4 ways startups say a modern CDN supports their goals

Based on our own experience when we started out and after helping some of our customers grow from their founding all the way to multi-billion-dollar IPOs, we’ve found that nothing helps companies succeed — apart from a great idea of course — more than their ability to be nimble and move quickly to take advantage of opportunities. 

That includes providing their development teams with modern tooling that's easy to use, secure, and flexible, resulting in a product that's fast to load, responsive, and can be iterated on rapidly. Get everything right and you're rewarded with the trifecta: higher customer loyalty, better retention, and increased revenue. A modern CDN built on an edge cloud platform can help you get there by providing a flexible, programmable network that developers can use to customize, manage, and secure content, all within their normal tools and workflows. 

In the old days, CDNs required you to get in contact with a sales team, sign a minimum commitment and then go through professional services to make changes. This meant CDNs had a barrier to entry for smaller companies. With today’s modern CDN though, you can sign up on your time, make changes whenever you want, and pay as you go. 

A CDN should be part of your plan from the beginning. But don’t take our word for it. After talking to dozens of technical leads at startups that participate in our Launchpad program for fast growth, we’ve found four key ways a modern CDN supports startup goals. 

1. Prepares you to meet your high-growth moment

Let’s set the stage: you produce a creative, engaging commercial or video for your product. It airs during an event with high viewership, and suddenly your site is flooded with visitors. Are you ready? Just that happened to Dollar Shave Club, when their 2016 commercial during America’s Big Game brought on visitors at 190x the normal rate. Luckily, they had switched to a modern CDN and were prepared for their moment. 

Startups that aren’t equipped to handle this kind of growth can pay the price with unwanted downtime and the dreaded error message — not to mention missing out on a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for exposure. No matter how big your high-growth moment is, equipping your business and your teams with the power, scalability, and security a modern content delivery strategy brings means you’re prepared to grow with no downtime. 

By caching more at the edge and bypassing trips to the origin, modern CDNs can help reduce infrastructure and egress costs, and help developers operate more efficiently, making configuration changes on the fly. And, unlike the old days, when receiving logs from your CDN could take 24 hours, real-time streaming logs and statistics help you monitor your site’s performance and troubleshoot issues during traffic spikes with no loss of visibility into your system.

2. Helps you put customer experience at the forefront

Modern CDNs can help developers meet high expectations for personalized experiences by allowing them to include personalized data or tailor content based on criteria such as user type, device type, and location, ensuring that people get the information most relevant to them. Some CDNs provide information that can allow for personalized and localized content, like delivering coupons based on a city or zip code; serving versions of a site in different languages based on location and showing product availability based on the region; or serving an image size and quality based on the device it’s being used on. All of this adds to an enhanced user experience. 

3. Empowers your developers and supports DevOps workflows

A modern CDN puts developers in the driver’s seat. Investing in a flexible, programmable network that developers can use to customize, manage, and secure content all within their normal tools and workflows is critical. 

Startups that engage early with a modern CDN can recognize the benefits that come with empowering their developers, like:

  • Improved search rankings: A modern CDN can help make a site or application more secure and its connection more stable, which can reap serious search engine optimization benefits

  • More dynamic, personalized content: The ability to cache dynamically generated content, mix and match uncacheable content with cacheable static content, instantly purge, and get real-time visibility into traffic helps companies cache a lot of content that would otherwise be uncacheable with traditional CDNs, causing more trips to the origin. 

  • Reduced costs and improved efficiency: By caching more at the edge and bypassing trips to origin, modern CDNs can help reduce infrastructure and egress costs, and maybe even increase revenue. 

4. Helps you scale your infrastructure

A modern CDN should be part of your plan from the beginning. It isn’t just about better performance for your customers, it’s a long-term investment in reducing network, server, and edge infrastructure support requirements from your team.

Startups working with Fastly today get access to support and experts beyond traditional CDN experiences. We believe in the long-term growth and support of startups at Fastly, which means we tailor the customer experience in every way. 

Interested in learning more about our programs designed specifically for startups? Check out Fastly Launchpad, and see if you qualify for free credits to help get your started and support your growth. 

Simon Wistow
VP Strategic Initiatives

4 min read

Want to continue the conversation?
Schedule time with an expert
Share this post
Simon Wistow
VP Strategic Initiatives

Simon is a co-founder at Fastly, where he helps lead strategic initiatives. Before helping found Fastly, Simon was a senior search engineer at Yahoo! Europe, LiveJournal, SixApart, Scribd, and then at social help desk company Zendesk. In a past life, he worked on R&D for a leading VFX Company doing films like the Harry Potter series, Troy, Kingdom of Heaven, Sunshine, and Wallace and Gromit. At one point he worked as a cowboy in Australia. Mostly because it seemed like a good idea at the time.