We won! Out of nearly 1000 startups who applied, we won!
This is a great validation of our fantastic technical team. We have been chosen as one of the most innovative users of Amazon’s cloud computing technology. We could not have done this without your hard work. Thank you!
This was a great experience for us. The Amazon team was very professional throughout, the event was well-managed, and they even made a cool video featuring our development team. The press release went out tonight, and there was even a blog post that beat mine.
Here’s the blow-by-blow, for those who want all the details:
We pitched the panel of judges, all senior execs of Amazon, at 1pm. They had 50min presentations from each of the seven finalists, and had been going since 7am. We did our standard pitch, and did a great job talking about how important AWS is to us. They seemed to appreciate the presentation, but were somewhat poker faced, so while we felt we did a good job, it was hard to tell their reaction.
Later in the afternoon, we had a “VC speed-dating” event, where we had 10 minutes with each of 5 VCs. The firms were all first-rate (BlueRun, Hummer Winblad, Madrona, Greylock, and CMEA). Our product is pretty complex, so it’s hard to get across in 10 minutes, but we did our best, and each of the VCs seemed to get it quickly enough. All were interested in following up, but again, hard to tell how we ranked.
Then there was a reception while the judges and the VCs deliberated. They had invited 200 other startup people to come hear how the seven finalists were using AWS. My guess is closer to a hundred people were in the room, and we had to do another 10 minute presentation on AWS, with slides, to this group. We managed to do it in only 5-6 minutes and get our message across. Finally, around 9pm, it was time to announce the winner. We were jubilant when they picked us – I let out a shout of joy and a fist pump, to the delight of the audience.
Andy Jassy, the SVP of AWS said some nice words and gave us the traditional golden hammer. We were then invited to take a whack at an old rackmount server they had, to symbolize the destruction of our own servers. John and I both hammered it pretty hard, but we barely dented it – those steel frames are tough.
Then everyone came up to congratulate us, and we shook hands with big grins on our faces. We took a couple of pictures, approved the quote in the press release, and talked with the Amazon folks some more. All great stuff.
Finally, we headed out for a celebratory dinner. Once again, thanks to everyone in the company for your hard work – we did the talking, but we could not have done this without all of you.