Chris Law interviews me (he works in a Silicon Valley startup)

When I was making my tour of Silicon Valley’s startups yesterday I sat down for lunch with Chris Law. He recorded our conversation and podcasted it (he has other interviews including with a VP from Yahoo).

One thing I disagree with is when he says “I haven’t seen an example of a startup using Microsoft stuff in a serious way.”

Out of the three startups I met yesterday here in Silicon Valley, only one is using Linux stuff. And, a fourth, that I just talked with on email, is Ingenio.

They are making a BIG bet on Microsoft technologyl. They are serving 20 million minutes of calls every quarter. Ron Hirson, program management director of Ingenio says they are very happy with our stuff.

Another startup using our stuff? Weblogsinc.com. They just sold to AOL for $25 million. They run on our stuff. We are interested in working with all businesses, whether it’s one guy in a Silicon Valley garage, or it’s something like MySpace.com that runs the fourth largest Web site in the world (they are using our stuff too).

51 Replies to “Chris Law interviews me (he works in a Silicon Valley startup)”

  1. My former company was founded in the last gasp of the 1990s bubble. In 2001, we bet the company* on .Net when it was still in beta and it turned out wonderfully. We believe that we saved 6 to 9 months in development time, which allowed us to get ahead of other companies working on the same technology.

    * Actually, it might be more accurate to say that we engineers bet the company without telling management ahead of time.

    Like

  2. My former company was founded in the last gasp of the 1990s bubble. In 2001, we bet the company* on .Net when it was still in beta and it turned out wonderfully. We believe that we saved 6 to 9 months in development time, which allowed us to get ahead of other companies working on the same technology.

    * Actually, it might be more accurate to say that we engineers bet the company without telling management ahead of time.

    Like

  3. My former company was founded in the last gasp of the 1990s bubble. In 2001, we bet the company* on .Net when it was still in beta and it turned out wonderfully. We believe that we saved 6 to 9 months in development time, which allowed us to get ahead of other companies working on the same technology.

    * Actually, it might be more accurate to say that we engineers bet the company without telling management ahead of time.

    Like

  4. For what it’s worth, we are a startup making a big bet on MS .NET technology too (www.mentations.com). However, I have definitely encountered my fair share of folks like Chris Law scoffing at the notion of doing so. In fact, I was at Paul Graham’s startup school recently in Boston (www.startupschool.org) and there was certainly an anti-MS attitude presiding (especially if you ever hope to get bought by Yahoo or Google they said)! Not only that, but I’ve encountered the same kind of attitude regarding startups working on desktop versus web apps. Web stuff is all the rage while desktop is passé according to them. Ah yes, Web 2.0, you gotta love it. ;^) One interesting point I’ve found though is that Java does not seem to be the ‘in’ language this time around…

    Like

  5. For what it’s worth, we are a startup making a big bet on MS .NET technology too (www.mentations.com). However, I have definitely encountered my fair share of folks like Chris Law scoffing at the notion of doing so. In fact, I was at Paul Graham’s startup school recently in Boston (www.startupschool.org) and there was certainly an anti-MS attitude presiding (especially if you ever hope to get bought by Yahoo or Google they said)! Not only that, but I’ve encountered the same kind of attitude regarding startups working on desktop versus web apps. Web stuff is all the rage while desktop is passé according to them. Ah yes, Web 2.0, you gotta love it. ;^) One interesting point I’ve found though is that Java does not seem to be the ‘in’ language this time around…

    Like

  6. For what it’s worth, we are a startup making a big bet on MS .NET technology too (www.mentations.com). However, I have definitely encountered my fair share of folks like Chris Law scoffing at the notion of doing so. In fact, I was at Paul Graham’s startup school recently in Boston (www.startupschool.org) and there was certainly an anti-MS attitude presiding (especially if you ever hope to get bought by Yahoo or Google they said)! Not only that, but I’ve encountered the same kind of attitude regarding startups working on desktop versus web apps. Web stuff is all the rage while desktop is passé according to them. Ah yes, Web 2.0, you gotta love it. ;^) One interesting point I’ve found though is that Java does not seem to be the ‘in’ language this time around…

    Like

  7. One of my previous employers, Tegrity, an Israeli based software startup built on the Microsoft applications exclusively. Their product was integrated with Office and used what was at the time NetShow (and is now Media Services, I think). All our servers (all 3 or 4 of them) were also Windows.

