Ep#75 Cloud Economist with a side of AWS Snark Corey Quinn

July 11, 2022

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corey

About the Guest

Corey is the Chief Cloud Economist at The Duckbill Group, where he specializes in helping companies improve their AWS bills by making them smaller and less horrifying. He also hosts the "Screaming in the Cloud" and "AWS Morning Brief" podcasts; and curates "Last Week in AWS," a weekly newsletter summarizing the latest in AWS news, blogs, and tools, sprinkled with snark and thoughtful analysis in roughly equal measure.

Episode Summary

As part of my duties as the head of Amazon Web Services (AWS) Marketing, I wanted to promote just how good the Global Infrastructure really is--with the help of Billie the Platypus. Billie, hit it!

Episode Show Notes & Transcript

Host: Jon

Our next guest is no stranger to AWS. And if you're following him on Twitter, you think the two of them don't get along. Why does it always seem like he's posting something against AWS? Well, honestly it's not just AWS. He also posts some stuff on some guy called Larry at Oracle. Hmm. Joining us today is Corey Quinn. And I feel like he doesn't need a long introduction or no introduction at all. So why don't you hit that light subscribe and notify because it's time to get this party started. Please join me in welcoming cloud economist at the DuckBill group, Corey Quinn to the show. Corey, thanks for joining me. Thanks

Guest: Corey

Jon. A pleasure to finally be able to put this together. We've been flirting with it for months and months and months now. So finally you wound up cornering me and at the one of the summits in San Francisco and the best way to get someone to do something like this is to ask 'em in a situation where they cannot possibly say no, and there you go. Believe me, I am very accustomed to this pattern.

Host: Jon

<laugh>

Guest: Corey

Usually I'm just on the other side of it.

Host: Jon

You know what? He's not lying. That's actually what happened. Uh, him and I were talking about, and I'm like, Corey, I've been trying to get you on a call for a while now, you know, I dropped you some here, like, uh, I didn't get your message. Uh, I, I didn't get your email. I didn't. Well, now that we were face to face, you're like, uh, yeah, I guess we gotta do it.

Guest: Corey

My excuses, they ran out.

Host: Jon

<laugh> nice. I like it. So, Corey, uh, actually the last time you and I were on a recording was probably in the early pandemics area, 2020. We did a three part webinar series with Jeff Barr turned out really great. The feedback from everybody was pretty cool. And you know, our careers have taken different paths from when we started out.

Guest: Corey

Yeah. I mean, I'm still out here, uh, indulging my ongoing love affair with a sound of my own voice. So I don't know how divergent mine is gone, but yeah, it was, you were at AWS then, and now you're not at AWS now because I see that Jon Myer about logo above your head, not the AWS with the smirk logo on it. So, you know, we, we wind up with different paths, but that's the nice thing is the people in this space tend to remain relatively constant. Their employers do change in the fullness of time.

Host: Jon

I think that's what goes to show that if you're still you, no matter what re regardless of where you go, people will follow you because you're you, it's your personality.

Guest: Corey

Yeah. There's something to be said for building an authentic brand. And the thing that drives me up a wall is when you have these people doing public facing things, developer, advocacy, dev, developing, et cetera, and they leave a company and go to a competitor and suddenly they have nothing but negative things to say about the thing that a month ago they were telling you to sign up for and staking their own authenticity on. And it's, it just demonstrates a certain lack of maturity and thought, and a lack of willingness to look at the long term consequences. It's okay. So should I believe the things you're telling me now? Or should I just wait till you go work somewhere else, then you'll tell me why I would've been an idiot to listen to you now. It, I don't like that pattern having a consistent perspective and consistent voice is useful, but let's also be clear opinions do also evolve. You just have to Telegraph those opinion shifts and call 'em out when they happen.

Host: Jon

Yeah. You, you have to capture 'em and the trust factor from going from one to the other. Now I'm no longer with AWS, but I still love it. Uh, the people there, uh, you know, it was just fun. I miss the people I miss. So of the people I work with and the ability to do it, but I think where I'm at now, it allows me to provide, uh, a better voice for Amazonians because they don't like other Amazonians talking about Amazonians where I'm on the outside and I get to actually capture their stories. So they let me in a little bit more.

