It’s the Christmas season, and The Salvation Army volunteers are outside stores ringing their bells. I would hypothesize that most people either (A) walk right past them, or (B) give them the change from their pocket. Both of those options are easy decisions that can be made quickly.
What can we learn from The Salvation Army?
People don’t like to think. The question of “how much should I donate?” is an open-ended question that can be surprisingly hard to answer. I bet a lot of people ask themselves that question and then leave without donating anything. When you are accepting online donations, make sure to have pre-set amounts with (if possible) rewards for each donation level. Kickstarter, a crowdfunding site often used to fund artistic projects, does a great job with this. They also use a threshold pledge system, which means that donations are not processed until a specific amount is donated.
A recent success story for pre-set amounts are text message donations for Haiti and Katrina. I didn’t hear many people complaining that $10 is too much or that they wanted to donate a specific amount. Most people donated $10 without question.
The restaurant industry has also figured out that people don’t like to think. I’ve been to quite a few restaurants that show automatic tip calculations on the bill. While calculating the tip is not very difficult, I’m sure the average tip has increased at all of those restaurants.
It’s very simple to add pre-set amounts to a donation form. They are especially effective if you want to attract a lot of smaller donations, while not scaring away the larger donations. Imagine if every Salvation Army bell ringer also accepted $5 credit card donations, and all they needed to do was swipe your card once. I think they would get a lot more donations…
Are there differences in application architecture that are important for the cloud?
It is important to build applications and workloads specifically for the cloud. You will want to carefully consider what services the cloud provider of your choice has to offer and how your application leverages those services.
What’s the benefit of hosting in the cloud vs. traditional options?
Reasons not to host in the cloud are few and far between. If you don't host in the cloud, you will spend more in both CapEx and OpEx to manage your applications or websites in a traditional environment.
How can I improve the performance of my application?
There are several primary reasons that applications perform poorly, and in some cases it’s a combination of several. 1) Data latency: If your application is making calls to a data source (whether it’s an API or a direct call) and there is latency at the data provider, your application performance will suffer.
The answer is ‘probably yes’. There aren’t many reasons for an application to be hosted elsewhere, aside from occasional compliance standards, or requirements to integrate with local services that would require large amounts of data to move from on-premise to cloud.