Last Friday, we spent the lunch hour with Lee Azzarello of the file-sharing service Drop.io chatting about the technological considerations of running a start-up web services business. We learned that Drop.io keeps up with the sometimes unpredictable demands of increasing scale by taking advantage of two of Amazon’s cloud services: EC2 for its server needs, and S3 to store user data. This allows Drop.io to stay flexible as usage grows, without ever worrying about overpurchasing or maintenance. I asked Lee if he ever misses having the option of opening up a physical server in his control when something goes wrong. He didn’t skip a beat before responding “no”.
We also talked a bit about the history of open software and hardware, and how it effects the work we’re all doing these days. We came to the agreement that the success or failure of any project (for a specific application, or in general) often has as much to do with the community as any particular feature. A robust community not only helps support continued development, but ensures that there’s always someone else who’s been down the same path you’re traveling and knows the territory. Finding the right community often comes down to finding people who speak your language and share your interests.
Thanks, Lee, for a great lunch, and we look forward to the next studio visit!