Everyone else must fail

by Wojciech Adam Koszek   ⋅   Apr 16, 2013   ⋅   Menlo Park, CA

This was an interesting take on the creation of Oracle.

Think about me whatever you want, I don’t care – I like Larry.

Lets say this: from all the books I’ve read the common thing between all leaders is that they happen (accidentally?) business oriented.

Some people say: Microsoft is sh@t, they never figured out anything by themselves, they stole DOS from a company that code fraction of what they could really earn. They delivered stuff that wasn’t stable, nearly never work and of course – software design is wrong. APIs suck as hell.

Well: if you have enough guts, try to follow this “easy” path and achieve 10% of the success. Really: why to steal. There’s tons of tons of Open Source software. BSD licensed. Ready to be stolen, packaged. You gran BSD license, put it under “License” button nobody ever clicks and you can claim to have your own private 1980’s and become this bad Microsoft.

So the exactly same thing I hear with Larry.

He just stole IBM’s idea that of course didn’t come from him. And just took this existing idea that nobody felt is possible to implement it and he implemented it. And this is bad, since of course only your ideas implemented count and it’s the only way to get praised for your work. So they he just found customers and he just risked whatever he had to deliver database to customers.

Geeky argument is that of course it didn’t work, and well, it might be true. But being first is better than being … better, so here we are, in 2013 with cloud computing, small supercomputers with 3GHz multi-chip many-cores running slow Oracle, since well…. Larry decided to ship his semi-working database 20 years ago.

Once again: take a publication that you think is really hot, make a code around it, market it, find customers, sell it and here you are – begging for forgiveness because I bet you’ll realize it’s pretty damn hard.

Why don’t I do it?

Well, as you see I don’t criticize.

Think whatever you want. Larry is cool. Building a company for $B lets you do lots of cool stuff, like help children in Africa. Looks like he’s really involved, since he understand that teaching poor and hungry children is pretty damn hard (I know – one of my high-school was to donate stuff to orphanage and visit these kids later). So here you go – Oracle spending tons of $$$ by selling their crappy database on shipping food to Africa.

Larry maybe isn’t the best charitable institution - building $100M Japanese garden just because you can isn’t maybe what we expect from the entrepreneur of his caliber, but on the other hand – he also wanted to have some fun out of this hell.

Book worth reading: shows Amazon-alike model of growth, where you do whatever is necessary to ship your unique and innovative project regardless of the stage it is in.

If you want to have richer perspective on the history of the world most famous software companies, I can highly recommend this reading.

“Just for Fun: The Story of an Accidental Revolutionary”
“Don't make me think”

Subscribe for updates

Once a month I send updates on the new content and hints for software engineers.

Liked it? Share it!

About the author: I'm Wojciech Adam Koszek. I like software, business and design. Poland native. In Bay Area since 2010.   More about me