Cloud 66 turned ten this year! While this is a big deal for us, I understand that it is not important to you. After all, who cares if a company turns 10, right? So, why am I writing about it, and why do I think you might also be interested in this?
Since we started Cloud 66 in 2012, we and the world around us have changed significantly.
We are no longer a scrappy startup with only big dreams to keep us going. Today, hundreds of customers rely on us daily for critical parts of their business. We also have partners and colleagues, without whom we wouldn't be here. Over the past ten years, we've built a deep technology stack that has powered Cloud 66 and its products and is still getting deeper (or taller, depending on your point of view!).
Our world also has changed, and I'm not talking about working from home. When we started in 2012, containers were only on large ships in the sea, and Kubernetes was an obscure word in Greek. Over the past ten years, we've also seen companies start, raise millions of dollars in funding, make a lot of noise and then fizzle out without much of a trace other than the talented people who leave them for other companies.
Every year, a new company would start, just like a new NodeJS framework, and confuse their talent in fundraising with trust from their customers.
Call us old-fashioned, but we took a different approach to run a business. We think our most important job at Cloud 66 is to build a business sustained not by external capital and irrational valuations but by the money we earn from our customers.
I believe this is important, not just for Cloud 66 but for our whole industry. Suppose all companies subsidize their products with external funding, gain customers by selling a dollar for 90 cents and call it traction. In that case, there will be a day when they have to return the external funding by selling out their customers. While I don't doubt that is an excellent outcome for the founders and the early investors, this erodes market trust in the other startups. After all, who would want to advocate using new technology from a small company when the most likely outcome is not a failure of technology but an "exit" for the company and sunsetting of their product? In a world like that, "no one gets fired for buying Microsoft." A world like that is not a good place to innovate. Unfortunately, this is the counter-intuitive reality of our industry.
On this 10th anniversary of Cloud 66, I think it is essential for us to state our goals to our current and future customers: we are your partner, not just another vendor. Your success is what makes us successful.
Here is to the next ten years of Cloud 66 alongside you, our customers!