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Video Blue Gecko is an 11 Year Old Remote Database Administration Startup (Video) 63

A company that has been going since 2001 is not exactly a startup, but Blue Gecko co-founder Sarah Novotny says that maintaining a startup mindset has helped her company keep going this long, with no end in sight. If you are thinking about starting an IT business (either now or in the future), especially one you hope will have remote clients and possibly a far-flung workforce, you should listen carefully to what Sarah has to say.
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Blue Gecko is an 11 Year Old Remote Database Administration Startup (Video)

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  • Label the adverts. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by SuricouRaven ( 1897204 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @08:53AM (#39558829)
    Might want to disable comments too, or sponsors will get annoyed at all the people insulting them.
  • Oblig (Score:4, Funny)

    by rossdee ( 243626 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @09:05AM (#39558893)

    Do you save 15% on your car insurance

  • Get Used To This? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by TheNinjaroach ( 878876 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @09:09AM (#39558911)
    So should I get used to seeing ads like this as an everyday occurrence on Slashdot? Taco must have known something was up.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @09:24AM (#39559041)

      Agreed, what is wrong with this site.
      Have been a member for 10 years or at least as long as I can remember. For the past year I haven't even bothered to log in or making any meaningful discussion.

      Next time I see an infomercial like this, I'm spamming my own company site on at least 20 post. Just for the fun of it.

    • by water-and-sewer ( 612923 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @09:28AM (#39559073) Homepage

      Ya. I've been reading Slashdot for about 12 years now, but it's increasingly clear this site is headed the route of "PCWorld" with articles that provide nothing but adspace. Increasingly, these "ask Slashdot" things are looking like corporate research too.

      Not sure how much they sold us out for, but I hope it was worth it. This place is starting to smell funky.

    • I thought you all weren't giving it a chance, So I decided to actually watch it.... Although something can probably be learned by listening between the lines. I have to agree that this is the most obvious ad I've ever seen on /. And I've been here a long long long time, but like many people didn't get an account until they started advertising on the site, and you needed an account to disable the ads. Maybe they'll add a feature to the site that let's you take some additional step that filters out shit like

  • On the other hand (Score:5, Interesting)

    by SirGarlon ( 845873 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @09:09AM (#39558913)
    On the other hand, if her company is still stuck in "startup mode" after 11 years, maybe she is not the person to listen to.
    • by crazyjj ( 2598719 ) * on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @09:13AM (#39558951)

      Nonsense, my cousin has been in startup mode for longer than that. My other relatives call it "unemployed and living in his parents' basement" but I think they're just being Negative Nancies.

    • by Tharsman ( 1364603 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @10:15AM (#39559661)

      I was thinking: does anyone knows what "startup mode" means? Because on every place I gone, it means "we force people to work insane hours, and work like slaves and for little money in exchange of worthless stock options that may never be worth anything but they think may make them rich if we manage to sell the company out."

      In other words "startup mode" after eleven years, extremely bad thing!!!

      • Wake-up call, you are not entitled to anything you little douche. Building companies takes a lot of dedication and risk. From your attitude it seems you are not cut out for it. Go back to your sure thing--wage slave.

        • This little "douche" has two self-owned businesses, so I'm rather familiar with how to work hard AND smart to start up something.

          Now go back to your daddy's basement and enjoy your 12 hour job at some company that keeps promising you will someday afford your rent or house if you keep overworking for stock options. Go ahead and keep pressing snooze on YOUR wake-up calls.

          • by aweol ( 2128298 )
            As a former employee of a start-up, who had no "stake" in the business start-up mode is awful for moral and for the health of the employees. Often demanding 70+hr work weeks minimum, as a salaried employee. I was actually verbally told the 70hr number once was their expectation. Family life, personal health take a huge toll and on-top of this it was a IT start-up, so often times I was unable to sleep more than 3-hours straight without a call. That basically a recipe for quick burn-out which as the employee
    • Overnight successes never happen overnight. The media loves to peg them as instantaneous Cinderella stories though. Start up mode is most likely from five to ten years at the least--depending on the business. Entrepreneurship can be a harsh mistress. Anyone know if she is cute? I can't see through the crappy overlay. I swear I see boobies there but.....

  • by OliWarner ( 1529079 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @09:10AM (#39558917) Homepage

    You'd think database experts would know how to keep their site up, wouldn't you?

    Sorry that's unfair. The site is still up but I can make and eat a sandwich between pageloads.

  • by AnotherAnonymousUser ( 972204 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @09:10AM (#39558921)
    I legitimately thought from the headline that it was a startup founded by an 11 year old. Which would have been really awesome.
    • by vlm ( 69642 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @09:17AM (#39558995)

      Database design and admin has a steep learning curve. A dedicated 11 year old couldn't do much worse than the average DB schemas I see every day. Starting up in a field where the bar is extremely low is probably a good strategy. My first thought is its probably a good field for a 11 year old kid to enter.

    • I read it as: "Blue Gecko is an 11 year old remote database administrator".

      Which looked like the plotline for a really awesome movie about a IT DBadmin gecko. A geecko!

  • zomg (Score:3, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @09:22AM (#39559021)

    An ad plays before the ad plays....

