Billions wasted on Hadoop startups, the same will eventually be true of Docker

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May 30th, 2019

In Technology

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(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

The hype over Hadoop has died away and many of the investments now seem to have been terrible investments:

MapR Technologies Inc., one of the troika of unicorn startups that emerged from the early days of the big-data movement, may cut up to 122 jobs and shut down its Santa Clara, California headquarters if it can’t secure additional funding.

The company, which raised a total of $280 million in financing since it was founded in 2009 and whose market capitalization once topped $1 billion, said it is seeking a “strategic transaction” that would enable it to avoid closing its headquarters. The company said it has “more than one letter of intent from interested parties.”

…The MapR news didn’t surprise David Vellante, chief analyst at Wikibon, a sister company of SiliconANGLE. “I’ve always said about markets in general – and Hadoop in particular – that the leader can make money, number two is lucky to break even and number three – well it’s not even worth staying in business because there’s no money to be made,” he said. “Think MapR.”

Cloudera and MapR have both attempted to distance themselves from the Hadoop market in recent years as the once-expected riches failed to materialize. MapR has most recently positioned itself as a universal platform for consolidating and harmonizing multiple data sources, while Cloudera has emphasized product scope and machine learning applications. Competition from cloud computing providers and the difficulty of monetizing a business based upon open-source software have been significant challenges for both companies.

The money was wasted on hype. The same will eventually be said of Docker. I’ve yet to hear a single benefit attributed to Docker that isn’t also true of other VMs, but standard VMs allow the use of standard operating systems that solved all the hard problems decades ago, whereas Docker is struggling to solve those problems today.

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