Guest: Corey

I find that when I try and get folks on my podcast to talk about what they're working on, uh, there's a whole bunch of red tape that goes into it as well. Like, well, you have to be press certified and you have to make sure that you're not like they act as if I'm about to just start dragging people on the show. Like I have on the screaming in the cloud podcast, I have something like 400 episodes out now. And as I look through them, all, there's not a single example of me doing that to anyone, but yep. That's it. I I've decided to finally snap and just drag some random developer advocate from a service team. And because that's the whole plan that I was building up for. Yeah. If you give me Adam, Celski, I, I can understand the concern. Uh, there's also to be direct, very little point in giving me Adam Celski, cuz I've never once seen any indication that he does anything other than stick religiously to talking points in public, as he grows into the role. Ideally that'll start to change. But right now it's well, honestly I can read, I can do a better dramatic reading of a press release than he can. So what's the point

Guest: Corey

<laugh> I dig that

Host: Jon

Definitely a better dramatic press release. Okay. I have a question for you when you and I we're at San Francisco. In fact, I, we ran into each other at reinvent. I didn't get a chance to corner you there for joining the show, but San Francisco worked out much better, smaller crowd. Uh,

Guest: Corey

I was a lot less running around busy.

Host: Jon

Yeah. It was actually only one little floor for us to do everything and, and talk. And we had probably, this was a total improv conversation. What like 30 minutes, you and I were probably standing here talking about it. And I gained a different perspective and understanding of who Corey is, because what you see on Twitter, what you see. And I don't see much on LinkedIn from you, but what you see on Twitter is definitely your personality. But when you get to talk to you, it's your personality, but you have an in depth conversation where Twitter, you have 144 characters versus, Hey, listen, Corey, I understand you have this point of view, but I have to ask you, I think you're a little misunderstood from the crowd, from the people. Now you have a huge following, but I think your perspective and your personality is a little misunderstood from really actually getting to know you.

Guest: Corey

I would say that's probably right. It's hard to remember the human on the other side of the screen and the pandemic has done no one, any favors in that. Historically in previous years, someone doesn't like something I write or something. I say it's a lot easier in those days to wind up sitting down, having a chat with them. And generally speaking, when someone despises me, one of the best ways I found to overcome that has always been well, let's talk for half an hour and we'll see what you think of at the end of it. And overwhelmingly the response to that has always been, oh, you're, you're not just a cynical bitter asshole. It's no, no I am, but there's more nuance to it than that is all. And cuz again, my entire job here, as I see it is to shine a somewhat harsh and often sarcastic light on large companies in this industry.

Guest: Corey

It's I speak first and foremost as a customer of these companies and the services that I'm trying to consume to build a thing that is often in its own. Right? Terrible. But the, so when I see things that aren't working right, or a bad developer experience, my failure mode as a developer myself, has always been that. I assume that I'm somehow stupid, that I am not good enough to use these things and that's wrong it's that the interface is crappy and the documentation is Byzantine and the story is bizarre, but that is, that is not a failing on my part and calling that out and doing the learning and public thing and saying the quiet part out loud has really resonated with an awful lot of people. Remember when I started doing this, I had less than 2000 Twitter followers. And my first issue in the newsletter went to 500 people. It's gotten bigger since then just because what I'm saying does resonate and not everyone's gonna like me. And a lot of people wish that I would just say the positive things, but at that point I should just shut it down and get a job in marketing. You can't buy my opinion. You can buy my attention at best.

Host: Jon

Why do you take to Twitter first? Is it easier or is it better to actually get more visibility? I mean, granted, I do like some of the threads that you follow through, I get a kick outta it. I don't take 'em personally. If you were to drop a Twitter thread on me about it though, there's not much information. Uh, but I would probably laugh and enjoy it and it because of how you come across. But that's me, that's my personality. I don't try to take

Guest: Corey

Personality the point not to go after individuals with the exception of Larry Ellison to be very clear here. And that there's a reason behind that. It's like you don't want individuals to read a thing and feel crappy. And I do understand and accept that this is something I've gotten wrong in years past that Amazon has a bunch of very small service teams. And from the Amazonian perspective, I'm making fun of effectively three people in a room making a decision. Well, from my perspective, it's a one and a half trillion dollar company. That's put out a thing that makes hundreds of millions of dollars a month. Cuz I see it on customer bills and no one is pointing out the, the challenges with it and the ludicrous aspects of it. That's the voice I've always strive to be. So my point has never been to make individuals feel bad it's to, if anything, realize, have companies realize that some of their messaging doesn't land, right. Doesn't resonate right now. The more I see how the sausage is made, the more I realize how nuanced and challenging this tight rope act is. And I'm certainly not suggesting I get it right all the time, but doing better today than I did yesterday is sort of the entire goal.

