its release in 2009, Amazon’s Relational Database (RDS) service has grown substantially in both features and reliability. In addition to the much anticipated launch of Postgres last year, AWS added support for critical new instance types (e.g. T2s, R3s) while continuing to expand its existing services (e…

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The Four Phases of Cloud Optimization

Several years ago I joined a company that was in the middle of a frantic architectural transition that prioritized speed over cost. During my first few months I watched our Amazon Web Services bill creep from $100K per month to over $350K. While at first our CEO was accepting of…

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