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InfoQ Homepage News Jeff Bezos Suggests Outsourcing Least Important 70%; A Boost for Rails?

Jeff Bezos Suggests Outsourcing Least Important 70%; A Boost for Rails?

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In a speech at the 2006 MIT Emerging Technologies Conference, Jeff Bezos, founder of Amazon.com, has pointed out that 70% of the time spent on a project is spent on inconsequential tasks that don't differentiate that project from any other. Bezos calls these features "muck" and suggests developers could outsource their implementation to third parties or technologies, much in the same way business owners outsource generic tasks like accounting, finance, and legal services.

In an overview for Artima Developer, Frank Sommers looks at Bezo's observations and suggests that Rails is an ideal tool for reducing the level of "muck" in a project, along with technologies such as Amazon's S3 storage API. With Jeff Bezos' recent investment in Rails-founders 37signals, a company that strongly believes in focusing on differentiation from competitors (mostly by providing a simple, user-friendly service) it seems Bezos is putting his money where his mouth is.

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  • What does this have to do with Rails?

    by Jason Carreira /

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    Sure, he mentioned Rails, but there's plenty of pre-built infrastructure out there for Java... More than Ruby, in fact, especially if you want to build enterprise systems that do real work...

  • Re: What does this have to do with Rails?

    by Pat Eyler /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Except that Amazon already uses plenty of Java inside. Bezos knows that, knows what Java is good (and not so good) for, and he's still suggesing that RoR is a good solution for the 70% of the 'muck'.

  • Re: What does this have to do with Rails?

    by Jason Carreira /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Looking back, it wasn't Bezos who suggested RoR was a good fit, it was Frank Sommers from Artima. Bezos was probably positioning the web services Amazon provides (like S3) as that outsourced infrastructure.

    I still say in terms of real enterprise infrastructure, Java is in a much better position to provide the muck.

  • Bezos didn't even mention Ruby

    by myke myers /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    Some other guy did.
    Yea, outsource your crap to somebody else to do. This is really big news to people?

    Frankly - i'm getting sick and tired of hearing about how Ruby should be used for everything short of making coffee in the morning (and some people argue it would do a better job for that!).

    Look at where you are today, look at where you want to go tomorrow and the day after, and pick the best tool to get yourself there. Period.

  • Headline is ...

    by ashok shetty /

    Your message is awaiting moderation. Thank you for participating in the discussion.

    .. really lame. Desperate stuff like this is what gives a nice technology a bad name.

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