August 13, 2004

Amazon CTO: “We’ve Just Scratched The Surface”

Commerce, Decentralization By: ams

Information Week:

Sometime in the next few weeks, Amazon.com is scheduled to release Amazon Web Services 4.0, the next version of the electronic retailer’s toolset for developing applications that tie into its Web site. It’s the next step in Amazon’s strategy is to create a “programmable” Web site. Over the past two years, 50,000 developers have downloaded earlier versions of Amazon Web Services. InformationWeek senior editor-at-large John Foley asked Al Vermeulen (pictured right), Amazon’s chief technology officer, about how the model works.

The whole interview is great. I love this quote from Al Vermeulen:

There’s a host of [services], probably 15 or 20, maybe more, and they range from components like personalization and search applications, to fulfillment applications, supply-chain services, and on and on. The basis is, let’s think about everything we do at Amazon.com and about how we break it up into individual pieces, smaller pieces. What we try to do is break apart a piece of the business. From a technology point of view, that becomes a service. From an organizational point of view, it becomes an autonomous team with their own mission, and then we work on defining the interface to get to that service. We try to solidify that interface and make it permanent and robust. It’s kind of a bottom-up, decentralized way of building your technology, as opposed to a top-down way where you try to make all the technology look like one piece.

It’s very exciting to see where Amazon is going with this…

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