Hack.Summit() Notes: Orion Henry – Heroku – 02222016 – 1 pm EST

02222016 – 1 pm EST

Orion Henry

Founder, Heroku

After the Cloud

2006 AWS Amazon web services

Programming as an accessible too for everybody

A Small Matter of Programming

Ronnie Nardi

Deployment was a problem

Bringing Ruby apps and running business on code editing tool

Turn educational tool into useful thing

Client server


Entrepreneur thing, good thing…


Joy of being biggest that YC had experienced

The cloud

Leverages huge economies of scale but centralizes the Internet

Snowden, etc. rogue state, etc.

What about decentralized model

Possible to do cloud like things without a centralized model

Case study

IPython Notebooks

Interactive Computing

In academic field


IP[y] works like a notebook

Talk in human text and you can put down in code what you are actually doing

Good way to share ideas


Have to install software python, pip, collaboration and sharing is like with a Microsoft doc



Funded by academia, make Python better

It’ll be easy, PTSD flashbacks

Do you have to build a complex server side architecture

Do you need to build heavy duty cloud infrastructure

Virtualization enabling technology to kick cloud off

ASM.js web assembly

ASM.js is subscript of Javascript that can be easily compiled down as machine code

Good performance

Unreal engine etc.

Web Assembly, compact binary format

drop side by 50-60%

Do not have to parse

JavaScript has gone from a joke language browser is now a valid compiler target

Any language can run in the browser

Fulfills the role that JV set out to do

JavaScript has become



Extension to most modern browsers

Google Hangouts in a box

Data Channels

Grab camera and mic and setup video chat

Circumvent firewalls


Can do data channels

Direct connect to another browser

Proof of concept

Analyze State-by-State Changes in Earthquake Frequency

Python is running locally

Live coding ability

People can collaborate

Environment where the browser is doing most of the work

You can kill the server and the app continues to run

No server on the back end

So here is what the traditional version of the app would be

Client for text editing, identity login, passwords,

Delivers the application in HTML

Stores docker containers

Peer-to-Peer messaging

Normal way to do it

WASM way to do it

Crazy town

Mad scientist stuff

I want to imagine what this app would be all the way decentralized

What would you need to do that?

People smarter than me

This is retarted

Speculative stuff…

Include an IDF

WebRTC handshake/STUN/TURN

Simple protocol could be factored out in DNS

Firewall can be turned around

In case firewalls cannot be breached

WASM – native application

HTTP – App stores

Building native application served out on the net

App store component, when do you download the app?

Cash manifests

Caching APIs

Application delivery

Offline application caching APIs

At some point in the future if you have a programmable

Identity + Caching Policy + Code Signing

Code could live anywhere


The one I am personally most passionate about



They suck

Stuff like last password, etc..


Vastly superior but very centralized



Certificate authorities

Know we are not being man in the middled

Future that is fully decentralized

Need to cover everything

Distributed registry of names and public keys that could live somewhere globally

DNS equivalent

Access to public keys

Prove the you are via cryptographic signatures

Crazy talk?



Block chain

Mine out names





Bring identity with you to sites

Would not have to create accounts

Never go through account creation again

Never have to login again as long as you

Protect privacy with multiple identities

Factual person and one you do not

Tie identities to third parties

Final frontier

Decentralized State

Remove centralized cloud

Imagine a public magic decentralized database

Data is stored as encrypted blobs

Social media posts could be decrypted by friends

Private message, decrypted by person with key

Technology for this thing? 

Big chain db

Big decentralized data stores, primary problem is economics

Who is going to pay for it?

Facebook, Google, they pay for the hardware with ads

All it takes to do it

Bitcoin solves this by being money

If someone can crack incentive structures then they would start to have incentive to build stuff

Do we have things more valuable than out

Imagine if bitcoin miners were instead standing up distributed cloud infrastructure to make cryptocurrency instead of generating heat

Thank you



Python in browser app

Web Assembly

Push application to hardware of client!

Crack identity!

Ping, Twitter

What about distributed cloud smartphone computing?

How is audience connected to Heroku?  30%  wow! 

Ed says I love Heroku

I hate sys admin devops

Deploy apps without having

AWS is fantastic

Heroku solves a deep pain

Villains solved something they are very angry about

Most successful business start from a point of pain

I am in pain of World War III

So Solar Poem Machine

Save time and money, if you went an worked in the job you are building the job you are building the product for.  This is what the time in the IRC was like and working in public school after seminary.