    To say that startups aren’t using Microsoft is kind of ridiculous. There just aren’t a lot of companies out there that don’t have Microsoft products in some of their systems. Not even Apple or Sun.

    Like

  8. One of my previous employers, Tegrity, an Israeli based software startup built on the Microsoft applications exclusively. Their product was integrated with Office and used what was at the time NetShow (and is now Media Services, I think). All our servers (all 3 or 4 of them) were also Windows.

    To say that startups aren’t using Microsoft is kind of ridiculous. There just aren’t a lot of companies out there that don’t have Microsoft products in some of their systems. Not even Apple or Sun.

    Like

  9. One of my previous employers, Tegrity, an Israeli based software startup built on the Microsoft applications exclusively. Their product was integrated with Office and used what was at the time NetShow (and is now Media Services, I think). All our servers (all 3 or 4 of them) were also Windows.

    To say that startups aren’t using Microsoft is kind of ridiculous. There just aren’t a lot of companies out there that don’t have Microsoft products in some of their systems. Not even Apple or Sun.

    Like

  10. Get real guys – the vast majority of startups don’t run .Net and they never will. Let’s look at one simple stat that the MS crowd never seems to acknowledge

    http://news.netcraft.com/archives/web_server_survey.html

    69% of domains run Apache, 20% run IIS – that is a difference of *49%*

    To think that even 20% of startups are using MS technology is laughable. Eclipse is free, why should anyone pay for VS? or IIS? or an OS that is full of exploits?

    Wake up, the world has changed.

    Like

  11. Get real guys – the vast majority of startups don’t run .Net and they never will. Let’s look at one simple stat that the MS crowd never seems to acknowledge

    http://news.netcraft.com/archives/web_server_survey.html

    69% of domains run Apache, 20% run IIS – that is a difference of *49%*

    To think that even 20% of startups are using MS technology is laughable. Eclipse is free, why should anyone pay for VS? or IIS? or an OS that is full of exploits?

    Wake up, the world has changed.

    Like

  12. Get real guys – the vast majority of startups don’t run .Net and they never will. Let’s look at one simple stat that the MS crowd never seems to acknowledge

    http://news.netcraft.com/archives/web_server_survey.html

    69% of domains run Apache, 20% run IIS – that is a difference of *49%*

    To think that even 20% of startups are using MS technology is laughable. Eclipse is free, why should anyone pay for VS? or IIS? or an OS that is full of exploits?

    Wake up, the world has changed.

    Like

  13. My company, Digipede, is a start-up making a distributed computing product built on top of Windows. We find that lots of people really, really like Windows. All of our customers write software for use in-house (some sell software, too); they’ve chosen .NET as their platform largely because the development toolset is fantastic.

    As Microsoft will tell you–there are more people out there writing .NET code than all flavors of Java combined.

    I’ve had a couple of posts on my blog recently about why the Microsoft platform is better for a lot of distributed computing development than *nix…

    Like

  14. My company, Digipede, is a start-up making a distributed computing product built on top of Windows. We find that lots of people really, really like Windows. All of our customers write software for use in-house (some sell software, too); they’ve chosen .NET as their platform largely because the development toolset is fantastic.

    As Microsoft will tell you–there are more people out there writing .NET code than all flavors of Java combined.

    I’ve had a couple of posts on my blog recently about why the Microsoft platform is better for a lot of distributed computing development than *nix…

    Like

  15. My company, Digipede, is a start-up making a distributed computing product built on top of Windows. We find that lots of people really, really like Windows. All of our customers write software for use in-house (some sell software, too); they’ve chosen .NET as their platform largely because the development toolset is fantastic.

    As Microsoft will tell you–there are more people out there writing .NET code than all flavors of Java combined.

    I’ve had a couple of posts on my blog recently about why the Microsoft platform is better for a lot of distributed computing development than *nix…

    Like

  16. Tom: it’s pretty clear you haven’t used Windows Server 2003. If you say it’s full of exploits, that shows bigotry and not real knowledge.

    Like

  17. Tom: it’s pretty clear you haven’t used Windows Server 2003. If you say it’s full of exploits, that shows bigotry and not real knowledge.

    Like

  18. Tom: it’s pretty clear you haven’t used Windows Server 2003. If you say it’s full of exploits, that shows bigotry and not real knowledge.

    Like

  19. Tom: Actually, every Windows guy responds to the Netcraft results. With a simple response: 69% of DOMAINS (including the 120 MILLION parked ones) run on Apache. How does that, exactly, correlate to startup .NET usage?