Host: Jon

How many Amazonians might reach out to you and be like, you know, they take it a little personally, uh, that you're attacking one of their services rather than kind of sitting back and realizing that you're just trying to be the voice of the customer and on this side now, and I'm gonna spin that question just a little bit more is that AWS does bring you in for a lot of these conversations or a lot of these talks. So for a company that you, I wanna say, call out and PO, I don't wanna say poke fun of, but you have a little fun and humor. Uh, but they also bring you in doesn't that speak volume as well

Guest: Corey

In the interest of full disclosure, Amazon does does more than that. They pay me for my advice as voice of the customer style feedback and overwhelmingly the answer to just how often does that happen is almost never because what does happen a lot is okay, so you did your whole dog and pony show about the service. Yes. Yes. The jokes are hilarious. Tell me more about why it is. You feel that way. Tell me about your use case. Tell me how it is. You see this service fitting in and because there's an overwhelming customer obsession that really does shine through on the Amazonian side of it. Because again, 90, 95% of what Amazon does is great. It's that missing five to 10% where the hilarity lives and that's where the uncomfortable improvement opportunities are. And yeah, I could spend my time talking about how great all this other stuff is, but they already do that. A lot, few people are out talking about the dissatisfied aspects about this thing would be so much better if only if fill in the blank here.

Host: Jon

Now you do that. You actually bring that value. It would be so much better if you do X or what is the thought process behind it. Now you put a lot more humor into it and a little more sarcastic and snark. I personally enjoy. I mean, I'm following you on Twitter because I wanna see what your comment is next. It's almost like, you know, Howard Sterns, like why, why are there more listeners that don't like him versus those who do, because you wanna know what's gonna happen next. I actually find some of your stuff in, it resonates with me now. I might not agree with everything that you have to say and I'd be like, oh, I'm not sure about that one, but more times than not, I'm looking at I'm going through something and I'm like, he's got a point here or I don't take it personal. I'm I'm laughing at some of the feed that some of the, you know, calls that you're on or the, um, oh, what was it? What was the other one that you were actually doing a live tweet about? Actually do a live tweet about a bunch of them, but uh, they're um, revenue calls that happen.

Guest: Corey

Oh, the earnings calls every quarter. Yeah, those are fun. It's a let's because that's one of the most corporate phrasing of anything that get leaks into the public view. So how do we translate this with basically no filter and how do we explain this to people without saying the sort of saying the stay, the quiet part out loud. And I have no partners in this space and my largest customer is a low single digit percentage of revenue. So I, no one is gonna be able to threaten me into keeping quiet on a thing. I, my opinions are consistently my own. And that is something that adds significant value. When I start using a service and doing live tweets with screenshots, I don't know how it's gonna end. I haven't prepared that in advance sometimes it's great. Sometimes it's terrible, but this is how I iteratively work through things.

Guest: Corey

I have a knack for stumbling blindly into sharp edges, but I, a lot of people do that and there is value in doing things like that, that in a way that expresses to other people, my primary audience on this, of course being other customers that, yeah, when you have trouble with this thing, it's not just you, that's the overwhelming message I'm trying to bring in. Now. I, I don't necessarily think that most people are hate following me. There are maybe a dozen people or so that don't like what I say and respond with weird comments sometimes. But the overwhelming number of people who respond are doing so either positively or aren't saying anything at all, and that's again, it's fine. I like the story you asked, why Twitter fast feedback and it's somewhat ephemeral. Whereas if I write a detailed long blog post on something and I misunderstood something at the very outset, well, that was a whole lot of wasted time now wasn't it. Whereas being able to get instant feedback and instant gratification by tossing something out there to a bunch of people who are generally aware of the industry and the ebb and flow of various service patterns, it helps sharpen the thought process. It really tightens the feedback loop and it, it leads to better outcomes for everyone. Plus let's be honest. I enjoy it. It's fun.

