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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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  • by Verunks ( 1000826 ) on Tuesday April 03, 2012 @09:13AM (#39558957)
  • 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.

  • 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

We gave you an atomic bomb, what do you want, mermaids? -- I. I. Rabi to the Atomic Energy Commission