Brad Feld

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Sync is Zen Magic

May 11, 2009
Category Education

Jean-Gabriel Morard – formerly of SugarSync – has a great post up on GigaOm titled Why Sync Is So Difficult.  It was one of the things I read before my run yesterday and it was in my head the entire time.  Jean-Gabriel’s main points are:

  • Push sync is deeply asynchronous
  • Sync matches different data models
  • Sync messes with third-party applications
  • Sync is hard to test

I sent the URL to Hong Bui, the CEO of Memeo (one of our investments) who responded with “Great article. I agree. Our approach is zen-like, on one use case at a time.”

I’ve been thinking about sync for a long time. I fondly remember when “replication” first appeared on the scene with Lotus Notes around 1985.  I was fascinated with the idea then and remain fascinated with it today.  It remains a perplexing unsolved problem at the core of both our Glue and Digital Life themes and I expect there will be plenty of talk about it at the Glue Conference in Denver this week.

We have four investments that care deeply about sync: Gist, Gnip, Memeo, and NewsGator.  And – we’ve got a new one that we’ll be talking about later this week that turns the notion of sync – and cloud computing – completely on its side.

Now – before you say “yes, but cloud computing solves the need for sync”, thing about what you are saying.  Go back and read Why Sync Is So Difficult.  Try again.