Today’s startups have a distinct advantage when it comes to launching a company because of the public cloud. You don’t have to build infrastructure or worry about what happens when you scale too quickly. The cloud vendors take care of all that for you.
But last month when Pinterest announced its IPO, the company’s cloud spend raised eyebrows. You see, the company is spending $750 million a year on cloud services, more specifically for AWS. When your business is primarily focused on photos and video, and needs to scale at a regular basis, that bill is going to be high.
That price tag prompted Erica Joy, a Microsoft engineer, to publish this tweet and start a little internal debate here at TechCrunch. Startups, after all, have a dog in this fight, and it’s worth exploring if the cloud is helping feed the startup ecosystem, or sending your bills soaring, as they have with Pinterest.
For starters, it’s worth pointing out that Ms. Joy works for Microsoft, which just happens to be a primary competitor of Amazon’s in the cloud business. Regardless of her personal feelings on the matter, I’m sure Microsoft would be more than happy to take over that $750 million bill from Amazon. It’s a nice chunk of business; but all that aside, do startups benefit from having access to cloud vendors?