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DigitalOcean begins CEO search (digitalocean.com)
47 points by neom 55 days ago | hide | past | web | favorite | 33 comments



I’m a massive fan of digital ocean, so I hope they continue in a similar direction as they continue to grow into more corporate form. In any case, it’s going to be exciting to see what they bring out this year to compete with the ever-expanding and seemingly infinite offerings of AWS, especially with the coming voice-assistants gold rush.


As a user of AWS and DO (the former professionally, and the latter personally), I wonder if it's even worth competing against AWS. AWS is vast, vast: services built upon services that can replace almost all physical infrastructure. Push-button deployment.

But it comes at a cost: the cost. AWS's pricing model varies from very good to totally a flip of the coin: it can take hours to price-estimate infrastructure, which includes the data transfer fees that vary depending on how and where, and so forth.

DO is cost-competitive, so much so that until not that long ago they had totally free data transfer costs.

The question is, can they build a niche and not get eaten up by AWS going forward. Perhaps they're already doing that somehow. I just wish I could recommend them professionally as a consultant.


If I understand correctly DigitalOcean aims to capture the market that sits between shared hosting and the very first layers of managed infrastructure. It's a product that makes sense for a company or individual who needs the power of reliable cloud infrastructure at a fixed price and without paying the additional premium for platform management (e.g: Heroku)


I wish them the best; however, I have to share that I interviewed there once (recommended by one of their board members) for a CTO position, and the experience has been the worst possible. They seemed not to know what they were doing.

(of course I'm sure their version of the interviews is different).


I had interviewed for an Editor position. The community writing articles for DigitalOcean's fellow customers seemed vibrant and I wanted to be a curator around this. The initial feedback I was given was very positive, and then I was ghosted.


I would love to hear more. I wonder if this is from technical/CTO perspective, as the people you talked, did not know much about technicals, or it was regarding operations?

I have some mixed experience with DO myself (support failing to provide proper answers, not too technical, few times actually) that pushed me to Vultr. What DO did to the hosting market is a huge footprint, and I wish them the best though.


Can you share more about the experience?


Seems like they've seeded a lot of market share to the other cloud providers, no? I used to hear of them a lot 2 or 3 years ago, but now it's mostly AWS/Azure/Google/Oracle. This isn't a comment on capability, just mindshare.


Not sure about that, but last couple of projects, I only used S3. Everything else is run on DO.

It is a lot faster to setup and easy to maintain, if you don't have a dedicated dev-ops person in the team.


DO is still a sweet spot for a lot of people when combining price, features, and usability.

There are services with more features (the ones you mentioned), and cheaper services (OVH and Hetzner, anything on lowendbox...) and those are their big threats going forward.

In my opinion nobody has really nailed the ease of use for spinning up quick server(s) + usability of DO's interface at anything near their price point right now.

That said, OVH is coming into the US in force this year with aggressive pricing, so if they can improve their UX a little they'll be a big threat. Still, I'd bet on DO continuing to succeed.


Absolutely agreed / my 2 cents.

I'm a scientist turned pseudo-programmer, and need to manage a few servers for my team / start up. We are too small & early to be able to afford or justify a dedicated administrator, and our requirements are mostly WordPress based sites and a database server for internal use, etc.

I've tried to use vultr, linode, AWS.

But DO's interface and the wonderful, comprehensive support documents are a huge huge differentiator.

We aren't using too many instances, (just 3, nothing complex, no webapps). And, with their interface and support docs, this is something I've managed to do on my own without any major issues. And I suspect I'm not the only one in such a situation..

I was ok with the older prices; with the new, lower rates, I'm not even going to consider moving, even if the competitors are at 1/2 the cost. It's not worth the little money I might save...


> In my opinion nobody has really nailed the ease of use for spinning up quick server(s) + usability of DO's interface at anything near their price point right now.

Give Vultr a shot, I've found it to be easier to use and still just as feature filled and flexible as DO. My favorite feature is their phenomenal support; a while back I had someone take advantage of a lapse in DNS upkeep on my part to try to use one of my domains to serve a pornographic dating site. Within ten minutes of submitting a ticket it was fixed and the domain was pointed back to my instance.


I know the people in charge of OVH coming to the USA. I think "in force" is a DRASTIC overstatement.


Maybe you should look at Scaleway. They are as cheap as ovh and look very similar to DO.


As I've begun building a new personal project, I wavered between using DO, AWS & Heroku.

I started with Heroku, and immediately ran into annoyances - mainly that they treat git as the source of truth, and require anything else to be injected as environment variables (which I find annoying).

AWS was tempting, since we use it at work, but the complexity of configuring what I needed was more than I wanted to deal with.

So I went back to DO (who I already run a couple VPS' with) and cleared off a droplet that I wasn't using, setup a docker droplet and went on my merry way.


Digital Ocean has the advantage of new hardware being cheaper. They can compete on price and force the margins down for amazon and friends. Right now Digital Ocean is incredibly attractive from a price standpoint and they continue to build out their software to add more features.


They (imho) fell a bit behind, because it took them quite a while to release the new plans. So they were on the more expensive side. However, they still are. As for me, I would not see any reason not to use hetzner.de.


I think they did good against the Linodes of the world. But a big business on AWS would have near 0% chance to rebuild their stack on a simple VPS provider like DO.


A big business on AWS is probably stuck on AWS until they rework their stack to be more portable. That's the downside of using anything but generic VPSs and maybe a S3 API compatible storage.. Now they end up paying the AWS bill even if it goes way up.


Truth

(I build on kubernetes and do not use GCE specific features for this reason)


DO's pricing is a lot friendlier to hobbyists, particularly if you want more than one VM and your free tier year has ended.


According to Google Trends [1] searches are flat over the last 12 months.

[1] https://trends.google.com/trends/explore?date=today%205-y&q=...


s/seeded/ceded


You're missing a trailing /


Why leave the steering wheel when everything is going so well?


Maybe wants to relax from the 6 years of long days and enjoy the profit he's made. Can't blame anyone for that.


Sometimes it can be due to pressure from investors. They've raised hundreds of millions in VC money, and VCs are often more comfortable with an "industry veteran" in charge. (And sometimes they're right to be.)


Why do many companies look for some one who is outside the organization when the people that helped you grow probably won't get that job. You are probably have to spend some excessive amount of money and the results aren't going to be that much better. Look at yahoo for example.


Because the CEO skillsets to grow a company from 1-10 employees is massively different than the skills required to take it to 100 employees.


Why aren’t most CEO founders replaced then? It seems more often then not, they remain with the org well past 100s of employees, regardless of experience or skill set.


They used to be, until Zuck. Now the pendulum is beginning to swing back as boards realize that not all founders have both skillsets.


And, you probably want someone who joined BigCo when it was YourSizeCo.


DO is still my go to service provider. They were the first company that I remember who simplified provisioning of a server. Their UI was also way better than other competitors.




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