I just got back from a trip to Los Angeles – a city that is experiencing a massive startup movement. I was so fired up after meeting with lots of great companies that I felt compelled to write something here and also share some of the video we shot last week. It was electric – the accelerators, incubators and VCs are pushing the innovation envelope and developing what could be the next big thing.
These startups, while all working on different products and projects, have one thing in common: Rackspace and Open Cloud technologies make their lives easier. Here are five reasons startups love the Rackspace Open Cloud.
1. Startups Love Open Source
It’s no secret that startups thrive in dynamic environments. They like being a part of something – a community. Startups have a track-record for choosing open source platforms upon which to build their businesses – they build on Linux, MySQL, Apache, OpenStack and more. They crave the freedom, the choice, the flexibility and the customizability that open standards and open source offer. Bootstrapped startups can’t afford to pay the commercial software tax – they need that money to grow their businesses. At their core, startups are innovators. They are constantly creating and inventing. Open source tools like OpenStack and Linux are where invention happens. They fuel innovation – and startups know this.
2. Startups Want To Focus On Their Businesses
The entrepreneurial spirit can’t be dampened – but constant worry about infrastructure needs and day-to-day IT management can stifle innovation and act as a speed bump. The Open Cloud sparks innovation and removes the burden of “keeping the lights on.” You don’t have to have the world’s best engineering team – unless your product requires it, that is. Most startups I interact with have two leaders: the technical guy and the business guy, neither of which should be saddled with managing infrastructure. The cloud ought to fade into the background. The last thing they need to focus on is the technology stack. Rackspace specifically gives its startup customers the safety net of our years of experience, our expertise in running clouds and our Fanatical Support®. We’re an extension of your team that is there to run your cloud so you can build your business. As startups gear up for SXSW Interactive in Austin next week, we want to help ensure that they’re ready for success. To do so, we’ve put together tips for startups to steer toward SXSW success and we are available today to field any questions you may have (1-800-480-3163).
3. We Can Relate, We Were A Startup (And Still Act Like One)
It wasn’t that long ago that Rackspace was a scrappy startup. In fact, the bulk of our leadership team was with the company in those early days when we were just a handful of employees crammed into a small office. We’ve been through it, and we still think like a startup. We’re your peers; your contemporaries, and we know the challenges you face. At the same time, startups are our bread and butter – we know what makes them tick. We’ve grown over the years and now have a strong enterprise business as well, but that startup mentality will forever be in our blood. Our Open Cloud can help startups grow and evolve, much like we did, while maintaining the spirit that drives the startup movement.
4. Startups Want Choice And Flexibility
This may be the most important – startups want choice. They need to be nimble. Flexibility is a must. In the fast-paced startup world, you have to be able to pivot on a dime. That’s not so simple when you’re locked into a proprietary cloud vendor. The Open Cloud gives startups the ability to not only scale as they grow, but also leave their cloud provider should their needs change or evolve. Maybe a private cloud is the right choice at some stage. The startup world is unpredictable – the Open Cloud is assurance that when things change, your business can too. You can grow without drag.
5. The Open Cloud Loves Startups Too
Startups love the Open Cloud because we love them back. With our Rackspace Startup Program we help young companies embrace the cloud through free and discounted cloud resources. We have a team of experienced Rackers – Robert Scoble, for example – who are startup evangelists. We invest in startups and we bring them into our world. We act as a tailwind for startups to help them get to success faster, and do so in an Open Cloud environment.
6. The Open Cloud Has Better T-Shirts
Let’s face it – startups love schwag. We all do. Nothing beats free stuff. And here at Rackspace we love seeing our logo, slogans and images being worn by entrepreneurs and startups. We put a lot of thought in getting our name out there – and the Open Cloud just lends itself to some really cool designs. Take a look. And find us at a tradeshow to get in on the fun.
And here’s a look at L.A.’s startup movement: