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Cloudera/Stanford EE203 (Entrepreneurial Engineer)

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This is a talk that I gave at Stanford's EE203 (Entrepreneurial Engineer) on Tuesday Feb 9th, 2010. It covers my experience at Stanford, VivaSmart, Yahoo, Accel Partners, and Cloudera.

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Cloudera/Stanford EE203 (Entrepreneurial Engineer)

  1. Outline<br />About Me<br />The VivaSmart Story<br />The EIR Experience<br />The Cloudera Story .. so far<br />What is Hadoop?<br />Open Source Business Models<br />Lessons Learned & Advice<br />
  2. About Me<br />I got BS and MS from Cairo University in Egypt.<br />I came to US in 1995 to get my PhD from Stanford, with goal to go back to Egypt and teach.<br />I got infected by the Entrepreneurship bug, it is rampant at Stanford, hopefully you’ll get infected too<br />In 1999 I took a leave of absence from PhD to start VivaSmart, which I sold to Yahoo in 2000.<br />I stayed with Yahoo till mid-2008, also finished my PhD in mid-2007 with Mendel Rosenblum.<br />I started Cloudera in fall of 2008.<br />
  3. The VivaSmart Story<br />It started as Booksmart in Spring of 1999.<br />Initial prototype was built by Thai Tran.<br />We got funded by a great angel (Frank Marshall).<br />Couldn’t raise VC money, but we were able to raise more angel money, and got lighthouse customers.<br />Noticed that it is hard to drive traffic, decided to focus on catalog management technology (Aptivia).<br />Got initial acquisition termsheet from Excite@Home for $12M but they reneged at last minute (4/2000)<br />Yahoo Shopping acquired us for $9M in June 2000.<br />
  4. The EIR Experience<br />EIR = Entrepreneur in Residence.<br />Joined Accel Partners in June 2008 as an EIR.<br />Spent most of the summer researching possible ideas for my next venture, also helped with due diligence for a number of companies.<br />Experienced the fund raising process from the VC side, very useful to see how they think.<br />Met my Cloudera co-founders through Accel<br />Andrew Braccia (agb) and Ping Li (pli) from Accel Partners joined the Cloudera Board of Directors.<br />
  5. The Cloudera Story … so far<br />Oct 2008: Got $5M round A funding from Accel Partners and a number of strategic angel investors.<br />Four founders (too many?): <br />Mike Olson (Oracle)<br />Jeff Hammerbacher (Facebook)<br />Christophe Bisciglia (Google)<br />AmrAwadallah (Yahoo)<br />Announced the company in March of 2009.<br />May 2009: Got $6M in funding from Greylock Ventures (opportunistic B round)<br />AneelBhusri joined our board from Greylock<br />
  6. Cloudera’s Elevator Pitch<br />A single,consolidated repository to enable insights across complex and structured data.<br />Complex Data<br />Documents<br />Web feeds<br />System logs<br />Online forums<br />SharePoint<br />Sensor data<br />EMB archives<br />Photo/Video<br />Structured Data (“relational”) <br />CRM<br />Financials<br />Logistics<br />Inventory<br />Sales records<br />HR records<br />
  7. What is Hadoop?<br />The foundation of our system is built on top of Apache Hadoop, which is a scalable distributed data processing system.<br />The scalability of Hadoop comes from marriage of:<br />HDFS: Self-Healing High-Bandwidth Clustered Storage.<br />MapReduce: Fault-Tolerant Distributed Processing.<br />The software manages and heals it self.<br />Leverages the economies of scale of commodity hardware (multi-core chips, many disks per system)<br />Compute moves to data (not other way around).<br />
  8. Hadoop History<br />2002-2004: Doug Cutting and Mike Cafarella started working on Nutch<br />2003-2004: Google publishes GFS and MapReduce papers <br />2004: Cutting adds DFS & MapReduce support to Nutch<br />2006: Yahoo! hires Cutting, Hadoop spins out of Nutch<br />2007: NY Times converts 4TB of archives over 100 EC2s<br />2008: Web-scale deployments at Y!, Facebook, Last.fm<br />April 2008: Yahoo does fastest sort of a TB, 3.5mins over 910 nodes<br />May 2009:<br />Yahoo does fastest sort of a TB, 62secs over 1460 nodes<br />Yahoo sorts a PB in 16.25hours over 3658 nodes<br />June 2009, Oct 2009: Hadoop Summit (750), Hadoop World (500)<br />September 2009: Doug Cutting joins Cloudera<br />
  9. Open Source Software Business Models<br />Open Source is attractive since it gets you:<br />Free Distribution: People can download and try it out<br />Darwinian Effect: Lots of developers try to solve the problem, best solution wins.<br />Faster Innovation: Customers build the product with you!<br />OSS Business Models:<br />Support/Maintenance/Service agreements<br />Open Core: core is free, but there is value-add proprietary technology around it (“Community” vs “Enterprise” Edition)<br />Monetization through enablement of other services (e.g. Firefox makes money from Google Search).<br />
  10. Lessons Learned & Advice<br />Make sure your idea can actually make money!<br />Hire great people (corollary: Fire swiftly).<br />Make sure you are passionate about your idea.<br />Listen to customers, but look for the problems, it is your job to come up with solutions.<br />Be agile, iterate quickly, don’t spend a year planning, don’t be afraid to make mistakes.<br />Don’t be afraid to fail, but don’t persist in your failing ways, learn from failure quickly and evolve (Moore)<br />Have faith, but don’t let it blind you from reality<br />
  11. Books I Recommend<br />“Blue Ocean Strategy”, W. Chan Kim, Renée Mauborgne.<br />“The Innovator’s Dilemma”, Clayton Christensen<br />“The Innovator’s Solution”, Clayton Christensen, and Michael Raynor<br />“Good to Great”, Jim Collins<br />“The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People”, Stephen Covey<br />“Crossing the Chasm”,“Tornado”, Geoffrey Moore<br />“The Black Swan”, NassimTaleb.<br />
  12. Contact Information<br />We Are Hiring:<br />jobs+ee203@cloudera.com<br />AmrAwadallah<br />CTO, Cloudera Inc.<br />http://twitter.com/awadallah<br />Online Training Videos and Info:<br />http://cloudera.com/hadoop-training<br />http://cloudera.com/blog<br />http://twitter.com/cloudera<br />

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