Connected devices are creating very interesting opportunities for new types of businesses. Read on for more insights.
Sramana Mitra: Let’s start by having you introduce yourself as well as PubNub to our audience.
Todd Greene: I am a multi-time entrepreneur. PubNub is a company that I helped start as one of the two co-founders. It was a side project for me until 2012 but full-time for my co-founder, Stephen Blum, who ran the company. In 2012, we raised our first angel round. PubNub is an interesting company. The best way to think about it is the infrastructure needed by developers for software that powers real-time experiences.
When Stephen first showed me PubNub in the early part of the decade, I immediately said, “I could have used this five or six times in the last five years.” What we realized before others was that with the advent of always-on mobile and cheap bandwidth and IoT, these kinds of experiences on computers that you would only see in movies, people are going to start to expect those experiences in their everyday lives. When we first started the company, it was hard to describe that.
There were real-time experiences on the internet before PubNub. Good examples of those would be World of Warcraft or Webex, but the companies who have built those had all hired senior architecture infrastructure teams to build the technology that would synchronize that data or those users together, whether it’s for gaming or business collaboration. We said, “We think there’s an explosion of products that are going to need to have real-time information streaming to them.”
It was a harder story to tell because when we started telling that story, Uber didn’t exist. Slack didn’t exist. All of these products that we take for granted today didn’t exist. PubNub became the first technology that allowed software companies to build those kinds of products in a way that exposed real-time technology to any application developer and created everything from real-time IoT experiences to real-time taxi dispatch applications.
Sramana Mitra: I find it most effective to do a use case. If you could give us a sense of what kind of customers you work with and walk us through a visceral use case, that would be the best.
Todd Greene: There are three general categories of use cases for PubNub that we power. We power well over a thousand customers and thousands of applications. Let me walk you through those three use cases. The first category of products that we power are chat and collaboration products. This is where you have two or more people online together collaborating and chatting together. We power consumer chat applications. We power healthcare. We power B2B and gaming applications.