Thursday, September 22, 2011

Cloudy With a Chance of Profit: Preview

I’ve spent a great deal of time publicly evangelizing the merits of cloud computing, both on this blog and on the Serotalk podcast. The next logical step was to expand, in the form of a book, on my experiences as an entrepreneur of a cloud-based business and share my thoughts on the effects of cloud computing on the information technology industry as a whole. Coming soon to your favorite bookstore is my first published work, entitled “Cloudy With a Chance of Profit: You, Me, And The Cloud That Binds us”. While you wait for the book to arrive, check out this exerpt.

What is the Cloud? More to the point: why should you care? It's something I would have asked back in 1997 when I first began using that new platform called Windows and the only clouds I knew were the ones from my cigars or the fog machines in the clubs where I worked as a DJ. Back then, the concept of cloud computing had not been conceived, but the Internet was causing a lot of excited noise about what this new type of communication would mean for people and businesses. I don't think even computer scientists had a clue of how the Worldwide Web would grow into the beast we see today.
Let me put it this way, the Cloud means to our generation what the telegraph meant to the world in the early 19th century. It changed communication. It changed how people viewed the world, and the great thing about inventions is that they build off each other until you sit back and think that things cannot possibly get any better. It's funny now to see that the car phone we once thought was so luxurious did not come close to the smartphones of today, but as you will read, the Cloud is so much more than point to point communication. It's a virtual playground, a global community, a new way of working and playing with friends and colleagues.
Writing this book brought back some interesting memories of the days when I was just getting started with Serotek. Those were the days when we felt good about renting enough servers to hold the work of the company in a safe location. We were proud when we had to rent more servers to keep up with the growth of our operations, but those were also the days when the difference between $100 and $1,000 to get the right hosting package would have been the difference between running with an idea and killing it. Now we're comfortably housed in the Cloud, and you know, I'm not even remotely kidding when I tell you that the sky is the limit.
But seriously, why should you care? In a world of bits and bytes, bandwidth and backups, you need to become a part of the technological evolution. You need to understand that the landscape is changing and there is more to the evolution than texts and Tweets. You cannot afford to be left behind when so much of the world is turning to the clouds to do business. Profit is as much about the funds you can generate from using cloud services as it is about the information you can use in the Cloud to build your personal human capital.
I am writing this book to you no matter where you sit. I am writing to the educator who wants to bring a whole new level of functionality to the classroom. I am writing to the person who just lost their job and is looking for a new source of income to survive. I am writing to the blind person who once had to pick living quarters conveniently located to public transportation, because before the Cloud, we were limited by physical time and distance. I am writing to the eager software developer who has yet to experience the beauty of choosing from a number of platforms to deploy your invention to the big blue sky of cloud possibilities. In short, I am writing to every consumer who wants to get in touch with their inner entrepreneur and act on that passion to make something happen.
The Cloud is an infinite frontier. That isn't to say that all clouds are built equally or that every cloud has a silver lining, but the potential is there. Speaking as someone who went from zero technology know-how to working my way through DOS and finally up to my current Cloud activity, I can tell you that it is not difficult. And it is not too late. I want you to put this book down having learned enough about the environment to proclaim that, you too, are ready to take on this ubiquitous thing we call the Cloud.