In March, my colleague Aaron submitted Packet to TechCrunch Disrupt’s NYC “Startup Battlefield” competition. The Battlefield is a chance to face off in a pitch-session throwdown with a handpicked group of leading startups - get your name out, get feedback, and have the chance to win $50k in cold, hard (much needed) cash. Not bad!
Disrupting with Big Ideas
It's really no surprise that Techcrunch calls this a "Disrupt" event...the energy of fresh, powerful, big ideas is palpable. From the keynote fireside chats (Mayor de Blasio laying out bold plans for NY's Silicon Alley and attacking social inequity via investments in tech) to the hundreds of innovators, students, and media members lining the halls, it's easy to tap into an energy that values fresh thinking and pushing the envelope.
Hanging out the Alley
Packet was fortunate to be chosen as a Battlefield Alternate - basically next in line in case a Battlefield participant cancels, is disqualified or can’t present. While waiting to be called up to present, Aaron and I have had the chance to meet hundreds of startups, investors and technologist in Startup Alley.
We’ve handed out all but a few of our business cards and talked bare metal, the "post cloud" cloud and Docker for about 2 days straight! We’ve been really blown away (and humbled) by the very positive response that leading SaaS companies and seasoned tech startups have expressed for our alternative to public, multi-tenant virtual clouds.
Here are my takeaways:
- On Demand - Engineers love the idea of on-demand, automation friendly bare metal -- single tenant, powerful compute instances with no virtualization.
- Performance - Tech startups care deeply about performance and the end user experience of their products. Latency matters. Performance matters.
- Cost - Cost comes up a lot. Business owners and engineers are challenging the idea of "lots of small server instances makes it cheap" and are seeking powerful and efficient alternatives for their workloads.
- Pain Points - Disk and Network speed are the big pain points. Nearly everybody is seeking speed. And our NVME flash drives and 10Gbit network interface are magnetic.
The feedback has been incredibly useful, telling us where we’re on track and where we need to hone our product, but in the end, these types of events are all about meeting people and creating valuable connections with fellow businesses.
I’ve been impressed with the showing from France (Sleek, Algolia, ChurnSpotter), inspired by the social-driven missions of BlackGirlsCode, VidCode and EveryLayer, and humbled by the smart teams at low level (on the stack!) tech companies like Crate.io and CloudRadigm.
It's all about People
In the end, meeting so many exciting companies and driven entrepreneurs reaffirms one of Packet’s core values -- that communication and engagement is a non-negotiable part of delivering our service. Sure, Packet offers an automated infrastructure platform -- servers, network assets, API’s -- and we could choose to hide behind feedback forms, user-moderated forums, and tickets.
But we know that our customers are people who are trying to do big things -- and we’re eager to meet them, talk with them, and learn with them. And that’s why Packet proudly offers a phone number that rings straight to a live engineer and an SMS number so you can text us for quick answers or help.
Hopefully we’ll meet you at the next TechCrunch conference -- if not, just give us a shout. We’ll come to you!