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May 30th, 2019

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

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at:, or follow me on Twitter.

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.

[ [ UPDATE ] ] To understand the background of my remarks here, you might want to read my earlier essay, Docker is the dangerous gamble which we will regret


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"I wish I could go back," said Anna. "I guess I thought it would always be there, and I could go back and learn more when I was older. But now I'm older and it's gone."

"All the great art scenes are like that," said Mariah. "Renoir's career was half over before the term Impressionism caught on. And Fitzgerald and Hemingway had given up on the Left Bank long before the place was overrun by talentless hacks who wanted to imitate the Lost Generation lifestyle. And the Beats had mostly left San Francisco before busloads of visitors started to do tours of the Haight-Ashbury. When Johnny Rotten couldn't work with the Sex Pistols anymore, he left and the London punk scene began to die. Later on, he said he regretted his decision to leave. Everyone thinks they can go away and come back later, but they never can. When Joan Didion and her husband left New York, she quipped that some other couples were staying too late at the party, but that gets it all backward. The party ends whether you want it to or not, and it takes an unusual arrogance to celebrate the end of an era that some people will remember as the best years of their life. Hemingway lived in Paris during his twenties, but he didn't write about his experience in Paris until he was in his sixties. No one ever knows they're part of an art movement; it's something you only see afterward."

"But if we only see it in retrospect, then how can we find the next great art scene?" asked Anna. "What do I look for?"

Also read this true story about a startup I worked at in 2015:



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May 31, 2019
5:45 am


This seems like a weird Docker hatchet piece. You’re taking one piece of news about Hadoop and then weirdly relating it to Docker.

Docker’s not even a Virtual Machine – containers are an abstraction above and they’re extremely useful in practice, used by large, medium and small companies every day. I’m not even marginally involved with Docker as a company (I use their products) and I think your ‘prediction’ is bull

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