Host: Jon

<laugh> I think we all enjoy it as well. Uh, just the, from when you transitioned in, in 2020, I actually had a chance to meet you at AWS S K in Chicago. It was on, on a bar right outside of it. We won't get into details. What happened? No, just kidding. Um, but I had a chance to meet you. And the next day you were at our keynote, you were a guest that came up and, uh, and did a speaking session. And then during that, uh, time, shortly after everybody's not going anywhere and we were trying to figure out something to do. And I think I, I, I tagged you on Twitter. I was like, anybody up for this? How about you? And you like jumped in and then Jeff Barr jumped in and then we had a whole like party going on. And you went from, uh, you know, a small amount of followers in the last two years to what are you up now? What's your Twitter count? Hold on one second. I should do this. Um, good

Guest: Corey

Question

Host: Jon

Now for a quick interruption, a huge shout out to our friends at Veeam for sponsoring this episode, Veeam backup for AWS can easily protect all of your Amazon EC two RDS and VPC data. Wait a second. They can protect my VPC data too. Yep. That's right. Simplify AWS, backup and recovery while ensuring security and compliance. All right. Now back to our episode, and

Guest: Corey

If we're recording this 86,300. Yeah. When I started this, I had less than 2000 and it took me all of seven years to build that up. Now it just, it's grown geometrically since then. And I've, I've gotten better at tweeting. I, I found my voice in a way that that lends itself to this and for better or worse, it does lead to some really interesting conversations and equivalent outcomes.

Host: Jon

Now I have a,

Guest: Corey

I don't pretend to understand it. I mean, again, my, my jokes are mostly for me. Yeah. The fact that I finally found a way to express them in a way that resonates with others. Well, that's kind of a bonus,

Host: Jon

But I think that the thing is that your personal or your personality is the same, no matter what, whether you're sitting here on a recording with me or in San Francisco, uh, by the way, I enjoyed our conversation in San Francisco because I got to know more about you and your deep thought process. And I was understanding where you were coming from, from your tweets and your personality. And you, I got a little more insight into it. Now, if you would've asked yourself the old Corey Quinn before, like say pandemic a little bit before, would you be still be doing the same thing?

Guest: Corey

Remember I've been doing this in various forms for five years now. And it was a, it was a big gamble. I got fired for my last job. Imagine that, that I worked for the small startup where things were great and I was building and doing interesting things. And then we got acquired by a giant finance company. And it turns out that my personality works in those environments about as well as you would think. I also like solving problems in a tilting up those windmills. And initially the first few months of a job, people love me because I'm solving a lot of the problems in the area I was brought in to address things in, and then that's mostly taken care of. And I start looking for big, interesting problems, and I find them in other people's areas and office politics is challenging because you're not opting out your forfeiting.

Guest: Corey

And I was very bad in those days at expressing, uh, what I saw, what I was attempting to achieve. So I got fired an awful lot. So setting up a independent consultancy seemed like the next logical approach. I, I focused it around a problem that I could solve repeatedly and well in an advisory capacity. The AWS bill though, I had a few other options. I was toying with it really caught on. And one thing led to another, a couple of years in, I took on a business partner, Mike, who's the CEO of the DuckBill group. Now we're 11 people as of this recording and things continue to work really well for us. I, I was expecting to get yelled at and shut down after I started doing the in public performance art stuff, but it started this marketing pay attention to me and understand this is the problem I solve.

Guest: Corey

So when you have that problem, I'm top of the mental SEO stack and then things sort of spiraled from there. My plan originally was to basically finally validate what everyone always told me that, yeah, my jokes, aren't funny that I'm getting it wrong. And my personality does in fact, hold me back. At which point I could go back to my middle name and back to using my maiden name and the whole Corey Quinn persona basically just fades away. And that never happened. Like that was my exit. And I, I don't believe I need that exit hatch anymore.

Host: Jon

Okay. So is Corey Quinn ever, sorry, or apologize for any of his tweets that he puts out there and realizes his mistake? Now I know the answer to this because I obviously follow you on some of the things, but if you put something out there, do you correct yourself

Guest: Corey

Or apologize

Host: Jon

On any level that you

Guest: Corey

A cost me? Absolutely nothing. And understand that there, there, there are times where easy example on this, a few years back, I wound up doing one of those downfall parody videos where Hitler reacts to his AWS bill. And I, I did a whole thing on that. And Nick, you provide a script on it and the mistake that I made with completely on thinking, but that doesn't matter because impact outweighs intent by a lot is, uh, was I had a, the only spoken line by a woman in that entire thing is one turns to another. And the line that I used was that's okay. I get terabytes and gigabytes confused too. And that was because I'd actually done that in a calculation earlier that day. And it was, yeah, those top of mind, it did not land that way. A number of people took that as being, uh, very, uh, very problematic in a bunch of ways.

