by Kyle Drake | at Minnebar 16
9 years ago I started Neocities, a web hosting platform designed to give people back their personal homepage and the creativity possible with using the entire browser window, rather than just a tiny text box on an AI driven social network. Since then, we've grown to almost 500,000 sites, 40TB of traffic, 150 million uniques per month and a lot of interesting content!
It hasn't been a cakewalk though, and scaling to handle a large amount of users quickly has led to some... interesting tech decisions. I'll go into the details on our unusual tech stack (We run our own anycast CDN with BGP and our own IP addresses, for one weird example), how to deal with spam/abuse, and how to build to build a small, self sustaining business that was bootstrapped by fans and donations from Hacker News readers. We've never taken a penny of VC funding, avoiding the closures and panic acquisitions of our (far better funded) lookalikes. It's changed my beliefs on how to build a successful startup to something far from the mainstream consensus, and I'd love to poison the well a bit on what makes a successful startup strategy (especially with the upcoming credit crunch).
If you're thinking about starting a solo startup from scratch, or if you ever plan to host a lot of third party content for other people, or you want to meet one of the few thousand (hundred?) people that know how to run an anycast CDN, don't miss this one.
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