Meteor Magic

As a former programmer and engineer, I sat in awe as Geoff and Matt presented Meteor at our first meeting. The meeting started normally enough: a brief discussion with the team on their backgrounds, a PowerPoint presentation on what Meteor was up to, a lot of nodding around the room, questions along the way. That all changed when Geoff decided to show us Meteor live. In all of 30 seconds, he hacked up a rich-client and back-end server application. The client was running locally yet synchronizing all of its data to a backend server. Fast, secure and in real-time. What I saw in front of my eyes was magic!

JavaScript has become the number one programming language on GitHub, above Java, C, PHP—everything. The reason for this is that Web clients, such as mobile devices and tablets, are becoming richer and more capable as compute devices as opposed to display devices, and running the application logic locally on the client results in performance, usability and scale for users.

The problem with JavaScript, however, is that it was designed to be a client-side language, leaving all the back-end server implementation to other languages. The result is that cloud-based Web applications take way too long to develop due to the sheer complexity and brittleness of the environment. Without Meteor, everything from security, to multi-tenancy, to latency, to database access requires special APIs and custom development, and developers need to know at least two languages.

The Meteor framework solves all of these problems. Meteor makes real-time application development dramatically faster and more approachable. It gives developers a comprehensive platform for writing Web apps in JavaScript where both client and server code use the same language and API, enabling the same code to be run on both the client and server. The result is real-time, cloud-based Web apps that are scalable, secure and distributed by design.

We see this technology as fundamentally important to the future of the Web. Through this investment in Meteor, as well as our recent investment in GitHub, we at a16z are excited to help developers build the next generation of applications.

The Meteor magic would not be possible without the founding team: Geoff, Matt and Nick. While they’ve graciously described the board and investors as a dream team, the real dream team is the Meteor founders. Passionate, committed and appropriately eccentric make them the best team in the universe to be working on this project. We are honored to be partnering with Meteor in their mission to build a new platform for cloud computing applications.