I came across an interesting article about Cloudflare’s strategy of expansion.
AWS is playing chess, Cloudflare is playing Go
Establish: Establish a foothold in something incumbents don’t care enough about
Envelop: Reverse-proxy something that incumbents don’t serve customers well on
Expand: cross-sell other premium products and services until they are more customers of you than they are customers of the incumbent.
While AWS boasts an impressive 230+ points of presence, Cloudflare has interconnects with 10,000 networks including “every major ISP, cloud provider, and enterprise”. These aren’t the same thing, but it reflects the substantially different game that Cloudflare is playing.
In Chess, pieces have different values and capabilities.
In Go, each piece is indistinguishable from the other; it is the network position that counts.
So while AWS has 17 ways to run containers and 7 ways to do async message processing, all overlapping and reinforcing and supporting each other, Cloudflare will tend toward introducing singular primitives, stuff them in a box, and try to ship those boxes to as many places as will possibly take them. If they could install Cloudflare on your mobile phone, they would
This analogy helped me understand Cloudflare’s potential better.