Om is asserting that Google’s infrastructure is a huge competitive advantage:
To sum it up, Google’s gigantic infrastructure is the big barrier to entry for its rivals, and will remain so, as long as the company keeps spending billions on it. That said, there’s another thing Google could learn from Dell: Maintain the quality of your search results — customers will only put up with shoddiness for so long.
I think this is the biggest problem for all the startups in this space. They need to scale. Time and time again when I talk to startups their biggest issue is scaling their backend.
A huge portion of Google’s opex is people, and many of those people are the systems guys who built fundamental software infrastructure like UNIX, C, and TCP/IP. Those guys aren’t there for their halo effect – they’re there, despite Google’s youth bias, to build software infrastructure.
A lot of the design of Spinn3r has been around scalability. We index a LOT of data and if we can’t process if fast enough we won’t be able to serve our customers.
Our infrastructure is starting to REALLY come into its own now and we’re starting to think about other things we can accomplish with the platform. I can only imagine what Google’s thinking.