candles evolving to led lightbulbs

What is cloud computing, and how has it impacted the internet?

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Nobody understands the ultimate impact that the Cloud will have on human beings. Not me, not anyone at AWS or Google, no one. What we — the Cloud converts — do know is that it will be big — really, really big. 

Woodworking in the 1900s

Imagine for a moment that you are a carpenter working at the turn of the last century (1900 or so). Your tool kit might look a little like this:

Woodworking tools circa 1900
Woodworking tools circa 1900


Imagine that someone invented electricity (the Cloud) fourteen years ago (AWS became publicly available in 2006). And imagine all the power tools (microservices) invented over the last 120 years were instead invented in only the last five years, with the majority in the past one to two years. Your available tools would look something like this:

all the power tools

Pretty overwhelming, right? That’s precisely the right way to think about the impact of the Cloud. Now stack on top of that a build-your-own helper robot you could rent for pennies, and that’s basically where every Digital Product Manager, Programmer, UX Designer, and Executive is right now.

Still Not Big Enough

Take a step back, and now look at a world where every industry (carpentry, education, law, etc.) just got access to electricity fourteen years ago, and every invention that ever used electricity was invented over the past five years. Time to cut back on your candle budget and increase your lightbulb budget, right?

Electricity Then vs. Now

Thomas Edison had no idea what the impact of electricity would be. He is quoted as saying:

“We will make electricity so cheap that only the rich will burn candles.”

A bold proclamation to be sure, but nowhere near the lasting impact on human beings — not even close. Jeff Bezos and Andy Jassy (who created AWS) have no idea what the Cloud's lasting impact will be.

Hold Onto Your Hats

We are right on the cusp of another AWS re:Invent, their annual conference. Last year, AWS went from 64 to 171 products they offer — a massive increase in power...and complexity. At Metal Toad in 2019, we were most impressed by RekognitionPersonalizeForecast — and of course, the expanded Machine Learning offerings. But all of this doesn't even touch what AWS Technology Partners bring to the table. There are literally thousands of other companies that exist within the ecosystem, and we are tracking 139 with specializations and robust offerings for M&E.

Working in the Cloud space is definitely drinking from the firehose every day. It's a lot, but it's also incredibly invigorating and inspiring to be at the forefront of what is coming next for humanity. Electricity, get ready to be last century's news.

Date posted: October 28, 2020

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About the Author

Joaquin Lippincott, CEO

Joaquin is a 20+ year technology veteran helping to lead businesses in the move to the Cloud. He frequently speaks on panels about the future of tech ranging from IoT and Machine Learning to the latest innovation in the entertainment industry.  He has helped to modernize software for industry leaders like Sony, Daimler, Intel, the Golden Globes, Siemens Wind Power, ABC, NBC, DC Comics, Warner Brothers & the Linux Foundation.

As the CEO and Founder of Metal Toad, an AWS Advanced Consulting Partner, his primary job is to "get the right people in the room".  This one responsibility is cross-functional and includes both external business development functions as well as internal delegation and leadership development.

A UCLA alumni, he also serves in the community as a Board Member for the Los Angeles Area Chamber of Commerce, the Beverly Hills Chamber of Commerce, and Stand for Children Oregon - a public education political advocacy group. As an outspoken advocate for entry-level job creation in tech he helped found the non-profit, P4TH, an organization dedicated to increasing the number of entry-level jobs in the tech industry, and is in the process of organizing an Advisory Board for the Bixel Exchange, a Los Angeles non-profit that provides almost 200 tech internships every year.


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