Lessons from the trenches: Joyent co-founder on current opportunities in the cloud

Just one week after stepping down as CTO from Joyent, the cloud infrastructure company he co-founded 10 years ago, Jason Hoffman had plenty of thoughts to share regarding the latest opportunities in the cloud.

On stage with GigaOM founder Om Malik at GigaOM’s Structure:Europe conference, he said that he thinks of the cloud as “largely an industrialization of IT effort,” with a manufacturing-type approach to building infrastructure, and now everything is becoming a service. Over the last 10 years, he also said he’s witnessed the “rise of the developer” — the people now buying and making infrastructure decisions are the ones writing applications.

Of his longtime cloud competitor Amazon(s AMZN), Hoffman said the company is especially good at being customer-focused and driving buying behaviors. But he said there’s still room for someone to take them on: The industry tends to talk about compute too much, but the real growth is in data services — and proving data services is what ultimately matters.

He also said that there’s “absolutely” an opportunity for Nokia or Ericsson to offer mobile-specific cloud platforms. “The application phenomenon is a mobile phenomenon and, as far as I can tell, no one’s put an infrastructure service or PAAS (platform-as-a-service) on a mobile network,” he said.

Another area for innovation? Creating an infrastructure layer to keep up with the explosion of connected devices, from connected cars to intelligent pacemakers, he said.

Personally, Hoffman said, he doesn’t want to dive back into the industry anytime soon with a new cloud company of his own. But he added: “If anyone says there’s never an opportunity, they’re lying.”

Check out the rest of our Structure:Europe 2013 coverage here, and a video embed of the session follows below:
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A transcription of the video follows on the next page