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June 21, 2024 - 6 Min Read

Reflecting on Momento’s Inclusion in the InfraRed100

Hear from the leadership team and how excited they are to share that Momento has been included on the 2024 InfraRed100 list

Khawaja Shams
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Daniela Miao
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Tony Valderrama
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Momento is delighted to be recognized in the 2024 InfraRed100 list! It is an honor to stand alongside so many companies we admire and to celebrate our collective efforts to transform cloud infrastructure. The InfraRed100 report resonates with us as we reflect on Momento’s journey, so we wanted to share a couple of takeaways.

AI accelerates cloud consumption, causing new challenges for developers

The InfraRed100 report notes that the past couple of years have been difficult for established players in cloud infrastructure due to the global macro environment and an increasing focus on cost efficiencies. However, the latest 3 quarters have seen hyperscalers rebound as surging AI investments naturally flow into higher operational spend. This leading indicator foreshadows a healthy fiscal cycle ahead for cloud infrastructure.

Much attention has focused on the race to dominate foundation models and the associated supply chain of hardware, software, and data. However, every cloud infrastructure company should pay close attention to shifting pressures on the application developers delivering AI-enabled products to users.

Today, developers face stiff competition amidst a blazing-fast innovation cycle and ever-growing customer expectations, which leaves them with even less time to build, provision, and manage their infrastructure. A focus on product differentiation and fast time to market is no longer a way to stand out from the crowd – it’s table stakes for survival in a ruthless market. Infrastructure companies that drag out their customer’s development cycle with needless distractions may actually be driving their clients out of business.

Momento, alongside our friends on the InfraRed100, understands that modern development demands infrastructure platforms that are frictionless to onboard and effortless to scale. How can a developer possibly ship new AI-powered features when they have to tend their rickety old cluster at 2am?

Every era of tech founds itself upon a new, higher level of abstraction that empowers developers to do more. The present golden era of tech could never have happened if everyone were still stuck handling their own physical hardware. Likewise, the coming AI era won’t shine as bright until we move on from legacy cloud technologies.

Which comes first, the success or the platform?

Among public infrastructure companies, the fastest growing and the most profitable are uniformly businesses with multiple successful products woven together into a platform, per the InfraRed100 report. This makes sense, because a coherent portfolio of products creates virtuous cycles across the sales process and the entire company.

InfraRed100 refers to this platform approach as the “maximize your TAM” strategy. More products present a greater variety of wedges to crack open a new account. More products enable easier revenue growth from upsells and account expansion. More products are awesome, so long as there is a discerning vision harnessing them together to produce business synergies!

The harsh reality is that developing, operating, selling, and supporting multiple products can quickly bankrupt an early stage startup.  This produces a natural tension – how does an infrastructure startup build a platform when attempting to do so risks knocking them out of contention?

In ye olden days of ZIRP, one could simply raise piles of money and build multiple products. Nowadays, most infrastructure startups should instead focus rigorously on growing their flagship product until they reach an appropriate scale to support their platform play. As the InfraRed100 report notes, among their index of successful public cloud platforms, the average time to introduce a second product was five years! Platforms are hard to pull off, so don’t worry if it takes time.

In rare cases, a startup may identify a unique cross-cutting concern which allows them to leverage underlying investments across multiple products. Such a feat depends on a few factors such as access to supportive design partners, extensive domain expertise, and of course luck. The most important factor, though, is clear-eyed and disciplined evaluation of whether you can risk chasing a second product when most startups would rejoice at even a single early success.

At Momento, we were fortunate to land on exactly such a combination of factors with a team that could take advantage of the opportunity. The Momento platform consists of two products – Cache and Topics – each exemplifying our approach of simplifying robust real-time data infrastructure so that it’s frictionless to onboard and effortless to scale.

A deliberate approach to harness AI consumption will win over frantic pivots

Building on the two takeaways above, we firmly believe that every platform startup should know exactly how they can harness the rising tide of cloud consumption driven by AI. This is a perfect opportunity to demonstrate the viability of your flagship product, as well as any secondary products you’re pursuing. Your existing customers are rapidly investing in new workloads. How are you helping them reach the finish line first?

Unfortunately, many infrastructure startups will end up in a frantic pivot to go all in on AI, which is ultimately neither viable nor necessary. Remember that a successful platform requires a principled, cross-cutting approach to deliberately stitch together a portfolio of products. Thrashing your engineering, support, and sales teams with an AI pivot squanders precious resources on a quixotic challenge against competitors who have been advancing the state of the art for years.

At Momento, we’ve embraced the simple fact that even as AI changes the world forever, people will still need to store the data, deliver notifications, and scale their interactive experiences in a cost-effective manner. That tailwind will sell more cloud infrastructure than ever. And the winners of this race will be the platforms that offer the strongest possible abstractions, the best developer experience, and the fastest time to market.

In fact, many of our customers have consulted with us on how to properly architect their new AI-enabled workloads, and we’ve happily obliged. For some customers, Momento Cache now sits comfortably in front of expensive APIs, while for others Momento Topics quickly passes messages between humans and AI agents. Our vision for the future of real-time data infrastructure is being realized right now, and we couldn’t be happier.

Outro

The InfraRed100 report is inspirational, insightful, and worthy of a deeper read. We truly appreciate our inclusion alongside 31 other early stage startups and 2 other caching startups – and with that, here is the photo of our logo on the InfraRed100 Board at NASDAQ!

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