    Nothing wrong with being a startup and not using MS products, but if you’ve got the up-front cash to pay for licensing, it’s much faster to develop for.

    Like

  20. Tom: Actually, every Windows guy responds to the Netcraft results. With a simple response: 69% of DOMAINS (including the 120 MILLION parked ones) run on Apache. How does that, exactly, correlate to startup .NET usage?

    Nothing wrong with being a startup and not using MS products, but if you’ve got the up-front cash to pay for licensing, it’s much faster to develop for.

    Like

  21. Tom: Actually, every Windows guy responds to the Netcraft results. With a simple response: 69% of DOMAINS (including the 120 MILLION parked ones) run on Apache. How does that, exactly, correlate to startup .NET usage?

    Nothing wrong with being a startup and not using MS products, but if you’ve got the up-front cash to pay for licensing, it’s much faster to develop for.

    Like

  22. Dan – not sure how the whole argument of “because there are more developers writing .NET code, it is better than Java” and therefore better than *nix?

    Tom – faster huh? I can download Ruby on Rails and do some pretty cool stuff, for free, and I am sure just as fast if not faster than .NET. And with the time saved, we might actually acknowledge that not everyone is running IE 6, and do some cross browser development.

    Like

  23. Dan – not sure how the whole argument of “because there are more developers writing .NET code, it is better than Java” and therefore better than *nix?

    Tom – faster huh? I can download Ruby on Rails and do some pretty cool stuff, for free, and I am sure just as fast if not faster than .NET. And with the time saved, we might actually acknowledge that not everyone is running IE 6, and do some cross browser development.

    Like

  24. Dan – not sure how the whole argument of “because there are more developers writing .NET code, it is better than Java” and therefore better than *nix?

    Tom – faster huh? I can download Ruby on Rails and do some pretty cool stuff, for free, and I am sure just as fast if not faster than .NET. And with the time saved, we might actually acknowledge that not everyone is running IE 6, and do some cross browser development.

    Like

  25. Robert,

    It would be a huge service to the community if you set up a web page with a list of Internet startup companies that are building their web-based products using MS stuff. I think the world would be shocked to find out how many. Post it to your blog. And I’d love to see it broken down into more granular parts like dev platform, database, etc.

    My software architect (PhD & 18 yrs exp) and I made the decision to build our Internet product around .Net & family (including SQL Server). He’s built dozens of systems using LAMP/J2EE/etc and prefers MS. Why? Primarily speed of development and SQL server is superior to open source DB’s.

    And all you open source folks, Windows 2003 is damn solid security-wise–it’s empirically so.

    Finally, if you think MS sucks for the web go to http://www.start.com.

    Like

  26. Robert,

    It would be a huge service to the community if you set up a web page with a list of Internet startup companies that are building their web-based products using MS stuff. I think the world would be shocked to find out how many. Post it to your blog. And I’d love to see it broken down into more granular parts like dev platform, database, etc.

    My software architect (PhD & 18 yrs exp) and I made the decision to build our Internet product around .Net & family (including SQL Server). He’s built dozens of systems using LAMP/J2EE/etc and prefers MS. Why? Primarily speed of development and SQL server is superior to open source DB’s.

    And all you open source folks, Windows 2003 is damn solid security-wise–it’s empirically so.

    Finally, if you think MS sucks for the web go to http://www.start.com.

    Like

  27. Robert,

    It would be a huge service to the community if you set up a web page with a list of Internet startup companies that are building their web-based products using MS stuff. I think the world would be shocked to find out how many. Post it to your blog. And I’d love to see it broken down into more granular parts like dev platform, database, etc.

    My software architect (PhD & 18 yrs exp) and I made the decision to build our Internet product around .Net & family (including SQL Server). He’s built dozens of systems using LAMP/J2EE/etc and prefers MS. Why? Primarily speed of development and SQL server is superior to open source DB’s.

    And all you open source folks, Windows 2003 is damn solid security-wise–it’s empirically so.

    Finally, if you think MS sucks for the web go to http://www.start.com.

    Like

  28. Scoble —

    Where to start – if Win2k3 is such a kick-ass release (and it was RTM’d almost 2 YEARS ago), can you share with us the actual number of servers deployed in the field (not the forced upgrade BS – actually deployed)?
    Then, let’s compare that to the number of installs in the field for Linux.

    Who do you think will have more installs?

