Pretotyping [pree-tuh-tahy-ping], verb: Testing the initial appeal and actual usage of a potential new product by simulating its core experience with the smallest possible investment of time and money.
Less formally, pretotyping is a way to test a product idea quickly and inexpensively by creating extremely simplified versions of that product to help validate the premise that "If we build it, they will use it."
We did not invent or discover pretotyping; it's something that a small number of innovators do naturally. The concept of pretotyping is also very close in spirit and practice to Eric Ries' brilliant Lean Startup Movement and the practice of building the Minimum Viable Product (MVP.)
We are a start-up, so the most important thing that we considered before we started was simply money – or rather, the lack thereof. Although we required some serious firepower, the fully operational system should cost no more than a few hundred bucks a month.
Stonebraker getting some justified feedback IMHO. Notable also that the article asserts Stonebraker was correct re: Google – not true as the article linked to indicates with a statement from a Google engineer noting that MapReduce is still used for many things.
Less often called out is that Stonebraker has a conflict of interest in the form of his involvement with a product he'd like to convince us all is the solution to these kinds of problems.
Underlying all of this is the problem space being substantial such that no single tool addresses all challenges. A solid discussion of the breadth of the space, with some numbers around storage required, it's cost and performance demands of the problem would help all identify tradeoffs and appropriate solutions.
links for 2011-08-04