NextWeb – Werner Vogels argues Amazon's model matches the new world

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NextWeb: Live blog: Keynote: Werner Vogels, Chief Technology Officer and Vice President of Amazon.com: Presentation title: “Uncertainty”

I’m the oldest guy on the slate so I should take a few steps back, and the guys asked em to do a more visionary talk. I wanted to look at the web services word and broader economic models.

If you look at how the media has changed in the past ten years there are a few things that have changed how the media comes to you. All the tool shave become very low cost. The Net has taken off for distribution. A large number of new devices have come in the past in the last ten years, taking media to new places. We now have new business models. The world has changed from a few corporations holding on to information and broadcasting it, to a world where it’s up to you what you want to consume.r

You can pull in any information you want. The big shift is a move from a push model to a pull model.

We all know this story in the Web.

Who knows Lee Yung Foo? It’s a large group in China which focuses on manufacturing and supply chain. That means if you are a dress designer , they go find al providers and create the dress for you. They aggregate work. They swap different companies around if you need variations on the product.

IN the past 15 years going to school has changed. In the 80s/90s you’d get a list of courses you’d have to take. Now you get 400 courses out of which you pic 50.

What are the consequences?

Increasing uncertainty? Who knows if someone wants a product or not? There is intensifying competition. The consumer has become hugely powerful. 15 years ago they consumed what was given to them. Now they will decide for themselves what they want.

There is a shift from acquiring to learning about things.

IN the push world one pretends you can anticipate the market. There is top down control, centralised design, is very procedural, tightly controlled, resources centric. In the pull world demand is uncertain, emergent design, decentralised, module, loosley coupled, people centric, open participation, rapid incremental innovation.

Old: Design, deploy, execute, monitor, refine (and repeat). Slow.

New: Find, connect, innovate, reflect (and repeat). Fast.

Abundance of product, intensifying competition, learning, consumer power – all this adds up to a crap shoot. It’s a roll of the dice.

So you must be able to acquire resources on demand and pull them in at the moment that you need them. And also release those when you no longer need them. Thus you only pay what you use.

Now a long time ago at Amazon we found that 70pc of the time engineers were spending 70% of the time in managing infrastructure.

So we decided to go into a pull model and only release resources on demand. Before that if they needed 50 servers and use only 40 they’d keep 10 unused. So it was better to provide unlimited and let them use just what they needed.

Amazon S3, Amazon EC2 etc etc are the Amazom products which follow the pull model.

Now there are 14 billion objects in Amazon S3.

So the most important thing is that unlimited storage and power this is now available at your fingertips.

(Here endeth the Amazon pitch).

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