I have to admit, I picked up this month’s Wired, leafed through it, and for the rare issue, didn’t find much of interest. I was curious about the cover with Steve Carell, because really, who doesn’t like Steve Carell? But, I knew it would be one of those basically useless fluff pieces. I left the magazine open on my coffee table to the Amazon article for future reading, when I had some time. After all, I was busy finishing up the semester, and I’d get to it when I could. I mean, we are just talking about Amazon. Could they be doing something all that important?
In a word, yes. I was relatively unaware of the “cloud computing” aspect under the guise of Amazon Web Services, providing computing power and storage on a lease vs. buy scenario. It’s an amazing business model, provides all kinds of businesses, from startups like Ooyala working on a hypervideo offering to Zillow the company that revolutionized real estate market information, a way to outsource their computing infrastructure.
Bezos equates cloud computing with other infrastructure services. “You don’t generate your own electricity. Why generate your own computing?” Good point. The economies of scale are such that one company can provide services to many on the cheap.
Obvious concerns will be availability and privacy of information. But, these things can be worked out with logistics, time, and reputation. While other companies have been publicly duking it out for the share of search and social, Amazon has quietly gone about its business. They have taken a core competency gained from managing their own data and distribution needs, and turned it into a profitable and in-demand venture.