The Rocketscience of Starting Up


The world of starting up has fundamentally changed in the last 12 months. It’s no longer some form of black art and it’s definitely not rocket science.

Many of the folks I’m working with have heard me bang on about this ad nauseam, but it’s worth repeating. The advent of infrastructure solutions like Amazon Web Services and attention platforms like Facebook enable companies to rapidly deploy product in huge markets and test for traction points. If it sticks go hell for leather, if not innovate and redeploy.

As Liz Gannes reports from the Silicon Valley Startup Project event at Stanford – Amazon Web Services hosts over 265,000 developers …that’s one mighty sand pit …assuming some of them are throwing up 5 billion sand grains against the Internet wall to see if they stick…and evidently many of them are sticking – there are approximately 25,000 requests per second.

Commenting on this phenomenon, Kleiner Perkins partner Randy Komisar said: “We’re now at a point that business plans really don’t matter. It’s an iterative process of quickly getting your ideas into the hands of others…before – there was a black art, (but now) we have a market.”

The best quote from the session was made by Jon Boutelle, CTO of Slideshare, who said: “Failure is an option.” My point above stands: If it sticks go hell for leather, if not innovate and redeploy.

[Picture of a Golf Ball Rocket courtesy of Steve Jurvetson]

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