This morning I sat down to catch up with Robert Sanders. Robert knows a thing or two about building scalable Internet companies. He was the architect that created the infrastructure and systems for MindSpring, cBeyond, EarthLink Wireless, and Vitrue. During the course of our conversation he mentioned in passing that he really didn't think that many people had a solid understanding of building scalable Web apps. Robert made a comment along the lines that developers today just think they can use Amazon to solve all scale issues. Beyond the fact that there is more to scale then just more processing power and storage, this is a bad plan.
This evening I listened to Chris Messia and his podcast on "What really happened at Ma.gnolia and lessons learned." I don't know Larry Halff (the founder of Ma.gnolia). I sure he is a very well meaning guy. I never used Ma.gnolia. I don't use bookmarks. Search does just fine.
And I admire Larry's courage and transparancy for discussing Ma.gnolia's major data loss. Discussing what he intends to change as he recovers. But to build your Web service out with Mac minis and using Firewire as your backup system just doesn't seem that well thought out. You should listen to the show.
And don't do what Larry did.