Reddit CTO Suggests Startups Stick to “Boring Tech”

We found an interesting perspective article about the CTO of the online bulletin board and news/entertainment social site Reddit, Martin Weiner. 

Weiner makes a point we’ve heard from several of the 7CTOs members we’ve profiled so far, that emerging startups focus on technologies that will help systems scale quickly and are easier to employ.

The article recognizes that it’s a delicate balance between technologies that help a system scale quickly and technologies that don’t scale as well but are easier to deploy, so they can help you get your business started more quickly.

The key, says Weiner, who was also a technical lead at Pinterest back in its early days, is to realize an ambitious startup needs both.

The first year of any new startup’s life will be “scalability hell,” Weiner says. One approach for designers would be to use the latest buzz-generating technologies. But this can be a mistake, given the amount of testing these new, and probably still immature, technologies need, Weiner warns.

Fact of the matter, any new startup’s needs are unlikely to be much different from other startups launched in the past few years, making a more mature and established product the smarter bet.

Weiner offers a clever formula of how you can figure out if a software is mature: Blood + Sweat, divided by maturity. In other words, the amount of work done on it by its creators, divided by the complexity inherent in using the software itself.

Reddit’s CTO goes into much more detail in the piece, ending with the controversial statement, “The boring tech revolution is here.” (!)  We recommend all of the article, and note that the deck of Weiner’s entire presentation from SXSW can be found here.