Akamai CEO imparts wisdom

Akamai Logo

I’ve just come back from the NUVC kickoff event, where the featured speaker was Paul Sagan, CEO of Akamai.

For the Geeks

No self respecting geek doesn’t know who Akamai are – they are the largest B2B caching service available, and they partner with people like Apple, Yahoo and now Facebook to make sure that website content is delivered in a timely manner. So, when you head over to Facebook, you’re getting content delivered not from a Facebook server farm in California but a huge number of Akamai servers distributed all over the world. Simply, it’s a huge transparent mirror service. I would guess that they can only mirror static elements, and the Akamai servers themselves query a central database still located with Facebook. I’d love to nail down an Akamai tech and figure out how that works.

As a large number of high traffic sites like Google, restyled Yahoo and Facebook are highly dynamic, one wonders how Akamai are able to accelerate these technologies. I’d bet a testicle that they have a strategy for this, as there’s a clear market trend towards dynamic websites.

For the Suits

Clearly, Paul is a very smart entrepreneur rather than a techie. What strikes me most is that he’s not what I’d expect from a very successful CEO. This is no ubermensch. He speaks with ums, clasps his hands together and peers at us through glasses. But there’s a quiet confidence about his answers.

One phrase that stuck in my mind was:

“There is no solution to a business problem. You can only manage that problem.”

That speaks volumes about making the switch from technical into business. I think it’s one of the most exciting and scary things about it.

We finished off with Paul’s pick for the hot areas of tech for the future. Perhaps unsurprisingly, he chose software as a service (Google Apps, Zoho, that sort of thing.) All in all, I’m thrilled to be able to attend a talk from someone right in the melee of the tech world.


One response to “Akamai CEO imparts wisdom”

  1. mitokondrion

    nice one S, thanx!

    Looks like I can skip any lecture you attend if you’ll be making such useful summaries anyway! 🙂

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