Mar 8 2005

Exponential Cost Curves and the Datacenter

Everyone knows that exponential curves don’t last forever.  However, it’s remarkable to look at how they apply to specific cost curves – especially when they enable a radical transformation of how technology is used and deployed.  My partner Ryan McIntyre – one of the co-founders of Excite – talks extensively about this in his post Mr. Moore in the Datacenter.  It’s a great read with some fascinating real data (yes – I remember paying $1k / megabit / month in 1996 back when SaaS was called ASP – but I was too young for it back when it was called timesharing – although I bumped into Multics a couple of times at MIT).

In the mid-1990s, Dan Bricklin told me that computing had gone full circle – in the early 1980’s it used to be that you typed some stuff on your screen, hit enter, and waited a few seconds for something to happen.  By the mid 1990’s we were doing the same, only using a PC over dial-up lines using HTTP.  Those mainframe dudes had it right, but thanks to Mr. Moore and crew, we no longer have to wait a couple of seconds (except every now and then, or when I’m accessing the web from my Sidekick.)