I spent 4 days this week in San Francisco and the general area. Fun stuff, lots of people visited, etc. Existing customers and potential new ones. When not meeting someone local, I was video chatting with someone elsewhere, such as the Wall Street guy who's now in Paris, putting together a startup to target Latin American markets.
One of the common themes that came up 2-3 times was the perspective of Engine Yard as low cost payroll for our customer. In other words, the startup in Paris wants to devote its time and money to other things, and they don't want to have a payroll that's too big. Engine Yard is therefore a means to hand off all that is app deployment and infrastructure maintenance, which basically means people + stuff. The people are the really expensive part, especially over long periods of time.
The more we chat with customers, the more we realize that an important part of what we're offering is access to and support by some of the best people around for a tiny fraction of what they'd cost to have on payroll. We've always known that great service/support would be important, but I hadn't heard it expressed as "cheap payroll", as one guy said.
We're happy to be your cheap payroll :-).