East & West Coast PaaS, Being Polyglot, Reply to Dan Turkenkopf

Dan (he’s a good guy, check him out on Twitter @dturkenk), your “East Coast vs West Coast PaaS Psychology. And Why It Matters.” is great write up. Loved it! I’ve got to say, I’m pretty much in agreement with almost every single thing you’ve written here. Matter of fact I’m staunchly in agreement with a lot of it. There’s a few other abstractions I’d like to add, that makes the reality of east coast and west coast PaaS what it is, and why some of these things are like this.

You write,

“While the West Coast conception of PaaS is an appealing vision, (and may well be the answer for many smaller companies and start ups)…”

which I agree with whole heartedly. The fast, agile, and lean companies of tomorrow need this type of technology today. They can’t survive trying to throw together traditional environments. They need PaaS like people need food and water. However you also write on the end of that statement,

“it doesn’t really mesh with today’s enterprise reality.”

which I know is true, sometimes. There are however many enterprises out there that do indeed want to and are starting to move over completely. These enterprises see the value add and are not waiting around. They’re not going halfway with a hybrid solution, they’re moving full bore and realizing economies of scale that internal IT shops will not and cannot realize.

This type of enterprise, is where a lot of the west coast and east coast mentality is realized. There is a risk aversion on the east coast, rightfully so with such things as financial institutions and Government being a dominent presence on the east coast. On the west coast though, the enterprises operate under a very different cultural perspective, they attempt to realize the advantages – competitive and disruptive that they are – of startups and small business. It’s as much a competitive survival for the west coast enterprise as it is for the startups and small business. Thus, we get some of the differentiators not just in technology, but in the enterprises themselves. This is the core of this psychological difference, not something that was born from a PaaS psychology, but for the ore business itself. Being that PaaS technology and its origins are from the west coast, it becomes obvious why most are focused on public or privately accessible public infrastructure.

Overall, the culture expands into all those sectors in the east and west, and starts to stand out when we look at different approaches to doing business and competing. Regardless of these minor differences and the associated differences in doing business, we both agree on one thing regardless of which coast we’re on.

The applications and application developers is where the value is for enterprises, mid-size, and small businesses, and startups.

Without doubt, PaaS technology is focused on that core value. Enabling developers to build applications in an easier, faster, scalable and more reliable way. So far, all the platforms are doing a damn good job helping us developers do just that.