A Visit from Shadrach White


Mr. White came into class and told us about how he own and operates his own business. He started out with creating an online registry for medical marijuana for the government and his business has branched out from there. If my memory stands correct most of his business is somehow related to government contracts.
The main focus on his lecture was about how his business, Airlift, is powered solely by cloud computing. This business model is very lucrative as it doesn't require much tangible resources and its scale is fluid, they can taper their server size in real time as they see fit. Airlift has been created in such a way that new clients can be added to the service easily by having an account created on the existing base platform. Shadrach explained that what sets his business apart from the competition is that it originated in the cloud, while the competitors were retrofitted. This reminds me of the analogy Mr. Fry made in class with the dinosaurs. Airlift would be the younger and more agile creature while the competition is an old, slow, and cumbersome dinosaur. Part of Mr. White's business strategy is to constantly innovate and hold his company to the highest standard possible because as an up and coming business he doesn't have the safety of having already been well established like the larger companies that Airlift competes with.
Airlift uses third party services like Box, Docusign, and Wordpress, but in an ongoing effort to increase efficiency Shadrach is planning on creating their own versions of these services to eliminate their need for the third party and lower operation costs further.
I really like the idea and business model of Shadrach's company. The cloud processing means that operation costs are low and scale is essentially limitless. The work they do to improve efficiency is great because they do a lot of work for the government and lord knows that the government is slow. The theme of improving the process of interaction between the people and the government is similar to the goals of Kaleil and Tom from startup.com except Airlift didn't crash and burn like govWorks did. 

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