I finally discovered where cloud computing comes from! (Hint: monkeys, again)

April 1st, 2011 by Jeremy Chone

Nowadays, any Internet-connected organization is either running its services on a cloud, providing a cloud service, or both. From infrastructure cloud, to platform cloud, to on-premise cloud, cloud computing is everything and everywhere, and this omnipresence begs the two following questions:

How did the Internet work before cloud computing existed?

And, where does cloud computing come from?

I truly believe that better understanding our origin is essential to better plan our future. Consequently, to be true to my words, I have fully dedicated the last two years of my life to answer these two fundamental questions.

After much investigation, I looked at where we all believed cloud computing started, Amazon, and here is what I found.

Before cloud computing existed, Amazon.com had highly trained monkeys doing what cloud computing is doing today. It worked pretty well until, one day, one of the monkeys got electrocuted (by confusing an ethernet and power cable) and died. The AWACO (Animal Welfare and Computing Organization) threatened to sue Amazon for one billion dollars if they did not stop their monkey business. Amazon chickened out and invented cloud computing.

So, we now have some answers. Trained monkeys were used to run the Internet before cloud computing was invented, and cloud computing comes from Amazon.

Now, I am still looking to answer how the other first-generation internet companies, such as eBay, Yahoo, Craigslist, Wikipedia, and Flickr were doing Internet before cloud computing. Monkeys? Sheep (we seem to have plenty of those in our industry)? Alien technology of some sort (we know, most of software get written by aliens anyway)? If you have any tip, let me know; this really keeps puzzling me.

Anyway, I am very glad I could push this blog post to the cloud. It was an amazing experience to be able to go to a Web page, enter my text, press submit, and get my post on the cloud just like that. Cloud computing is a game changer, and I would challenge any detractors to go back to the Internet days where you could do the same things with the same technology but could not call it cloud computing.

To all VCs, entrepreneurs, developers, and marketers, make sure the Internet services you are building or investing in are cloud based. If you have doubts on what cloud based means, hold a conference about it, brief a couple analysts on your cloud differentiators, create a startup named “Cloud [something],” refurbish a .com article with a find/replace for “Internet” to “Cloud,” or do a cute YouTube video with some hand-drawn flashcards moving around. In other words, make others believe in it before you do. If we have to be convinced to convince, we will never convince anybody, and the Internet industry would be still in the age of UDP, TCP and HTTP protocols.

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2 Responses to “I finally discovered where cloud computing comes from! (Hint: monkeys, again)”

  1. mark fuqua Says:

    Spot on. Everything is in the cloud…complete BS. The best is the MS commercial where the couple goes “to the cloud” via remote desktop to watch a movie on their home computer. It makes me scream every time. The word cloud should be banned from every conversation not involving the weather.

  2. Jeremy Chone Says:

    @Mark, agree, the MS ads really show how this cloud thing is ridiculous. Kind of funny that we need to rename Internet every few years to keep repackaging the same thing.

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