My Marketing Manager, which is a fancy word for Wife, suggested I start blogging. I struggled with the notion of putting thoughts to a series of palatable 0’s and 1’s that people would be interested in, especially when computer hardware, cryptocurrency, and the cloud are saturated with opinions spread thick across the web via text and the easily digested and frequently argued about YouTube. I gather that as a first post, I’d like to shoot straight from the hip and level about 2021. I offer a fair warning, these are my opinions and the occasional swear word arises.
I launched ETK Compute live to the world the first week of January, with bright eyes and interested parties abound. I was off to a wild start, orders piled in from across the globe. This was it! After several attempts at toiling in cubicles and being beaten mercilessly in the process, I could now blaze a path with the crazy notion that, be damned the competition, I was going to carve my own space.
Then suddenly a dark haze started to appear as I accrued inventory and began the process of shipping builds. The night fell quick and fast and the ravenous beasts known as “The Scalpers” began to rip and tear at my margins. The sudden influx of shortages, in many ways thanks to literal acts of god and boats getting wedged in tight places, put “The Dream” on hold.
I had previously passed and held the certification for an AWS Architect Associate and realized very quickly I had to expand to not just one area of expertise to stay relevant. And by relevant I really mean making my car payment. So here we are now, ETK Compute - Not just computer hardware anymore, I am laying my stake in the Cloud.
The largest and most daunting goal to this expansion is not the expertise in how to leverage the tools available but the education necessary for not just the customer, but their user base. I am still surprised at the amount of fear and distrust of the Cloud I regularly hear. It truly is odd to hear about a data center being an omnipotent dangerous beast, when the data center, probably 3 city blocks away, is storing all 12,000 of the terrified parties unread Williams-Sonoma promotional emails mixed in with their personal information and correspondence.
As part of the process to get a thorough understanding of what I was in for, I read a book by Stephen Orban called “Ahead in the Cloud: Best Practices for Navigating The Future of Enterprise IT.” One of the key elements, that I will paraphrase, is that you don’t start with a large daunting project. You take it piece by piece and have small successes that lead to a major victory.
So with this philosophy in mind, I’ve applied it to several spaces in my life, not just in the Cloud but as a parent, husband, and friend. Albeit an 11 month old doesn't really care about small successes and would prefer to inhale another fruit squeeze than eat the carefully prepared meal their mother concocted for them. Now you, the accompanying party in parenthood, have to sell why chicken and white beans is the best damned thing you’ll ever eat.
So as not just a performance PC designer or as an Infrastructure architect, I can promise you that I practice what I preach.
There are some wonderfully talented people who accompany me on this journey, either willingly or in tow.
My wife Rebecca who started as an adept Marketing Manager in spaces ranging from hotel brands and loyalty, a CPU manufacturer (purely incidental), and then cookies, coffee and sandwiches, is the saving grace to how I don’t promote myself into being “World’s Worst Tech Company.” I'll save that for telecom companies and AAA game studios. She currently is a consultant working on a very niche portion of software that a very large organization with a very large omnipotent tower in downtown San Francisco provides.
Tom, whose experience in consulting in SaaS, is a wealth of knowledge that I try to tap as often as possible. He is the overseer of rationality and how not to poke your eye out with a screwdriver. His main goal is preventing me from seeing if we get better benchmarks on a rig while on a balloon in the cold atmosphere. I’m still partial to that idea, but the insurance requirements and premiums have more commas and zeros.
Jake fills the tough space of customer interaction and successfully gets engagements in front of me. He is an avid gamer and his rig holds the serial number ETK 001. He has experience in business operations.
Ed, our mascot, is a 4 year old Formosan Mountain Dog. He is a direct adoption from Taiwan and, given the circumstances of his life before us, has become more of a person than a dog and occupies more real estate on a queen sized bed than thought possible. Do not be surprised if there are pictures of him frequently presented. The picture below is his optimal state when there is work to be done.
Those are just three of many people who are feverishly supportive and go well beyond practical and rational bounds to advise, encourage, and celebrate with me this ridiculous foray into self-driven business in tech. There is a distinct possibility that some may be contributors to the several kilobytes of text that will be served in the not so distant future.