  • by Barny ( 103770 )

    The talking doesn't make this quite so easy to masturbate to, but I have a thing for red-heads, so...

    Challenge, Accepted!

    Just kidding though, but seriously, this is advertising of the worst kind. At least be open about it.

  • Transcript (Score:5, Informative)

    by QuasiSteve ( 2042606 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @10:07AM (#39559555)

    Title: Blue Gecko is an 11 Year Old Remote Database Administration Startup
    Description: Keeping the startup mentality is essential for success, says co-founder Sarah Novotny

    [00:00] <TITLE>
    "Making Money Doing Remote Database Administration" fades in superimposed over a view of Sarah Novotny sitting on a leater softa in a casual-looking room. The SlashdotTV logo bar in the bottom reads "Blue Gecko co-founder Sarah Novotny".

    [00:02] Sarah>
    We're here today at my company, Blue Gecko.
    I founded this company 11, almost 12, years ago now with two business partners that I met at Amazon.
    The whole idea that we took here, away from operational work from Amazon, was big company operations are important and broad, and all of the different processes that are involved in that can be applied to smaller to medium sized businesses, or businesses that have specific technology units that really aren't related to their core business.
    So we wanted to be able to help them come to good, solid, robust technology practices that we knew from big web and Amazon years and years past.
    My business partners here are Chuck Edwards and JJ Ecker, and we've been working with each other for almost 12 years now.

    [00:53] Sarah>
    Remote database administration which is our core business, means that we really can administer servers and services anywhere in the world, and at the moment we have customers in Asia-Pacific, so we've got some customers in Japan, we've got customers in New Zealand, we have customers in Europe, in Denmark, and in Switzerland, and then we have customers all over the U.S, and I think we may even have a couple of Canadian customers at this point.

    [01:23] <TITLE>
    SlashdotTV logo bar fades in and out, reading "How do you get new clients?"

    [01:23] Sarah>
    We actually have found that customers come to us for referrals - we don't do a lot of outreach.
    Most of the customers that we have received and brought in on board, have been because they've had relationships with other people, and this is one of the great parts of community.
    Both Open Source community in general, but generally the tech community is that we all have favorites, and we all have people and services that we trust and then those can then give sort of this second level of trust to share.
    So you get sort of an associated trust that passes on: "Oh yeah, you should work with Blue Gecko - they're great!"

    [02:03] Sarah>
    Yeah, 10 years has been a really big mark to have passed that, especially with a business that is a really strange blend of Open Source support as well as proprietary support.
    Part of our business is Oracle and Oracle E-Business Suite support, SQL Server support, and then part of our business is very open databases-focused, so PostgreS and MySQL, and Drizzle as well.
    I would say we still have the start-up mentality.
    We always had a really strange blend though of start-up and scrappy and getting it done, and very process-driven enterprise.
    Because we have customers that are both; we have total start-up "Oh God I just got my VC and it's burning a hole in my pocket!", and then we have the very large companies, Fortune 100 companies, that have us working on a particular stack, and they are much more process-driven.
    So we've always had kind of that blend.
    But, because this is operational support, we work all the time.
    Someone here is always awake, someone that works for Blue Gecko is always awake, someone is always looking at the queues and answering phones, answering pagers, making sure that our monitoring is watching things appropriately.
    So as long as someone is covering something, you can pretty much work whenever you want - it's just a matter of saying "I will be available from this time to this time", and making sure that there's coverage for the different business areas, business units.

    [03:23] Sarah>
    The big pitch to people who might be a small start-up, or worried about being able to control the employee, the thing

  • by johnjones ( 14274 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @10:10AM (#39559599) Homepage Journal

    how about oh I don't know starting of with HTML5 and then failing back to flash...

    the article was interesting to find out how they even think they are a startup...

    but nope adobe flash required...

    get someone with a clue about video or offload it to vimeo/youtube/brightcove


  • Last week: GreenSQL is a Database Security Solution, says CTO David Maman (Video) []
    This week: Blue Gecko is an 11 Year Old Remote Database Administration Startup (Video) []

    Next week? Red CokeSnort is a thing for SQL, says guy in food court (Video)
  • by Anonymous Coward

    WOW that was boring!

  • Very sad day (Score:5, Insightful)

    by nakedman ( 37561 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @12:01PM (#39561129) Homepage

    I've been reading Slashdot on a daily basis since 1999, and so this is a very sad day for me as it's become clear that Slashot is no longer worth being a part of my regular browsing cycle.

    These types of "stories" are so blatant that it's an insult to the "nerds" that have made Slashdot what it is today. Maybe they will be successful in generating a little extra revenue in the short-term, but it's being done at a cost that will eventually ruin the site.

    • I have to agree. This is just too blatant. I meant the "story" doesn't even have an angle. If they were to put just the tiniest bit of thought into it, they could have made it interesting. I'm sure a database admin company could tell us how to deal with scaling up.. or design tips.. or if mysql is better than pgsql.

      Instead it's literally: "hey! here's some company and what they sell."

  • attention.

    Post up more of these, and I'll gladly change that.

  • I'm sure that's a comfy couch but it doesn't need to fill the frame. How about zooming in on the speaker?
  • Keller? Sounders? This is unwatchable. #rctid

Some people manage by the book, even though they don't know who wrote the book or even what book.