Guest: Corey

And they were correct. I took the video down and I apologized in a thread about exactly why I'd done that. Cuz my point is not to make people feel crappy, at least not, unless they're, you know, executives at multi-trillion dollar companies, in which case, in some cases, yeah. You're trying to snake a whole bunch of money by selling me a thing. Maybe you should feel somewhat bad about this. And there have been times where I've gotten it wrong and I have I've deleted tweets as a result where it doesn't land the way that I intended it. There have been times where I I'm always relatively quick to apologize. And I think that's where people get into trouble on social media because whenever someone says whatever it is that they wind up there, a position on this is my immediate reaction even now is I feel a flash of defensiveness and I've learned to walk away for a minute, get a drink of water, think it through, calm down, and then think about it much more dispassionately.

Guest: Corey

And I've been able to shorten that cycle like, because people don't generally believe it or not like to start those fights like that. Wasn't funny because of X, it, it's not one of those areas where like the people, at least that I curate, uh, as far as my following goes are not out there just to pick fights there, there, when someone says that, wasn't funny really think about why someone's saying that because I tell lots of jokes and I don't get those reactions very often where people get into trouble is they have that. They give into that flash of defensiveness and then they double down on what they said and they double down again and they double down again. And before you know it, they have put themselves into a situation where absolutely no one can come help, can come and help them out of it. It, whereas if they had just said, oh, you know, you're right. That wasn't quite what I intended. And wasn't the direction I was going and I'll do better and moved on it. Would've been a non-issue

Host: Jon

It would've dragged on, on and on it. Would've probably been quickly forgotten. Now it's something that's gonna resonate and you're following. And people are gonna look at you different, you know

Guest: Corey

Exactly. And the fact that you're asking me, do I ever delete tweets is a perfect example of this. It's why you're not asking me a question. So what was that horrifying shit you put out there a while back that wound up leading to newspaper articles and, and half your customers diverting you and a whole bunch of people resigned from your company cuz they didn't wanna support your nonsense. It, yeah, like that is the failure mode of this. And there's very little upside cuz I got a level with you. Even if I come up with what I believe to be the best joke ever. And the industry disagrees and finds it problematic. Well, I can probably find a better joke. I don't know that I can necessarily come back from making people feel less than I was bullied a lot as a kid. I don't wanna be that person.

Host: Jon

I know when you and I were talking, uh, and this was back, uh, I, I think this was actually back when I was at AWS. I was mentioning that, you know, I'd, I'd like to have you back on the show. This was actually probably early 20, 21. And I made a, um, a comment and I was like, yo, we'll see. It was something like, did Corey Quinn like trim his long hair or something like that? Do you remember that comment? It was somewhere along the lines and you as your personality, don't take it personal, but you were like, uh, make sure you understand the person you're working with and that the joke doesn't offend them or resonate and try not to poke fun of people. And it was really kind of, I was taken back coming from you because I was like, wait a second. Isn't that what Corey does? And Corey doesn't do that on a personal level. He does it on a corporate level, uh, except for one person. And your advice has actually helped me in some of my stuff is like, always know who you're talking with and try not to, they might take it wrong or they might be offended. They might be have our personal relationship with their hair. Who knows? But I remember that advice and I've kind of taken that throughout my podcast.

Guest: Corey

I don't remember that conversation, but it does sound like something. I'd say, let me give

Host: Jon

You another example. You want me to dig that up on time? No, I'm just kidding. <laugh>

Guest: Corey

No, no. It's referring to whole bunch refer to a group of people as guys, for example, uh, there are two schools of thought on that. One is that well guys is non-gendered and well the easy re joinder to that is cool. So how many guys did you sleep with back in college? Cuz it's always a dude bringing that up. And the other side of it is that, well, no, it's like it, it does make people who do not identify as men or sorry, who are, who are not men wind up being a feeling less than so the two modes are, is I've. I, it took me a year to get that outta my vocabulary back when I was still employed in a regular job. And because I was a public speaker and the reason my reasoning behind that was if no one is going to feel upset or less than if I refer to a room as folks, but some people clearly will.

Guest: Corey

If I refer to them as guys, therefore I should not do that. That, that was my thought process at the time. And I stand by that. It's I'm not saying that you have to go out of your way to avoid ever causing offense to anyone. I mean, I'm sure there's a whole bunch of marketing people that would gleefully strangle me given half the option, but you don't do it based upon things that people are or things that they might take very personally, whereas things that they do is often a little bit better, but you also never know the backstory behind something and the, the perils are massive in return for what is admittedly a fairly weak joke it's whereas no one is going to be offended by and large. Uh, when I point out that a service from AWS has a funny name, sure. Someone who, who named it and went through all those meetings might be a little irked at it, but it doesn't strike at the core of their self identity in any realistic way. That's where I tend to draw the line and I'm not suggesting I always get it right. But again, the whole point is to try and do better tomorrow than you did yesterday. That's how I like

Host: Jon

Like AWS, uh, info dash. Was it

Guest: Corey

Infin was like great Joe

Host: Jon

That's right. Yes.

