That's a fair assessment. Akamai isn't really ideal for startups (from a cost standpoint), but once a startup has gained traction in the market and is looking to scale (or optimize performance), you can't beat Akamai. Code optimization will only get you so far. Akamai's service will do things like find the shortest path (which cuts down on latency) and all sorts of other things upstream/downstream. Those things sound small, but have a huge impact to your site's performance.