Description: Last night Netflix hosted a gathering at its spa-like headquarters for 200 or so members of the Clouderati—the engineers building out the computing infrastructure on which businesses will someday run. Netflix (NFLX) has a reputation for pushing the limits of cloud computing, running much of its movie streaming business on Amazon.com’s cloud rental system.
Date: March 14, 2013
When it comes to infrastructure technology, we live in absurd times. Netflix—like Facebook (FB), LinkedIn (LNKD), Twitter, Yahoo (YHOO), and other Web celebs—open sources much of the software that underlies its operations. Put more bluntly, they fight for the right to heap money on the smartest engineers, then give away their work so that others can build on top of it. Together, all these companies are forging the cutting-edge cloud computing technology that mainstream companies will use in the years to come.
At its event, Netflix looked to turbocharge the process. The company announced $100,000 in prizes—$10,000 for 10 different awards—for volunteer coders who can develop interesting tools based on Netflix’s open-source code over the next six months. (Rules here.) The revelation of these prizes was met with great applause. Now the race is on for people who don’t work at Netflix to improve the company’s infrastructure. READ REST OF STORY
Questions for discussion:
1. What is the model that Netflix is using to develop a technology infrastructure? How is it different from say companies like Microsoft and IBM?
2. DO you feel that Netflix’s model is the way IT development will happen in the future or do you see this as just a fad?
3. What are the strengths and weaknesses of this model?