Amazon Web Services has built a commanding lead in the cloud computing market by listening to what services and features its customers want and then delivering them. But some application developers believe AWS, in its relentless pursuit of Fortune 500 customers to fuel revenue growth, has become more aligned with corporate IT departments than with the coders who initially propelled its rise starting more than 15 years ago.
This has prompted several former AWS employees, as well as those from other cloud giants like Microsoft and Google, to launch and join startups selling software that makes AWS easier to use for individual app developers. The startups provide back-end services, such as spinning up the cloud servers and databases that power websites or automating the creation of the application programming interfaces that let apps share data. Despite representing a much larger pool of corporate spending, these businesses have received less venture capital in recent years than those developing front-end tools for designing the look and feel of applications and websites.