    As for Tom and your start.com idea – too bad the guy who did it all just quit MS…

    Like

  29. Scoble —

    Where to start – if Win2k3 is such a kick-ass release (and it was RTM’d almost 2 YEARS ago), can you share with us the actual number of servers deployed in the field (not the forced upgrade BS – actually deployed)?
    Then, let’s compare that to the number of installs in the field for Linux.

    Who do you think will have more installs?

    As for Tom and your start.com idea – too bad the guy who did it all just quit MS…

    Like

  30. Scoble —

    Where to start – if Win2k3 is such a kick-ass release (and it was RTM’d almost 2 YEARS ago), can you share with us the actual number of servers deployed in the field (not the forced upgrade BS – actually deployed)?
    Then, let’s compare that to the number of installs in the field for Linux.

    Who do you think will have more installs?

    As for Tom and your start.com idea – too bad the guy who did it all just quit MS…

    Like

  31. Ghibertii – Note that I said “they’ve chosen .NET as their platform largely because the development toolset is fantastic”. Argue all you want about which OS or WebServer is better; there are all sorts of pros and cons. But there is no doubting this: Microsoft has put together an amazing set of dev tools for .NET; if you haven’t seen VS2005 yet, it’ll blow you away. There is nothing even close on any other platform. My point was that when people are choosing because of the toolkit, .NET wins.

    And, as for *NIX vs Windows–again, I said “Microsoft platform is better for a lot of distributed computing development than *nix.” That’s not to imply that Windows is better than Linux or UNIX. All I’m saying is that, for a lot of situations, Windows *does* make the most sense (and have the best tools) for developing distributed applications.

    Like

  32. Ghibertii – Note that I said “they’ve chosen .NET as their platform largely because the development toolset is fantastic”. Argue all you want about which OS or WebServer is better; there are all sorts of pros and cons. But there is no doubting this: Microsoft has put together an amazing set of dev tools for .NET; if you haven’t seen VS2005 yet, it’ll blow you away. There is nothing even close on any other platform. My point was that when people are choosing because of the toolkit, .NET wins.

    And, as for *NIX vs Windows–again, I said “Microsoft platform is better for a lot of distributed computing development than *nix.” That’s not to imply that Windows is better than Linux or UNIX. All I’m saying is that, for a lot of situations, Windows *does* make the most sense (and have the best tools) for developing distributed applications.

    Like

  33. Ghibertii – Note that I said “they’ve chosen .NET as their platform largely because the development toolset is fantastic”. Argue all you want about which OS or WebServer is better; there are all sorts of pros and cons. But there is no doubting this: Microsoft has put together an amazing set of dev tools for .NET; if you haven’t seen VS2005 yet, it’ll blow you away. There is nothing even close on any other platform. My point was that when people are choosing because of the toolkit, .NET wins.

    And, as for *NIX vs Windows–again, I said “Microsoft platform is better for a lot of distributed computing development than *nix.” That’s not to imply that Windows is better than Linux or UNIX. All I’m saying is that, for a lot of situations, Windows *does* make the most sense (and have the best tools) for developing distributed applications.

    Like

  34. Tom – According to IDC (http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS00223005), ‘Linux servers represented 11.5% of overall quarterly server revenue – reaching an all-time high.” Windows “servers continued double-digit growth, with factory revenue increasing 14.5% year over year to $4.1 billion worldwide.” and “Windows server growth outpaced the overall server market growth this quarter, increasing from 30.9% of quarterly server revenue in 2Q04 to 33.5% in 2Q05”

    Note that these aren’t OS costs–they’re factory costs. So the OS is part of the price, driving Microsoft’s numbers up a bit–but also note that we’re talking about servers, so hardware is by far the more significant portion of the price. Also note that Microsoft’s market share is 33%; Linux’s share is about 1/3 of that.

    Like

  35. Tom – According to IDC (http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS00223005), ‘Linux servers represented 11.5% of overall quarterly server revenue – reaching an all-time high.” Windows “servers continued double-digit growth, with factory revenue increasing 14.5% year over year to $4.1 billion worldwide.” and “Windows server growth outpaced the overall server market growth this quarter, increasing from 30.9% of quarterly server revenue in 2Q04 to 33.5% in 2Q05”

    Note that these aren’t OS costs–they’re factory costs. So the OS is part of the price, driving Microsoft’s numbers up a bit–but also note that we’re talking about servers, so hardware is by far the more significant portion of the price. Also note that Microsoft’s market share is 33%; Linux’s share is about 1/3 of that.

