The working backwards heuristic is a method of problem-solving in which the problem solver begins with the end goal state and works backwards to the problem’s starting position. The concept is applicable for creating a product or service that customers need today – not launching a product or service first, then refining things throughout its lifecycle. In the summer of 2003, Andy Jassy and Jeff Bezos met to do just that. They worked backwards to unpack their idea, starting with the end goal of creating an operating system for the internet, one that would allow customers to build and launch applications on a shared infrastructure-as-a-service platform and be delivered on-demand. After launching their first service in 2006, AWS has become the world’s largest global computing platform, owning greater than 30% more market share than their competitors combined. Jassy is often asked if they predicted the success of AWS during that meeting. His response is consistently, “I don’t think any of us had the audacity to predict it would grow as big or as fast as it has.”

In 2013, our Founder and CEO, Mark Metz, set out on a “working backwards” journey of creating the decommissioning of data centers on-demand. One that would allow customers the ability to turn off a service (physical infrastructure in this use case) as workloads migrated to AWS. The end goal was simple; create and execute on a strategy for AWS customers to build a data center asset lifecycle management strategy that mirrors the application migration workstream. Monetizing the infrastructure assets and optimizing the hardware support contracts, followed by repurposing those savings to accelerate the journey to AWS’ public cloud platform ultimately eliminates financial barriers to cloud adoption.

While we haven’t (yet) seen the same meteoric growth that AWS has experienced since 2006, we have seen our relationship with AWS and their customers rapidly develop. Having worked with direct sales reps, the Partner Sales teams note that in strategic pursuits and building programs that scale across multiple disciplines the theme of “what am I going to do with the data center hardware” remains the same with every end user. Whether the data center footprint is a few servers in a closet or a multi-data center global footprint, the assets on the raised floor represent hardship for that customer and we have an avenue to eliminate that burden. More importantly, AWS recognizes the same industry challenge and has elected to go-to-market with us in changing how companies consolidate or evacuate data centers, naming ReluTech an AWS Select Partner in 2019. 

Work Backwards. Start with the end in mind. You just may have a chance to make an industry.


Thomas Hodgson is our Sales Manager here at ReluTech. His top priority is managing our maintenance team with a mission of driving customer success through data center maintenance plans and hardware solutions. Outside of the office, he enjoys activities with family, exercising, playing golf, cooking, and attending weekend Braves games.

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