Born in a Garage

Monday, December 2, 2019

WE STARTED A COMPUTER COMPANY!! You have no idea how long I’ve been waiting to say that! I guess some context would help… Steve Tuck, Bryan Cantrill, and I officially started the Oxide Computer Company. Since then, we’ve been working on closing up fundraising, getting an awesome office, and hiring!

You are probably thinking “a computer company? that’s outrageous!”.. well it is and it isn’t. Over the last year, I had the opportunity to spend a lot of time talking with folks who are currently running workloads on premises. The consensus from all my conversations has been that everyone setting up infrastructure themselves is in a great deal of pain and they have been largely neglected by any existing vendor. All these folks have very good reasons for running on premises that include security, strategic reasons like latency, specialized workloads, or the reality that the unit economics of running at their scale in the cloud are unsustainable.

I’ve had the privilege of working on projects in my career that have had a positive impact on a lot of people – from Docker, to the Go programming language, to Kubernetes. Over the course of talking to folks, I soon realized that working on solving the pain for those running on premises would have a huge amount of impact. Hyperscalers like Facebook, Google, and Microsoft have what I like to call “infrastructure privilege” since they long ago decided they could build their own hardware and software to fulfill their needs better than commodity vendors. We are working to bring that same infrastructure privilege to everyone else! This leads to better integration between the hardware and software stacks, better power distribution, and better density. It’s even better for the environment due to the energy consumption wins!

I can’t think of a better problem space and group of folks to work with to build a company. I’ve known both Bryan and Steve from the container conference circuit and couldn’t pass up an opportunity to work with both of them. I’ve also been in love with computers since I was a child… as proof of this (not that it’s needed) here is a very early diary entry of mine.

diary-entry

In typical cliche computer company fashion we have been working out of my garage. Bryan brought over his collection of computer manuals and even added to my collection of floppy disks. It’s basically been a computer nerd’s nirvana!

garage

Since we now have funding, we will be moving to a bigger space. I can’t wait; I fell in love the minute we saw it. It’s perfect for a nascent computer company to grow.

new-office

We will still be using the original garage to record episodes of On the Metal, our podcast. You will not want to miss episodes of that! We have been lucky to have some amazing conversations with technologists, the first being Jeff Rothschild, and I can’t wait to share them with you!

The past few months have been some of the most fun and rewarding of my entire career and we are only getting started. If you want to read more about some of the deep technical problems we will be solving check out my ACM Queue articles: Open Source Firmware and Opening up the Baseboard Management Controller in the September/October issue.

We would love to have you join us in our mission to “Kick butt, have fun, don’t cheat, love our customers, change computing forever” – head over to our careers page or if you are a designer who codes send us a pull request! If you are currently running on premises and are interested in what we are building, join our mailing list and I will be in touch!

Thank you to all of our friends and family for their support of our endeavor. I, personally, could not have done this without your advice, guidance, and positivity during our fundraise and after. I’ve been waiting for the day I could share with everyone what we’ve been up to and I am beyond excited to build a company and a product people will love! Stay tuned!