Whatsapp had 450 million monthly users and just 32 engineers when it was acquired. Imgur scaled to over 40 billion monthly image views with just seven engineers. Instagram had 30 million users and just 13 engineers when it was acquired for $1 billion dollars.
An individual can now scale a web app to millions of users with Digital Ocean, Heroku and AWS (perhaps coordinated by Mesosphere). It no longer requires a sophisticated understanding of MySQL parameters to scale a database on Google App Engine, just as it no longer requires a knowledge of the CPU chip it’s all chugging away on.
The way to describe this software coding continuum might be pre-foundation – where in its extremist form, every piece of software started in Assembly — and post-foundation – where software is like Legos, just snap the pieces together.
How long before we have a billion-dollar acquisition offer for a one-engineer startup?