“In the Studio,” Nebula’s Chris Kemp Wants Startups to Scale Efficiently

Editor’s Note: TechCrunch columnist Semil Shah currently works at Votizen and is based in Palo Alto. You can follow him on Twitter @semil

“In the Studio” opens its doors this week to a technologist who grew up tinkering with old Macs, dropped out of college to begin a career in technology, founded a few companies, and wound up as the Chief Technical Officer of NASA, where he oversaw the development of the Open Stack Project and has now left found a company in Palo Alto that aims to commercialize that technology in new ways.

Chris Kemp co-founded Nebula to create an infrastructure and data systems solution for companies that, after reaching a certain scale, might want to offload some of their balance to a different solution and, in the process, save on those monthly Amazon Web Services bills. To hear Kemp describe it, Nebula looks similar to AWS and runs behind your own firewall in your own data center environment. For companies that reach a certain scale who can plan their growth with some reasonable certainty, a dependency on AWS can become costly.

It’s no secret that the availability of AWS has enabled companies to get off the ground quicker and cheaper, and as we saw last year, the reliance on these services is so deep that when an outage in April 2011 took root, many of our favorite startup sites and services went down temporarily. Nebula isn’t a substitute for AWS, but rather a complement: companies at a certain scale could place some of their more predictable load with Nebula while leaving the spikes to AWS and, in the process, not be held hostage by one company and/or by increasing monthly fees.

In this brief discussion, Kemp directly discusses the genesis and evolution of Nebula from his days at NASA. For developers at startups that are about to reach a scale where growth can be reasonably approximated for the next 6-12 months, this video would be useful to consider for planning purposes. Investors who help their companies with scaling may also want to investigate Kemp and other solutions like Nebula as they plan their strategies.