One of the more fun things I did in Seattle back in 2014 was to participate in a StartupWeekend event with another guy from Amazon. I’d never heard of these events and he described it as being like a hackathon. So I was in and joined him on at the start of the event that Friday night at the Google campus in Kirkland. We quickly discovered that this wasn’t anything like a hackathon. We were expected to write a business and marketing plan, do a customer analysis etc. so what we brought to work on wasn’t the right choice. So.. with minimal prep I pitched an idea to a room of about 200 people and managed to convince two others to join our team. One was a web developer and the other a business development person from another big tech company.
I’m living in a part of town that has no good option for broadband internet. That’s very annoying as in some parts of town you can get verizon fios.. and in most of the rest you can get Comcast which isn’t terrible. Where I am your big choice is a company called Broadstripe.. which is so bad even the employees blog about it. So with that I decided to try Clearwire.. the Wimax broadband provider.
What do these three things have in common? They were all in my car the other day as I set out to meet with various buyers for all three. If you hadn’t heard I’m going to be leaving Charlotte soon and heading for Seattle. After living in the south east for 25 years and here in Charlotte for about 13 of those it’s a pretty big deal. There are good reasons for doing it though… beyond just a change of scenery. I’ll be joining the Amazon Web Services team once I get moved. At first it will be in an operations role to help keep things running smoothly on their gigantic cloud platform and later.. who knows. They are fairly secretive about their internal goings-on.. and for good reason. You can just about count on one hand the number of companies or groups operating on the scale of Amazon. Most people who aren’t in the biz only associate Amazon with their web store but by current estimations the store (as big as it is) is only responsible for a small fraction of their revenue… much of the rest is coming from AWS which was first launched in 2002. From the standpoint of my career… a self taught, self proclaimed ‘linuxguy’ in Charlotte an opportunity like this doesn’t get much better.
Google map of Clearwire WiMax towers in Seattle.