Best companies come out of suffering!

Allowed to swear, make it raw!

Ed agrees, entrepreneurs who have felt the deep pain are the most successful

Solving a personal itch

248 votes

How often does a programmer need to change jobs, what does a resume look like?

Interesting, no super strong feelings

As a person hiring, 5 jobs a year, pretty schizophrenic not going to stick around

Information too siloed if in one place for 25 years

Wherever you are, you need to get better at what you do…

Learn the skills with what you need to do

Sys admin one year, sales second, tech assistance third, etc.

Keep growing, field of work is so narrow that you are not beginning to grow…

Align jobs with passion and interest

Dead end jobs need to jump

In bay area most developers are well paid

Move around and manage career

You need nurturing places to place roots…

What are some new trends in architectural patterns being used in Heroku apps

Not plugged in for 2.5 years now…

I hope that the guys at Heroku do tighter docker integration

Bare bones virtualization

Good abstraction over AWS

Why should you not be able to drag app to Google, or Ireland?

Heroku abstraction

If you were starting today, what would you build?

Lessons learned…

Different questions…

What I am doing to day is different than what I am doing today

9 years ago

Is this going to make a lot of money quickly?

Product that I included in my talk we built due to intellectual curiosity…

Luxuries intellectual itch vs. making money

Experiencial pain,

Exercise, imagine the world is perfect…

Now open eyes…

All the differences are business opportunities….

Are people willing to pay you to fix it?

Would you be a customer if the opportunity arose?

Crappy dev op situation – Heroku

Opening up deployment and server story

Pragmatic and know where to make money

Need experiential pain

Tons of cloud services

Web Developer is being well served now…

Generally, personally interested in serving new markets…

Going after scientific academics…

Thought experiment, programming tools are terrible…



Building things for academics this is good…

Tweet him about protein folding via smartphone grid computing…

If you have never experienced pain then live a little…

Background of Heroku what did you struggle with?

Stuff that predated Heroku, software consultancy

VC, did not know about it

Taking consulting work to work on passion projects because you need to eat

Hire guys to work on the stuff to do the stuff for us

Sleep under a bridge and eat raman, more time!

Caught perpetually in consulting business…

In browser Ruby debugger

Kinda hacky, but really cool…

Not normal lifers, at Ruby conf

Ruby may be more accessible 

People who made transition from other professions….

Led to everyone to trying to get my shit on the Internet

I do not know what to do next…

Heard 100 a times, make button you press to get shit on web

Thus, Heroku

Changing markets

Pivot, suddenly new group of customers came up

Using as hosting service

Value in hosting part of it, apps running in development mode

Started to build two businesses

Tried to make system more robust

Run code more efficiently

We sucked as soon as we started doing that…

# of bugs went through the roof

Come to Jesus moment

Serve people learning to code or serve people trying to run the code

Almost killed the business

Inability to cut something we loved is what almost killed the business

Heroku garden

Get Push to Deploy, main product

100% of effort behind one product

Let baby die on roadside

Big hard early choices

This is where I am giving advice to people with startups

Pivoting is a virtue

But you will not have a business

Heroic is building a ramp

As we built a ramp we would fly off and crash

Chuck of the ramp that has not yet been built

Reach out to Heroku, and they will reach back

Ed asks people to contribute to nonprofits. 

Also, help bring this knowledge into other spoken languages.

About kayaerbil

I am a Berkeley educated chemistry Ph.D. who is moving into the area of working on developing appropriate technology for communities that are subjected to socio-economic oppression. The goal is to use simple and effective designs to empower people to live better lives. Currently, I am working with Native Americans on Pine Ridge, the Lakota reservation in South Dakota. I am working with a Native owned and run solar energy company. We are currently working on building a compressed earth block (CEB) house that showcases many of the technologies that the company has developed. The CEB house is made of locally derived resources, earth from the reservation. The blocks are naturally thermally insulating, keeping the house cool in the summer and warm in the winter. Eventually, a solar air heater and photovoltaic panels will be installed into the house to power the home and keep it warm, while preserving the house off the grid. A side project while in Pine Ridge is a solar computer. I hope to learn about blockchain encryption software for building microgrids. In addition, it is an immediate interest of mine to involve local youth in technology education.
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