Guest: Corey

Someone over Twilio came up with that joke and I love that at JNA underscore sh on Twitter loved the, uh, loved the gag. It turned into something amazing. I wish I'd come up with it.

Host: Jon

Ah, that was wait a second. I thought you did. Or you just took it on, you took it to the next level.

Guest: Corey

Oh, I just wound up, uh, I wound up up publicizing it. Other people have done stickers on it and they're asked, I thought it was awesome. Now the downside to that is that some people were starting to get confused and not getting a joke. So okay. You have to periodically reference the fact that it's a joke so people can appreciate it and join in as opposed to feeling foolish or misled after they try and look for documentation on non-existent service.

Host: Jon

Okay. I'm gonna switch gears real quick here. Before we wrap things up in the next couple of minutes, Corey, what is exactly a cloud economist? What is your role there and what does your company do for folks? Because I know cloud bill is always at the top of your mind.

Guest: Corey

You basically, uh, answered the question. People have AWS bills because, because it's an unbounded growth problem. Uh, I tend to believe a few things around this. Uh, one is that it, the AWS bill left in isolation becomes an unbounded growth problem because there's nothing that acts as a forcing function to turn things off. Uh, the bill is also derived less from how many customers you have and more by how many engineers you hire and that it is an equal mix in many respects of arithmetic and psychology. Uh, I often often call what we do being marriage counseling, between engineering and finance. There's an awful lot of human factor that, that weighs into this. And the bills are interestingly complex. Architecture is expressed through bills. And because we do this in an advisory consulting sense, we are not beholden to internal stakeholders necessarily. We look at these things and say, oh, if you do X, you will save approximately Y it also gets into more forward looking approaches such as understanding what the economic model looks like.

Guest: Corey

And about half of our consulting to be very direct is helping companies negotiate their long term commitments and other contracts with AWS itself. The thing that often surprises people is like, oh, Amazon must hate you. It's no, every time we get involved, it turns out the contract negotiation goes a hell of a lot more smoothly because suddenly we're talking their, their, their customers no longer asking for things that they cannot grant. And instead is coming with better data and saying, this is what we believe is going to happen. This is what we would like. It's a lot easier to grant that than try and guess what the, what the customer really means when they're saying something, we practice with these things.

Host: Jon

<laugh> what is exactly your role at your company at cloud economist? But I think you're like in marketing and social, I mean, first of all, uh, if anybody were to mention, you know, the duck bell group, obviously Corey Quinn comes to mind right away. Sorry, Mike, no offense. I did get a chance to meet you. Uh, but so we would my bad, but anyway, I mean like really, what is your role? When do you come into the conversation or are you just part of marketing? I mean, help me understand

Guest: Corey

No great question. We have a couple of excellent principle cloud economists. We have Tim banks and we have Alex Rasmusson at the time of this recording and they are better at this stuff than I ever was on the, uh, on the being able to generate out a holistic analysis of a full-on customer environment. I like coming in for about half a day and finding the really interesting expressions of things, finding the meaningful levers, I'm bad at the documentation part. I'm bad at building out full-on reports on this. And I'm bad at the persistent diligence on these things in ongoing basis. I am brought in for specifically weird inflection point issues, but you're right. A lot of what I do is spent on content and understanding how these various services fit together and doing inside R and D work for future stuff. There's a lot that factors into it, but I am no longer for example, running engagements myself most of the time, every once in a while, I do go back into it just to keep, make sure that I understand the experience on both sides of that table, but effectively I am there more or less as oversight, as opposed to the person doing the day to day work that said we also don't hire junior people.

