Startups

Think serverless: tips for early-stage startups

#serverless

As Google Cloud has become a choice for more startups, I’ve experienced an increase in founders asking how they should think about cloud services. Though each startup is different and requirements may vary across industries and regions, I’ve seen a few core best practices that help startups to succeed—as well as several traps to avoid. 

For example, If you go with a public cloud provider, you’re ideally not starting from ground zero like you would running your own data center, but it’s important not to introduce similar complexity in a virtualized environment. Just because you’re using public cloud infrastructure doesn’t mean you want to manage it.

Instead, you want to leverage platforms that abstract away complexity so your team can focus on delivering value to customers. That’s where serverless comes in. Serverless platforms are fully managed by the provider, offering automatic scaling for workloads, as well as provisioning, configuring, patching, and management of servers and clusters. Freed from these resource-intensive tasks, your technical talent can focus on the things that differentiate your business, not on IT curation. 

This applies to not only running stateless applications, but also managing and analyzing data. You should be collecting data points about which features are most popular on your platform, what people are buying, the types of activities that help your customers get their jobs done, and so on. This information is essential to building and executing on a product roadmap that will serve your customers. However, it’s not enough to collect this data, you need to make your data accessible, secure, and easy for your team to analyze—so where do you run and host it? 

On Google Cloud, this is where options like Spanner and Cloud SQL can play a large role, as can BigQuery for analysis. You won’t have to worry about standing up infrastructure or patching servers—you can just stream your data to our data management platforms, where it’s available whenever someone needs to run a query. By leveraging a serverless architecture, your startup can be data-driven without having to invest in the traditional complexity of database administration and management—and that can significantly change your playing field. 

Serverless is just one of the factors you should consider as you build out your tech stack. To hear my thoughts on a range of other topics relevant to startups — such as security, cloud credits, and the differences among managed services — check out the below video or visit our Build and Grow page.