In an article from Barron’s in February 2016, it described how AWS’s colourful CTO Werner Vogels tells startups to ‘Go Build!’ in a presentation he made as part of the Mobile World Congress trade show in Barcelona. The presentation was specifically for the startup-focused stream called Four Years from Now.
Vogels concluded his presentation by urging startups to “go build”. He said “There’s lots of innovation you can do. You no longer need to think about the infrastructure in IoT. Go build!”
This now well-known phrase has been turned into a web series called Now Go Build with Werner Vogels. The series follows Werner Vogel as he meets startup founders from around the world to hear about their challenges in building their business, and connecting with their customers. The startups share similar challenges in respect to their business but also have unique stories relating to the environment they operate in.
In this first episode published in October 2018, Amazon’s CTO travels through Amsterdam and Rotterdam as he meets with two leading startups, Relive and Mycujoo. Both are building products that create one-of-a-kind video experiences for their users.
Relive is building a community for outdoor enthusiasts to track and share their runs, rides, hikes and more with family and friends through video. Werner interviews co-founders Yousef El-Dardiry and Joris Van Kruijssen, and they share how they went from a handful of users when they launched, to having over 2M users in 2 years including leading cyclists on the Tour de France.
Interview with Mycujoo
Mycujoo is innovating the way fans stream video and connect with football or soccer around the world. Werner interviews twin brothers and co-founders Pedro Presa (CEO) and Joao Presa (COO), who have the biggest portfolio of football videos from around the world. They are currently working with 70 football federations, and broadcasting content from over 3,000 football clubs globally.
They started in 2015 broadcasting 56 games, and are forecast to broadcast more than 20,000 games in 2018.
Now Go Build with Werner Vogels EP1 – Relive and Mycujoo Startup Stories
Key takeaways from Episode 1 of Now Go Build with Werner Vogels
1. You gotta make money somehow
Both business share how they are monetising their platform.
2. Innovate or die
This was highlighted by a quote from Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos, “If you’re going to do anything new or innovate, you have to be willing to be misunderstood for a long period of time.”
Werner went on to say “if we (AWS) don’t continue to move fast and innovate really fast we’ll be out of business in 10-15 years”. Not from another Amazon but from the plethora of specialist businesses (or startups) that provide a better service and customer experience. Customers are in control in this constantly evolving digital world, so you need to be constantly innovating to deliver the best service, and fast.
Being a startup with limited funding forces you to innovate.
3. There is no lieutenant monkey
Werner shares how AWS operate very differently from other businesses as they openly allow duplication, and operate in a decentralised way so they are not co-ordinated. Co-ordination requires hierarchy, and hierarchy makes everything slow down.
4. Every engineer needs to become a security engineer
Every person within a business needs to be responsible about customer data, and data security. It’s not a nice to have, it’s non negotiable.
5. Stuff must break
It’s natural for things to break, and that’s OK. Embrace it, learn from it, and innovate.
Whilst this video is focused on startups the content is relevant to every business, small and large.