A while back I posted a not-so-feasible idea outlining a way to tip site owners for content that you enjoy. In the comments I got a great link to an awesome tipping site and in turn found a great blog run by a team of four entrepreneurs. One of their RSDs (rock star devs) Reinier Zwitserloot sent me a very interesting idea this morning. As someone who works for one of the major companies below, I know how important it is for companies to get “high potential” startups on their radar and open up a good channel of communication/goodwill with these guys. Check it out and please contribute some feedback in the comments section!
I stumbled on a ‘startup’ idea of sorts that I don’t have time to do,
but I think it’s at least relatively simple for the right people and
could be lucrative. Unfortunately it’s better suited as a side
project by a larger company, particularly one of the big 5 to make it
easier to monitor and buy out other startups, or Sun or IBM due to
their status as server providers.
Here’s the idea:
A fully catered, preferably somewhat sponsored (this is where the
side-project of a big company angle comes in, they have the bankroll
to do it), server park for startups.
here’s the issue: Any startup needs at least 1 rack computer and pay
monthly colo fees. Even skimping heavily, you’re in the can for about
800 dollars initial investment and then 30 bucks a month. For
robustness you really need another off-site rack at the very least to
receive backups from the main system.
This is somewhat unfortunate because most startup tank inside of a
year, OR they grow horns and take off inside of a year, requiring a
lot of time, money, and expertise to scale up. Either way the 800 to
1500 dollar server + colo setup is either no longer needed OR
All of these are more or less solved problems. The quick tank
scenario is best handled by RENTING the whole machine, which some
internet providers do allow but isn’t too common, and Sun, IBM,
Google, and other companies have many experts on scaling web services.
Thus the idea:
Sun, Google, IBM, or a new startup sets up a ‘startup internet server
park’. The basic deal is that you pay 200 dollars or so every month
for the following resources:
A modern, capable machine with root access – no virtual hosting, the
real deal. You also get limited access to an offset box for receiving
backups. That’s a much better deal for startups compared to spending
700 up front for a mediocre machine. Your money also includes
insurance against massive traffic boosts – you get more servers and
an expert to help you balance the load, plus a deadline to move on –
to keep the focus on new companies instead of trying to host
Sun or IBM could really impress the tech world by doing this, plus
they can make the future large companies of the web world already get
acquinted with their hardware and preferred OSes. Google/Ebay-PayPal/
Yahoo/Microsoft/Amazon can create goodwill and closely monitor
startups for buying out. The startups in question will already have a
positive feeling with them for basically sponsoring the hosting.