For the non-technical folks, Serverless does not mean no server. 😏
What it means is that, as a user/developer, you do not have to worry about managing the capacity of a server (or network of servers, on which your application needs to run).
It is all managed by the provider of the server, these days accessible on the cloud. Serverless was first conceived in 2006, attempted by Google in 2008 (with limited success), and brought to mainstream use, on public cloud, in 2014, by Amazon: AWS Lambda.
Who is a major user of serverless technology through Amazon?
Blockchain, one might think naively, is the quintessential application that cannot be Serverless!
Indeed, in 2017, Ken Fromm wrote:
At face value, blockchain networks and serverless computing appear have little in common. Serverless is stateless, blockchain is stateful; serverless is ephemeral, blockchain is persistent; serverless processing relies on trust between parties, blockchain is designed to be trustless; serverless has high scalability, blockchain has low scalability.
On closer examination, serverless and blockchain actually have a fair amount in common.
He then drew a Venn Diagram, once circle being Serverless and the other being Blockchain, and the followed up with a section:
It all adds up…the sum is larger than its parts.
Now to 2020.
Earlier this year, Tim (Dr. Wagner), who started the Serverless movement as he created AWS Lambda business and technology (in 2012) teamed up with Shruthi Rao (who while at AWS led 1000+ customer conversations on Blockchain, and realized that legacy blockchains were really not scalable or low cost), as co-founders, and created a company that allows multi-party sharing of data, with no coding and no ops headaches:
Vendia (Venn Diagram).
In spite of COVID19, they pitched their idea to VCs, and raised money this summer: Seed round led by Neotribe Ventures, in which I am Limited Partner and an Advisor.
Neotribe Ventures was founded in 2017 by my IIT-Madras classmate Kittu Kolluri, who himself has been a successful entrepreneur and technology executive (and previously was a General Partner at NEA).
During that process, I had an opportunity to discuss Vendia with Tim and Shruthi, and also provide some thoughts based on my experiences (as CEO and Founder of SmartOps) on how they might systematically think about designing and executing their go-to-market strategy.
Evidently, they liked my thoughts!🤷🏽♂️
I am excited to post that I have accepted a position on Vendia’s Advisory Board, and look forward to helping them create a great company and bring tremendous value to their customers. 😊