Winning as a Start-Up by Failing Fast

Torben Hoffmann
Chief Architect at Basho

Scalability is a word often used to describe RiakKV & Erlang/Elixir. But is not the first concern for a start-up. Scalability is a rich man's problem.

Sure, you need a stack that can scale.. when you are ready!

Until that point you need something that is flexible and allows you to iterate over a lot of experiments in a short period of time.

Experiments with software often involve errors. Erlang/Elixir has a unique approach to dealing with errors that lends itself well to do the experiments and at the same time keep a start-up rolling. We will look into how you should architect your software to leverage this, so you work with the BEAM and not against it.

RiakKV is a scalable, reliable NoSQL database, which takes the Erlang philosophy regarding failures to heart: don't ignore failure, embrace failure!! 

But wait a second... if scalability is a rich man's problem, what role does RiakKV play for a start-up?

This talk will go into how to approach this dilemma by attacking it with an architecture that has the flexibility that serves both the short and long term needs of a start-up.

Talk objectives:

Show how RiakKV and Erlang/Elixir can help a start-up focus on the most important thing: conduct experiments fast to get to a viable business model before the money runs out.

Target audience:

People looking for the right technologies for their start-up. People interested in how architecture plays a role to support the business.


Torben Hoffman has been working with Erlang since 2006. Currently as Chief Architect for Basho, previously as CTO of Erlang Solutions and before that as technical architect and developer for Motorola and Issuu. By day he is an Erlang priest, by night an Elixir alchemist. He is devoted to protocols as the way of describing and developing non-trivial software. He has worked extensively with process improvement and people management at Motorola before going back to his engineering roots.

GitHub: LeHoff

Twitter: @LeHoff

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