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Server Analysis – Where's IBM?

January 25, 2007

Ok, so I’m sorta dumb. For whatever reason, I sorta think of IBM as being a “huge solutions” company where you basically have IBM come in and provide an end-to-end solution for incredibly difficult problems. I don’t think of them as selling service piecemeal and competing with Sun, HP, Dell, etc. But clearly, I should.

I’m sure it’s me being dumb, but maybe there’s some IBM brand positioning at work too? Who knows.

So if there’s anyone from IBM reading this, and you’d like to get in on the action, please contact me. We’ll try the cold-calling route, too, but it’s always nice to talk to someone with context.

Categories: smugmug
  1. Potential Customer
    January 28, 2007 at 1:31 pm

    Don, if I may hijack your thread a moment: I love the blog, SmugMug, the concept, the forum, the personality… my company has been looking for a fullfillment service for your types of products… and I was all ready to sign up with a pro account… until I clicked on “gear”, at the bottom of the smugmug site, and ended up a Cafepress shop.


    So let me get this straight. You sell many if not most of those items through SmugMug, your actual business (eg photo gifts, t-shirts, etc), yet you are relying on a separate company to do your swag fulfillment?

    You had me until Cafepress.

  2. carwashi
    January 28, 2007 at 3:09 pm

    What about the amazon services? You guys already use s3. Take a look into EC2.

  3. January 28, 2007 at 7:40 pm

    @Potential Customer:

    We can’t offer the same breadth of items ourselves as we can through Cafepress. Cafepress is geared more towards logo items (and lots of them), and we’re geared more towards photo items.

    Plus, there’s not an enormous market for SmugMug swag, so we’d rather invest our time and energy into making our product great than building some amazing Gear store. Sorry about that.

    If it helps, we’re probably moving away from Cafepress in the next few weeks – but we’re still not going to be doing our own Gear store.

    I’m sorta surprised, though, that where we sell our swag affects your desire to buy (or not buy) our service. I’d love to get more insight into why that is, if you’re feeling chatty. 🙂


  4. January 28, 2007 at 7:41 pm


    We use and love EC2, but EC2 is fairly limited in the types of applications it can be used for. These servers are not for things that EC2 can do.

  5. January 29, 2007 at 12:12 pm

    Have you seen http://www.lenovoblogs.com? I know they read and respond to comments there, and David Hill has even posted his personal cell phone number on there before. Might be some blog linking that should go on here.

  6. January 30, 2007 at 5:32 pm

    Don, I wanted to let you know I am a huge fan of your blog and our entire team reads it daily for your wonderful insight. Keep up the awesome work… we are gaining a new perspective from this blog and can relate to almost everything you say. Suprisingly we face many of the same challeges (serving up images, caching, backup storage, hardware selection, build vs. buy, etc) in the print-on-demand business.

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