I built my first website on the Edinboro University VAX system (my personal site, using my student account)…that ended up landing me a gig with a small ad agency in the area and most of the sites we built were hosted on shared servers that we only had FTP access to.
As my career evolved, and my clients got more serious about what they wanted to accomplish via the web…I started to deal with a lot of machines that we physically purchased, installed, and maintained (super expensive, and super time-consuming).
After the DOT COM fallout, machines actually got a lot cheaper and co-location facilities started to rent out dedicated machines at costs that even I (a small independent guy with some ideas) could afford…and for many years I ran most of my services in that situation.
A few years ago, Amazon introduced AWS and the EC2 instances…it was a bit clunky and unreliable at first, but it evolved quickly and the usage/growth exploded…it was finally possible to have complete control over, and set up or shut down, as many machines as you might want with just a few clicks of a button (and fairly cheap).
Since that time, the prices within EC2 have just kept creeping down while the reliability and features have been creeping up.
Now, Amazon is introducing AWS Activate - designed specifically for startups just getting started on AWS.
Just proving even more that, it really is a a great time to be a “guy with an idea”.
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Kevin has a day job as CTO of Veritonic and is spending nights & weekends hacking on Share Game Tape. You can also check out some of his open source code on GitHub or connect with him on Twitter @falicon or via email at kevin at falicon.com.
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