Since 2008, research teams at Google, Microsoft, Amazon and Yahoo* have proven what we at Strangeloop have known intuitively for years: website speed has a powerful impact on everything from page views and sales to overall user happiness.
Before starting Strangeloop in 2006, the members of our management team were leaders in a diverse array of web environments, from developing massive content management solutions to consulting for clients such as Reuters, BarnesandNoble.com, and Johnson & Johnson.
Time and time again, no matter what the nature of the project, they ran up against the same road block: how to deliver robust, feature-rich websites and web-based applications without compromising the ability to deliver a fast user experience to visitors.
The "Magic Box"
"What if..." they speculated, "What if there were some kind of 'magic box' that could take the dozens of performance best practices we've been hand-coding into pages, and apply them automatically across all the pages of a site? What if this box could also dynamically learn how a website behaves with its users and use this information to serve pages faster? And what if this box could be installed without any changes to the existing software, servers or network?"
No such magic box existed. So they made one.
Seven years later, we no longer call it the magic box. It's the Strangeloop Site Optimizer, and it is every bit as effective as we dreamed it could be, with some of our customers reporting page speed improvements of 300%, conversion rate increases as high as 12% and revenue increases of up to 52%.
To make Site Optimizer accessible to more businesses, we've also developed two sister applications: a virtual appliance and a cloud service. We also offer Mobile Optimizer, which accelerates websites for mobile devices by applying a suite of optimization techniques that have been developed with mobile in mind.
So what exactly is a "strangeloop"?
The concept of a "strange loop" was developed Douglas Hofstadter, Pulitzer prize-winning author and ruminator on the nature of consciousness and identity.
Hofstadter developed the term while arguing that the phenomenon of self-awareness is best explained by an abstract model based on symbols and self-referential "loops", which, as they accumulate experience, create high-level consciousness. According to Hofstadter, an intelligent system must have a self-referencing feedback loop, learn from that feedback, and adapt accordingly.
When we set out to create our "magic box" we knew that we needed to bypass application code and create an intelligent, self-referencing device that could learn and adapt in real time. Our company name was obvious.
*For an exhaustive collection of web performance industry research, visit our Web Performance Hub.