My goal with this blog

I write about relevant changes in the way that people use the web and how startups are built to provide services and products for this ever changing wonderful thing we still know as "the web." As a former entrepreneur turned early-stage investor, my greatest hope is for this to be useful to other folks that are like me in the hopes that they can avoid some of the mistakes I've made.

Something smells fishy inside AWS

Every great startup has an exciting and superb "founding story:" eBay and Pez dispensers, Apple and the garage tinkering of the two Steves, Microsoft and its BASIC, and so on. In the case of Amazon and its web services (AWS, albeit not quite a startup but close enough), the founding story goes something like this: aware that they had built up incredibly robust excess capacity for handling the peaks of e-commerce traffic on, the bright minds from Seattle decided to offer the same capacity to the rest of the web, kicking off the era of cloud computing for the thousands of customers that signed up for their triple threat of services: S3 (storage), EC2 (compute cyles), and SQS (messaging queues).

And yet, if AWS is using's excess capacity, why has S3 been down for most of the day, rendering most of the profile images and other assets of Web 2.0 tapestry completely inaccessible while at the same time I can't manage to find even a single 404 on Wouldn't they be using the same infrastructure for their store that they sell to the rest of us?

Outages like this one will for sure fuel the fire of all of the startups trying to sell "cloud redundancy" to people who want to fail over seamlessly between providers.