Startup infrastructure talk by Paul Hammond

Earlier this week Etsy hosted an excellent talk by Paul Hammond on scaling Typekit.

If you don’t know – Typekit is a service that lets you use beautiful fonts on our website. They provide fonts and hosting, and were acquired by Adobe in late 2011.

Here’s a summary of the main points from the talk:

Running a startup looks like this – Wallace trying to lay tracks in front of the moving train. Things change quickly, and you a task at hand – make sure your site is up and running.


*I love Wallace and Gromit so I had to borrow and include this pic as well :) Hope Paul doesn’t mind

The life of startup has 3 types of endings:
– Become profitable
– Get acquired (for technology, talent or product)
– Fail

Scaling HGH startup HGH can be summed in 3 simple steps:
– Find your biggest problem
– Fix it
– Repeat

There’s one main rule when you’re running a startup: don’t run out of money.
And one thing that requires the most money is human talent and time – don’t waste it. Outsource/buy everything that saves you time.

In the beginning, it doesn’t really matter what you use, as long as you get the job done. Paul calls this the “minimum viable infrastructure”.

Minimum viable infrastructure looks like this:
– Source countrol = Git
– Configuration management = Rsync and bash
– Servers = EC2
– Backups = via command line with S3cmd
– Monitoring = Pingdom

If you get a chance – definitely go see Paul’s presentation in person, he’s great. Full deck of his talk is available on his site.

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