I’ve been involved with technology most of my life, and I’ve found that there are mostly two kinds of technology companies: the ‘technology for technology’s sake’ companies and the ‘technology as a solution’ companies. The first ones are generally populated by some of the brightest minds you’ll ever find and the wizardry of the technology they build is often fascinating. But enjoy them while you can, because with little connection to a market problem they’re usually out of business within two years.
The second kind of company starts with a problem that needs solving then gets to work. Even in its early days it checks in regularly with customers and regards ‘technology’ as the toolkit to solve their problems and improve their lives.
In very rare circumstances, there’s a third type of company: one that combines extreme intellectual firepower with laser-like focus on business problems that need solving. I joined Snowflake as its CEO because I strongly believe that Snowflake is that third type of company.
Snowflake was founded by some of the most impressive and innovative minds in databases. With numerous patents and research to their credit, they took a hard look at the current state of the technology they and their competitors had developed and saw that there was a huge technical and market opportunity that had not been addressed.
That opportunity is the insatiable appetite to leverage data to gain business understanding – an appetite that is exasperated because today’s technology provides no good way to gain that understanding. Data warehouses are expensive, complex, and stuck in the past century. The so-called “big-data” solutions require skills that most organizations don’t possess and they aren’t well suited to many of the problems that need to be solved. New developments such as the cloud can open the door to solutions, but only if you approach them with a fresh start, not a bolt-on to old technologies.
That is about to change. What our product team, working from our founders’ blueprint, has done is essentially re-invent the data warehouse from the ground up. I’ll leave it to them in future blogs to tell you exactly how they did it, but for now, I invite you to watch an overview of the product and take us for a test drive.
Finally, we believe that our customers are active partners in our efforts. To that end, you can always contact me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I look forward to hearing from you.