Guest: Corey

So customers in some cases have said, oh, well we want Corey involved in this engagement. It's like, I promise you don't you want a good outcome? Why don't we go with the people who are better at this than I am. This is not the big consultancy model where the named partner comes in and tells you beautiful stories and then drops someone fresh outta grad school onto who has no real world experience to work on Excel for 80 hours a week. It doesn't work that way. It's I mean, sure. If I wanted to turn this into a building revenue project instead of the actually getting customers to a better outcome. Yeah. Maybe that would be interesting, but I, I continue to be guided by what I wish had existed back when I was running ops teams and I was distracted by the AWS bill, cuz that's the burning fire of the moment and it was unplanned work and I was not being measured on the success of any of that. I wanted to be able to pay someone else to make it their problem. I strive to be the, or the company or the person that I wish had existed back then. But didn't

Host: Jon

You indicated you're bad at documentation. Are you bad at writing it? Because I explicitly remember saying you tweeting that you read everything that comes outta AWS documentation. So I'm assuming it's bad at writing documentation.

Guest: Corey

Yes. I'm bad at documenting exactly the ins and the outs. And again, I crave novelty. It's the joys of my own particular expression of ADHD. Whereas, so talking to someone about, oh, well you haven't bought the right ROIs. Like sure. The first time you find something really interesting or a managed Nat gateway, uh, data processing fee issue. It's interesting. The, but a lot of this stuff maps between accounts is why it's such a great consulting space because it doesn't matter what your company does. Specifically. The expressions of cloud architecture tend to remain fairly constant between environments, regardless of whether your streaming videos or selling widgets. And that is, that's a problem that I really like because of things I work on become repeatable. The first time I do something it's awesome and innovative and groundbreaking. And the third time I do it, okay, I've gotten this down in the eighth time. It's torture because it's, I don't wanna talk about this one thing anymore. I want to do something else. My options were really expand the company beyond just me or shut it down and go pivot to something else. I think I made the right decision. Some people might disagree. <laugh> far here that we can just up and gone away. It's like, yeah, I hear you. Thank you.

Host: Jon

And so far, yes, you've made the right decision. I think I feel the same way where if I keep doing the same repetitive task, except for podcasting, cuz I don't talk to the same people repetitively. And if I do, it's about a different subject doing, these is fun, but doing the same repetitive task is like, yeah, what's next I'm done with this. I wanna do some, I've

Guest: Corey

Had 400 episodes now screaming in the cloud and I don't get bored doing those.

Host: Jon

Yep, exactly.

Guest: Corey

Borrow someone else's brain about something they're passionate about for half an hour. Every time I do it, like how do you get bored with that? Nah, if you like people in closet, you can't

Host: Jon

<laugh> I love it. The conversation having with people and you can usually tell from my energy level that comes across from, from start to finish and beforehand where it's like, Hey, how you doing no problem. Then all of a sudden we kick it into high gear and we have a fun conversation. People hang around for this casual. Let's get to know these people. And there's really, I mean, literally Corey and I have no script in front of it right before the recording. I said, I'm gonna ask you this question and wherever it goes from there, that's it. And that's how, that's how the conversations go.

Guest: Corey

And my response was effectively great. Uh, there's nothing you're gonna throw in my way that you, that I won't be able to handle the way I do. It requires a little bit more prep than that. It's because a lot of times I'm talking to folks who just need a little encouragement to be able to tell their story. I ask what topics they wanna make sure that we talk about. I ask what topics we wanna make sure we don't talk about because given my reputation, which I am not blind to entirely, I know that there's gonna be some nervousness of, is he just here to make me look bad? Well, no, I, that is not what the show's about. And I also like to ask another question or two around there, such as what can I ask to help you, help you, uh, present as your absolute best.

Guest: Corey

And there's also the question I ask everyone to normalize it. How do you pronounce your name? And I asked my best friend, our relationship is old enough to drink from back from middle school. And he and I, uh, I know how his name is pronounced Brandon Shaw, but I ask everyone that question because I want to normalize that and I get some strange looks at it, but I'm still gonna do it just because names are important. And there's no better way for me to say, I don't care about my guest than to screw up their name. This isn't a Starbucks order. Steve, call me Steve, just, just give me my coffee. It'll be fine. Names are important. And what people wanna be called matters. People matter. And I think that's something we lose sight of in this industry.

Host: Jon

I do the same thing in the beginning of, uh, the calls where I have a little hard trouble myself pronounce it. I'm like, how do you pronounce it? And you're like, no, don't worry about it. No, no, no. We need to worry about it. I have to do this. You don't understand. I will write it out. I will say it a hundred times going into it. And if I pronounce it wrong, I want you to correct me. And I will definitely make sure it's right. I find it respectful obviously in our profession is to make sure you do that. I can attest to your exact questions. And by the way, they haven't changed in two years because I was actually on your podcast. And mine released actually it was a year and a half ago. I think September back in 2020, maybe, uh, right around there, those were the questions you asked me. Like, you know, what can we talk about? What don't we wanna talk about? What's important to you. And actually that's how I asked all my guests. When I do these, I was like, this is not about me. It's about you. What do you wanna talk? I am the median. I'm just a guy. That's gonna pull out those questions, get a little more deeper and get your personnel out there and get the audience enjoying who you are and your story that needs to be told.

