TIL that the apocryphal story about AWS being born from Amazon looking to monetize spare provisioned capacity used primarily during its holiday traffic peaks by letting others use it year-round is not actually true at all:
There’s a rumor that goes around cloud circles about how Amazon.com created what is now the multi-billion dollar infrastructure as a service (IaaS) cloud computing industry in the early 2000s.
Some people wrongly assume that Amazon had spare, excess computing capacity from their ecommerce site that was used as the basis for Amazon Web Services' (AWS) cloud.
It's something that Benjamin Black has heard a lot. But it’s not true. And he would know: Black is widely credited with co-authoring the initial proposal at Amazon that led to the creation of AWS.
"Why will that not die?" Black says about the rumor. "It’s totally false."
You can read a bit more about it at http://www.networkworld.com/article/2891297/cloud-computing/the-myth-about-how-amazon-s-web-service-started-just-won-t-die.html