From Israel, we showcase today's Azure featured startup, Project RAY. Project RAY, according to founder Boaz Zilberman, "uses Azure as the only Internet-based infrastructure for its activity. The main use is in building a repository of audio books with a set of API that enables a wide range of client applications and platform to globally access it in real-time for catalog look-up and media downloads."
We recently sat down with him in Israel, and asked him about his development on Azure.
When did you decide that you were “startup material”?
I have gone through a number of initiatives that evolved into the creation of a ‘startup’. All came after a period of time in which I have been looking for the next big thing. In all cases, the decision that ‘this is it’ came after a lengthy debate, on my own and with partners, that end with a crystal clear feeling that the story is well balanced, fully baked, and something I would like to use on my own.
What are some of the challenges you face as a founder or developer at a startup, when it comes to dealing with family life, or socially? Does working on a startup change the way you associate and interact in these areas?
Sure. Being in a startup means that you are engaged in it all day long (and while dreaming). It is something that requires full attention, constant thinking and endless work. This come with price. Mainly in the value of the actual attention you give to other variables in your life including family and social life.
How did you get excited about Azure?
The number one reason was the fact that I instantly get a fully scalable and constantly mirrored web infrastructure.
What were the Azure features that prompted you to decide to build on Azure?
Global access with fast interfaces; Scalable SQL infrastructure with minimal constrains; and the ability to pay as you grow with little attention to resource optimization
What advice do you have for companies that are thinking about building in the cloud?
Don’t waste a second looking for alternative solutions. Just grab it and develop for it.
Boaz Zilberman, Founder, Project Ray
Do you build for scale first, or for revenue? How are those things related in your mind?
My primary goal is to go for fast product release. A product in the market is a statement that starts creating its own unpredictable dynamics and move the company and product faster through users’ judgments. Saying this, getting into the market should come with a decent set of features, capabilities, robustness and appeal. What is the right balance between the minimal set of features required for product lunch; the desire to get revenues fast; and the level of technology and scalability required – is the real art in making a startup.
What questions do you think a startup non-technical founder needs to answer when considering a cloud architecture for his or her startup, and I am thinking specifically here during the business model generation period?
Any startup founder should identify the innovative things that he/she brings into the market and concentrate on the development and delivery of it first. The rest, including interesting and challenges technology development, is important as a feature and not as a differentiator. The use of Azure is a good example of a technological item you should not bother with, just get it and use it in its off-the-shelf form to get an instant infrastructure with infinite scalability and growth.