Guest: Corey

That's the approach I generally try to take. And it seems to be working so far. People come back on the show sometimes other times it's I I never yet. I have a perfect track record. So far of 400 episodes in of never once getting someone sanctioned for appearing on the show because my whole point is like, oh, you wanna have your PR team look at and approve? Absolutely. There have been a couple that have gotten torpedo just because oh, legal got wind of it. And they don't want this to go out at, uh, often regulated companies. But okay, again, I'm not in this to get anyone in trouble. It never sees a light a day without their tacit approval.

Host: Jon

The 100%. So Corey, what's next for you? What event is next or what's what's on your plate? What, what is exciting for you that you wanna share with the audience? I'd like to know what event you might be at next so we can run in and have another conversation, but

Guest: Corey

Oh, I'll be in New York for the AWS summit. And as of this recording, uh, a week ago we kicked off, uh, reinvent planning cuz that's only six months away. And this year for once, I'm going to do a little bit more than seat of the pants flying. I'm bringing a team with me this time. That'll be fun. More to come on that in future months.

Host: Jon

<laugh> okay. New York. I will be there. I'm in an hour and a half away as you know, actually. Corey wait, wait, wait, wait a second. Corey. Weren't you born? You were born in my area in Pennsylvania. Where was you born or you lived, oh

Guest: Corey

Yeah, I've been all over the place. I've been, uh, I, geez, I lived in Pennsylvania. New Jersey got expelled from boarding schools in New York and Vermont. Uh, most of my childhood was spent in Maine, uh, Wisconsin and now, well California for half my life. And it's weird. I guess I don't, I, I still don't view myself as being from California, but this is where I've spent more time than anywhere else.

Host: Jon

So you will be at New York. I will be at New York summit. This recording will probably go out just about right around the time of that because I do quick turnarounds. I do my own editings and quickly I'll get it out as, uh, as soon as possible. I will see you in New York. We have to talk about reinvent. I got an awesome place sponsored by N ops and a bunch of other folks, uh, go to market Delta, probably kid caster. We actually got a Villa. It's gonna be a, basically a podcasting type studio setup, live keynote streaming. You can come in, donate to your favorite, like girls in tech, yo, whatever you'd like to do, and you can live tweet. We're gonna have the full on recording session. I'd like to invite you there. You don't have to answer you're on the spot, but you don't have to answer. Come on in, do a recording, use the room, whatever, have some fun.

Guest: Corey

It's appreciated more to come in future months.

Host: Jon

Yeah, there you go. I know we've kicked off our reinvent planning as well. We'll talk when it gets closer today, I know you get really busy, busy and hectic out there as you should. So I really appreciate it. Uh, Corey, anything else you wanna share with the audience before we wrap things up?

Guest: Corey

No, as always, if people are curious what the hell we're talking about, the best place to find me is last week in aws.com, where basically you get to see a distilled version of the personality. You've just been sitting through for half an hour as always. Thanks for the time Jon. I appreciate it.

Host: Jon

Yeah. And don't forget to subscribe to that newsletter that comes out. When does the newsletter come out?

Guest: Corey

Mondays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays at the moment.

Host: Jon

There you go.

Guest: Corey

Monday, Wednesdays long form and Thursdays is about security content.

Host: Jon

Ooh, wait, wait, does that mean you're gonna be out to reinforce?

Guest: Corey

No, not this year.

Host: Jon

Not this year. Yeah. I'm not sure it is the actual

Guest: Corey

Go to RSA, which was wild and fun, but that's a separate,

Host: Jon

I saw that I'm a little disappointed. I wasn't there with a lot of the folks, but I did follow some of the things that were going on, but we will definitely be talking here in the future. We'll catch up in New York, everybody Corey quien cloud economist for the DuckBill group, dude. I appreciate it.

Guest: Corey

Always a pleasure. Thank you, Jon.

Host: Jon

All right. My name's Jon Myer. Don't forget to hit that light subscribe end notified, because guess what? We're outta here.

 

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