Oakland, California – When Jeff Barr, a chief executive in the Amazon cloud computing division and A Fantastic Corporate Blogger, Celebrating his 60th birthday last year, Corey Quinn did a surprise for him: a music video that made fun of Amazon’s business.
“Jeff, can you write me a launch blog post,” A cartoon amazon manager sang To the tune of Billy Joel’s “Piano Man” “What we have created is a mystery to me.” But it is huge and Bespoke and its console is a joke. But if this ship goes, then I can make VP “
Following the release of the video, Mr. Quinn, who agrees to help reduce his cloud computing bill for Amazon customers, made the revelation in tweaking Tech Beehm.
“The best days start with me knowing that my planned stunts will trigger at least eight internal @awscloud meetings and a crisis response” They wrote On twitter “Today is just such a day.”
The world of cloud computing is not known for humor, nor for refining personalities. Mr. Quinn, 38, is an exception: a flamboyant and outspoken man, part tech analyst, part internet troll and part watchman. With an irreverent style that mixes technical acumen and a sharp wit, he publishes a weekly newspaper with 21,000 subscribers, records four podcasts a week, and a YouTube video full of geeky jokes for cloud computing insiders makes. He also maintains a highly active Twitter feed.
Officially, Mr. Quinn calls himself a cloud economist, a designation he created when he started consulting in 2016. He thought it was less frustrating than cloud accountants.
He rarely passes on the opportunity to investigate, analyze, explain, mock, and defend Amazon’s cloud unit – sometimes all at once. He works with large Amazon clients such as the Washington Post, Ticketmaster and Epic Games, who seek his advice on contract negotiations or the best ways to reduce cloud computing costs.
Their consulting firm, Duckbill Group, based in San Francisco, employs 11 people and only works with Amazon Web Services clients – making their comments carry more weight on Amazon. This mainly gives him more routes for the company to be a pest.
“It’s a crazy relationship. When he speaks, the people there listen, ”said Ana Wisneski, a former Amazon employee who often deals with Mr. Quinn when he succeeds in the process of releasing new products. “Although some people did not care for the snark.”
Amazon Web Services, better known as AWS, is Amazon’s most profitable business, but it does not generate the same attention as the company’s retail business, even if its impact is greater. Computers in Amazon’s data centers power large swats of the Internet, including Netflix and Disney +, while businesses large and small rely on AWS infrastructure to stay digitally connected.
“Everyone wants to talk about other aspects of the business that are easier to wrap their heads around,” Mr. Quinn said, “but if we take a look at Amazon’s next 10 years, it’s very clear that AWS should be the defining part of that story. “
The growth of Amazon’s cloud business has created opportunities for Mr. Quinn to build a dedicated following. At the AWS conference in Las Vegas in 2019, a few dozen attendees approached him selfies.
Amazon declined to comment for this article, and it did not make Mr. Barr available for comment. In Mr. Quinn’s description as a funny man in a humor-filled industry, an Amazon spokesperson responded with a link Video For AWS product launches and a smiley emoji.
Mr. Quinn took a roundabout way to become one Cloud computing influencer. In 2003, he dropped out of the University of Maine, where he studied computer science. He worked from a dead-end job to another before working at technology consulting firms and start-ups. In 2015, he was working on a financial tech start-up, when it was acquired by investment firm BlackRock. He quit that job after a year to start his own consulting company.
“I’m terrific as an employee,” he said. “I have a sharp elbow.” I get bored easily and get swept up in the streets of other people. “
After years of trying to make sense of his company’s AWS bill, a deceptive hobby of charges for services and data storage and transfer that could grow to more than 100 pages for heavy users, he decided that other companies would consider their Use expertise.
“I can describe what I do in six words: I fix the terrible AWS bill,” he said.
He was also betting that more companies would start using AWS and use it more. he was right. These days, the cloud computing bill ranks as the third largest expense for many Internet software firms, leaving behind only payroll and office space.
To promote his consulting firm, later re-erecting the Duckbill Group, with an angry platypus as a mascot, Mr. Quinn started his newsletter, “Last Week AWS”, in 2017.
In 2018, he almost accepted a job in the AWS billing team, but the company demanded that he sign any non-competitive clauses that would prevent him from working for any Amazon competitor. in A blog post With a picture of a man with both middle fingers, Mr. Quinn called such a section “outrageous” and said the company often assured him not to be untrue.
The issue surfaced again last year when Amazon sued Brian Hall, the former AWS vice president of marketing, claiming that he violated the noncommittee clause when he joined Google in a similar role.
“What secret sauce is he going to take with him, release a bunch of things with terrible names and then make them incredibly bad for infrastructure engineers. ” Mr. Quinn wrote those days. Amazon agreed to settle the lawsuit a month later.
Mr. Hall said Mr. Quinn was a “very helpful lawyer” who had an opinion on Amazon.
“Someone like Corey helped introduce AWS to the way customers sometimes like the company and sometimes how they don’t like the company. It made them what they needed to be to hear, ”Mr. Hall said.
Like many industry analysts, Mr. Quinn is also paid by the companies he criticizes. AWS has sponsored their newspaper and paid them for advice, but Mr. Quinn said Amazon never tried to say what they said. Google said it had paid her for insights, too.
Mr. Quinn’s Jabs’ frequent targets are unhealthy product names. During a meticulously planned keynote presentation at a developers conference in December, Amazon offered Mr. Quinn, following the buzz of new services Take it unfiltered.
“Look at these awesome service names. Look out for their amazing eyes, ”he said. He called a slide with the worst offenders: Lookout for Equipment; Tranium; Glue elastic view; SageMaker Data Wrangler; And Amazon Outposts, The Smaller Ones.
Mr. Quinn recently branched out with another AWS parody music video. Instead of a birthday message for an executive, he did an endless rollout of Amazon’s seemingly greater computing capacity.
“Do not stop releasing” the platypus tune wearing a sunglasses “Don’t Stop Believin” of the trip. “Data centers are growing, hidden somewhere in your city. Do not stop issuing. “
Mr. Quinn said companies with a trillion-dollar market valuation were fair game for his needle, but he avoided jokes at the expense of individual employees or executives. When he made a parody video of Mr. Barr, he checked in with a person close to the Amazon executive to not cross any lines.
Mr. Quinn said he made An exception to Larry Ellison, Co-founder of Oracle, because “nobody likes him.”
An Oracle spokesperson did not respond to emails seeking comment on Mr. Ellison’s popularity.