A week of video feedback and thoughts on startups. Let us begin...

Hi there,

A week of video feedback and thoughts on the serverless startup ecosystem. Let us begin...

Video Feedback & Iteration

I want to thank everyone for all the feedback on our first video! The feedback was pretty uniform.

When I decided to do the video my objectives were to:

  1. Improve a training workshop module
  2. Understand the mechanics and effort in creating video
  3. Validate whether doing another one was worthwhile.

After my initial video cut I had a number of questions and areas I wasn't sure about. (Don't we all when we do something new?) I had questions about the length, content, and voice delivery. Rather than spend more time on the video I released it.

What did I learn? First, I met all my stated objectives and you'll be seeing more video! Second, I gathered feedback about the areas of the video I had concerns about. No negative feedback that the video was too long. No negative feedback about the material covered. Only complaint, my voice delivery. (For background, I was experimenting with ensuring clarity and understandability.) I had three concerns and only one was supported by viewer feedback.

I can now spend more time improving the problem I have instead of the problems I don't have.

Why do I bring all this up? Because adopting a mentality that emphasizes releasing early, gathering feedback, determining what problems you have and what problems you don't, and finally improving is the mentality we promote in clients we work with. In order for us to promote this mentality with clients we think it's important to openly discuss how we apply this to our own work.

Keep paying attention for out next even better video!

The Serverless Startup Ecosystem

Last week we mentioned AWS Startup Day in Boston, plus we've seen this piece on the serverless startup ecosystem going around. All that spurred some thoughts.

There's definitely new startup ideas out there. The process starts by reassessing old problems and the unique challenges created. But contrary to what TechCrunch says, there probably isn't a lot of room in the reliability space left. Companies such as IOpipe, Thundra, Dashbird, and Epsagon already exist; not to mention the big players such as Datadog, SignalFx, etc. exist too. Maybe you have a serverless reliability product that's really novel and unique?... But that's still no guarantee people will want to use your unfamiliar solution, let alone pay for it.

I think what serverless needs is more people pushing the limits. There's a lot of really fine people reassessing existing problem spaces and the challenges serverless presents. But there aren't enough people asking what new opportunities it creates. What sort of products don't exist yet because it's serverless that makes them possible or the market exist?

Here's some ideas I've had in the back of my head.

First, a market place for serverless functions and nanoservices. Construct an application using other people's functions and pay a premium on each function execution back to the author. Create a marketplace for someone to create the billion dollar function.

Second, a low code platform where someone could construct rudimentary MVPs (if not functional production products). If you're familiar with product design, tools such as InVision are a first step in designing applications. Rather than a product built for designers, what about a product built for product managers to add and validate features before dedicating full-time engineering resources? Maybe even a product aimed at entrepreneurs to let them present a functional MVP instead of an InVision mockup in VC meetings.

Why am I casually tossing out startup ideas? There's no point in just keeping these ideas to myself. Growing the serverless startup space grows ServerlessOps. Besides, ideas are cheap. There's a massive amount of execution to turn what you just read into anything valuable.


I'm Tom from ServerlessOps and we provide services to make you successful with your DevOps transformation and enhancement through AWS serverless adoption. Ask us about our training and advisory services.

Also let us know what you think of this week's Cold Start using the 👍/👎 links at the end of this email!

Tom at ServerlessOps

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We're ServerlessOps and we help you design, build, and run reliable serverless systems in AWS. Whether you're a startup, cloud native, or just beginning your cloud journey, we're here for you. We work with you to identify where serverless fits your needs, build necessary infrastructure and tooling, and work with your engineering team to make going serverless a team success. If this sounds exciting to you then drop us a line at hello@serverlessops.io to discuss how we can work together.
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