eTech05: From the Garage

Mark Fletcher, CEO and founder of bloglines, shared with the eTech audience his experiences with starting a couple of different web services companies.

Garage philosophy:

* passion for the idea
* cheap technologies
* keep it simple
* release early/release often
* involve your users

More on philosophy:

* moonlighting limits risk
* friends/family funding
* free services = less pressure
* web services APIs are a good thing
* hire a lawyer
* find good help (especially a sys admin)
* outsource to eLance, an online index of free-lancers

Simple web services architecture:

frontend: web servers, email servers
backend: db servers



Of course, they are LAMP based. For hardware, they bought their own and then used a colo service. It’s cheaper to get started by using a hosting service, but it doesn’t scale. He also covered some of the architectural choices made by bloglines as they setup this service.

Overall, I think Mark’s approach is sound; I certainly get good value from using bloglines while traveling (netnewswire otherwise), and it’s been very reliable.