Bootstrapping a SaaS for Developers with Itai Lahan



“It’s an amazing era for software developers – we have all this amazing infrastructure behind the scenes that we can build upon.”

Ten years ago, building a highly scalable image delivery service would require millions of dollars in upfront costs, and hours of work configuring hardware server infrastructure. Today, it is possible to bootstrap this type of service, with minimal investment.

Today’s episode is about building a content delivery network for images and video. Today’s guest is Itai Lahan, CEO of Cloudinary. We discuss Cloudinary’s early product infrastructure, and how they have evolved as a company since then. We also talk in detail about the venture capital landscape of Silicon Valley today, and how to strategize about raising money. Full disclosure, Cloudinary is a sponsor of Software Engineering Daily.


  • How did you begin working on an image CDN?
  • What are the common problems developers have when they are trying to serve images?
  • What did the first architecture of Cloudinary look like?
  • What are the challenges of building APIs and integrations for a variety of different platforms that use your service?
  • What were the first scalability bottlenecks that you hit in the early days?
  • Why did you switch from AWS Cloudfront to Akamai?
  • How do you monitor system health and how are your operational teams segmented?
  • What was the rationale behind bootstrapping your company?


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