    Like

  36. Tom – According to IDC (http://www.idc.com/getdoc.jsp?containerId=prUS00223005), ‘Linux servers represented 11.5% of overall quarterly server revenue – reaching an all-time high.” Windows “servers continued double-digit growth, with factory revenue increasing 14.5% year over year to $4.1 billion worldwide.” and “Windows server growth outpaced the overall server market growth this quarter, increasing from 30.9% of quarterly server revenue in 2Q04 to 33.5% in 2Q05”

    Note that these aren’t OS costs–they’re factory costs. So the OS is part of the price, driving Microsoft’s numbers up a bit–but also note that we’re talking about servers, so hardware is by far the more significant portion of the price. Also note that Microsoft’s market share is 33%; Linux’s share is about 1/3 of that.

    Like

  37. Dan, I don’t think those figures are useful as evidence of installs in the field. In a past life I looked after a college network, and if I remember correctly quite a lot of the servers came with MS Windows installed. First thing we did was reformat the drives and replace with Netware.

    Like

  38. Dan, I don’t think those figures are useful as evidence of installs in the field. In a past life I looked after a college network, and if I remember correctly quite a lot of the servers came with MS Windows installed. First thing we did was reformat the drives and replace with Netware.

    Like

  39. Dan, I don’t think those figures are useful as evidence of installs in the field. In a past life I looked after a college network, and if I remember correctly quite a lot of the servers came with MS Windows installed. First thing we did was reformat the drives and replace with Netware.

    Like

  40. Hi,
    Yes reading you articles on your blog does make
    me think twice now, before i go and open my big gob
    and land myself in deep water, nothing new there……
    I least now I have some ammunition to back myself up…..
    Just hope it’s true…….:-)

    Like

  41. Hi,
    Yes reading you articles on your blog does make
    me think twice now, before i go and open my big gob
    and land myself in deep water, nothing new there……
    I least now I have some ammunition to back myself up…..
    Just hope it’s true…….:-)

    Like

  42. Hi,
    Yes reading you articles on your blog does make
    me think twice now, before i go and open my big gob
    and land myself in deep water, nothing new there……
    I least now I have some ammunition to back myself up…..
    Just hope it’s true…….:-)

    Like

  43. Sorry have to put my 2 cents in, first of all we are a startup http://www.globaldocket.com and we use all .NET 2.0 on Win2003 and I have yet to reboot the server or have to reboot the MSSQL 2005 database, and yes we actually deployed on that “not upgraded”.

    I have programmed for php etc. I must say that while .NET 1.0 didnt do anything for me and i didnt make the move up when .NET 2.0 came out things got a whole lot nicer.

    @Brian Schneeberg – next time someone tells you windows applications are dead just say smartclient fewl!

    Can’t we all just get along lol
    But seriously this is a debate that has been argued way before linux, apache etc. and it really comes down to what is best for your company the rest is really just a matter of preference and how much you want to spend on your IT.

    Like

  44. Sorry have to put my 2 cents in, first of all we are a startup http://www.globaldocket.com and we use all .NET 2.0 on Win2003 and I have yet to reboot the server or have to reboot the MSSQL 2005 database, and yes we actually deployed on that “not upgraded”.

    I have programmed for php etc. I must say that while .NET 1.0 didnt do anything for me and i didnt make the move up when .NET 2.0 came out things got a whole lot nicer.

    @Brian Schneeberg – next time someone tells you windows applications are dead just say smartclient fewl!

    Can’t we all just get along lol
    But seriously this is a debate that has been argued way before linux, apache etc. and it really comes down to what is best for your company the rest is really just a matter of preference and how much you want to spend on your IT.

    Like

  45. Sorry have to put my 2 cents in, first of all we are a startup http://www.globaldocket.com and we use all .NET 2.0 on Win2003 and I have yet to reboot the server or have to reboot the MSSQL 2005 database, and yes we actually deployed on that “not upgraded”.

    I have programmed for php etc. I must say that while .NET 1.0 didnt do anything for me and i didnt make the move up when .NET 2.0 came out things got a whole lot nicer.

    @Brian Schneeberg – next time someone tells you windows applications are dead just say smartclient fewl!

    Can’t we all just get along lol
    But seriously this is a debate that has been argued way before linux, apache etc. and it really comes down to what is best for your company the rest is really just a matter of preference and how much you want to spend on your IT.

    Like

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