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Kevin Pliester's photo

What was your first idea for Netlify? So what you write as a "salad of thoughts" on a whiteboard :D

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Sarah Drasner's photo

From the founders:

Matt was building a traditional CMS on the legacy stack, and saw how the world of Frontend started to change dramatically. He talked about it with Chris and they saw that it opened a door for a new way of building for the web where they might decouple frontend and backend, building and hosting.

Matt and Chris both saw that on one hand, the legacy monolithic webapps had not only become redundant to an emerging API economy, but also increasingly insecure, and problems of scaling and performance and compatibility with modern (gitbased) workflows were becoming ever present.

So they started to brainstorm a solution: That to decouple frontend and backend, building and hosting, they actually had all the building blocks they needed:

  • Git had introduced new standards of collaboration and version control, JS frameworks, build tools, mature javascript,
  • Browsers that had gone from being document viewers to full fledged operation systems, the capabilities of API and a movement around serverless.

However there was no viable workflows - no proper glue to tie it together, and the current infrastructure and deployment tools were all architected to support a legacy web, not a decoupled one.

They thought that if they built a platform on customized infrastructure and deployment tools and the like, then you could make that decoupled web a reality. Which would be better in every way: faster, safer, more scalable, more compatible with modern workflows. That all this could help enable web developers do so much more.