Challenging AWS & Google on AI Cloud Services | Interview with Bob Miles, founder of Salad
This podcast episode with Bob Miles, the founder of Salad, captures Bob’s journey from acquiring the perfect domain name to capitalizing on the global GPU shortage. He is playing in the big leagues with giants like AWS and Google Cloud and challenging them by rewriting the rules of the game.
Bob delves into the nitty-gritty of building a cloud computing powerhouse, navigating market challenges, and why sometimes, the best solution lies in reimagining the existing landscape. So, buckle up as we take you through an enlightening conversation that’s as engaging as it is educational.
Who is Bob Miles?
Meet Bob Miles, founder of Salad. Bob’s journey is one of resilience, strategic thinking, and a dash of serendipity. Starting with a simple yet effective domain name acquisition, he set the tone for Salad’s disruptive path. This isn’t your typical cloud service provider. Salad taps into the power of distributed computing, harnessing the unused potential of gaming PCs worldwide.
In an industry where big data centers are the norm, Salad stands out for its peer-to-peer model, offering a cost-effective, efficient, and scalable solution. Bob’s foresight and understanding of market dynamics make him not just a thought leader but a game changer in the truest sense.
Follow Bob on LinkedIn to learn more about his entrepreneurial journey.
Summary of the Podcast
Domain Acquisition and Company Introduction
Bob Miles begins by explaining how Salad acquired its domain name, transitioning from salad.io to salad.com, which was previously owned by a company selling salad dressing. He then introduces Salad as a cloud computing company that diverges from traditional models like AWS and Google Cloud. Instead of building data centers, Salad leverages a peer-to-peer model using software installed on gaming PCs, creating a fully distributed infrastructure.
Strategic Market Entry
Discussing Salad’s strategy in a competitive cloud computing market, Miles highlights their focus on supply over demand. Salad capitalized on the crypto boom in 2017, which solved its two-sided market problem by providing consistent demand. This approach allowed them to concentrate on building a supplier base of gamers willing to share their computing resources.
GPU Shortage and AI Cloud Services
Miles explains Salad’s unique selling point: offering GPU-powered AI inference services at a significantly lower cost than traditional providers, especially during the current GPU shortage. This shortage has become a fortunate turn for Salad, helping them gain traction with customers who struggle to access the necessary hardware elsewhere.
Pricing and User Experience
Engineering and Team Structure
Bob details Salad’s team structure, noting a heavy emphasis on engineering due to the technical nature of their product. The team is divided into squads, each focusing on different aspects of the business, including the demand side (customer-oriented) and supply side (gamer-oriented).
Venture Funding and Growth
Miles shares that Salad has raised approximately $20 million, mainly through a recent Series A round. The team, consisting of about 50 members, is scaling up with plans to expand its market presence and build brand recognition.
Market Strategy and Future Vision
Salad’s market strategy focuses on AI and serving AI inference at scale, particularly with stable diffusion for image generation. They plan to establish their brand through partnerships with prominent names in the AI space. The long-term vision is to democratize access to computing resources by enabling individuals to share their computer power.
From Salad’s unique approach to cloud computing to capitalizing on the GPU shortage, Bob’s insights are a goldmine for anyone interested in the intersection of technology and business. His story is a testament to the power of thinking outside the box and the importance of adaptability in today’s fast-paced world.
Whether you’re a tech enthusiast, an entrepreneur, or just someone curious about the future of cloud computing, this episode is a must-listen. Dive into the full conversation for a more in-depth exploration of how Salad is shaping the future of cloud services.