Thursday, May 22, 2008

ANTs in my pants

You know, I really don't know what to make of these guys.  I mean, we all know they are rowboat adrift in the sea.  But, have you ever seen a more scatterbrained company in your life?  I  wrote about them on September 19, 2007 because I got a kick out of their "no news" press releases.  I have never seen more thinly veiled attempts to make themselves bigger than they are.  But, up until now, they were merely ants.  After all, they are a publicly traded company but their revenue numbers have been pathetic.  In 2005, they did almost a half million dollars in revenue.  That's right, I said a half million, or $467,000 to be exact.  In 2006, it got worse at $288,000 in revenue and last year they did $360,000. 

Yet, they continue to drone on about their "consortium" which, from the outside simply looks like a beta program.  Its no consortium.   They made a big deal out of a Cadbury Schweppes deal and I thought they were getting somewhere, but that amounted to a single, small app that was nothing. 

And, they continue to mention a major deal with IBM that COULD be worth millions over time.  You can read about it in every SEC filing.  But, it has never materialized.  And, the last time I checked, IBM's money and backing went to... US!

They announced a major Oracle partnership, but Oracle never acknowledges their existence.  I think they simply signed up for the partner program at oracle and paid the $1500.  End of story.  (for details on these releases, check out my previous post about ANTs)

But, they continue to get more private funding... and this quarter has seen some real action...finally.  Sybase is paying them $1.4 million to do whatever they want with the entire product line from ANTs.  Not a bad deal really for Sybase, though, had they waited another 12 months, I think they could have gotten for free in the fire sale.  This means that Sybase can do whatever they want with the product, including reselling it without paying another dime to ANTs.  Sounds desperate if you ask me.

Then, this month they announced that they were acquiring Inventa Technologies.  a professional services company.  And of course, in order to do that, they needed MORE financing.  Throwing good money after bad, if you ask me.  At some point, you just have to say enough already and recognize its time to move on.

But, it gets better.  Today ANTs announced that they have sold 1/2 of their product suite (along with a few bodies) to Four J's Software.  Why would Four J's want it?  Because it is the underlying technology of their Genero db product.

So, I haven't taken the time to figure out the total numbers yet, but it seems that ANTs has paid millions for Inventa and yet have basically sold everything to everyone else.  Yes, they still have the compatibility product.  But, so does Sybase.  And I don't suspect that anyone else is going to come knocking on their door...other than the shareholders... ;)

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

Leaving EnterpriseDB

This is a bittersweet announcement for sure.  But, after more than 2 years, I am going to be leaving EnterpriseDB.  It's bittersweet because the company is firing on all cylinders and I think they are in a great position with the new messaging and Postgres Plus product family.  I think the open source database market is still in its infancy and 2008/2009 will be when the floodgates open.  And, while MySQL currently has more money and more downloads, they play in a different market.  I think both will be hugely successful.  Finally, I would like to think that marketing was firing on all cylinders and making great strides towards becoming the lynch pin for the company.  In short, my work at EnterpriseDB was just not done.

But, this move is purely for personal reasons for me.  As many of you know, I live over 100 miles from the office. I typically spend 2-3 nights in a hotel up in Edison and this causes me to be away from my family every week for extended periods.  And, with three kids, not only am I missing out on all the laughter and tears, but my wife is forced to basically run the house like a single mom.  Its not fair to her or the kids and its time for me to step up and be a better daddy and better husband.

I can tell you that I am going to miss all the great people I work with and consider to be friends.  I won't mention them by name because there are so many! 

Next Friday will be my last day at EnterpriseDB, but this blog isn't going anywhere.  I will continue my abuse of Oracle and others when necessary and keep in close contact with EnterpriseDB.  This blog will evolve over time and may stray into new areas as I pursue other technologies and markets, but it will always be about marketing technology.

Thursday, May 15, 2008

A new survey on Open Source Databases and an update on Sun

There is a new survey over on Survey Monkey on Open Source Database usage.  If you use a database, whether open source or not, you should make your voice heard.

Survey on Open Source Databases

In other news, rumor has it that Sun has consolidated their entire database business under Marten Mickos, former CEO of MySQL.  That means that Marten is now responsible for JavaDB and PostgreSQL, along with MySQL for Sun Microsystems.

This is actually very interesting.  The head of MySQL running their PostgreSQL business.  Read nothing into this people.  Marten will do an excellent job with ALL of the databases.  Though his heart may remain with MySQL, the size of his wallet will depend on making all three databases successful.  And, Marten is a fan of all open source databases and open source in general. 

I think this was a smart move for Sun and will be good for Sun's  PostgreSQL business.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Under the covers of MySQL

Those of you who follow my blog know that I am not exactly an unbiased observer.  In fact Curt Monash states: 

Derek Rodner’s blog is worth checking out. His 2007 Year in Review post deserves a look - even though it’s about as unbiased and spin-free as Bill O’Reilly’s TV show, in that combines multiple shots each at Oracle and MySQL with some plugs for EnterpriseDB.

So, when MySQL themselves decides to show their dirty laundry, who am I to object.  In fact, I think it is great that they are starting to act a little more open.  For an open source company, they tend to be more closed source than Microsoft sometimes.

So, here is a nice presentation about the "issues" with MySQL.  In addition to having no "real" community, there are fundamental flaws in the database that go all the way back to its inception.

MySQL was architected to be a very fast read-only database.  And, it is.  But, you can't have it both ways.  Remember, a few years back Zack was even quoted saying something about no need for transactions.  I can't find the exact quote, but it was attuned to Bill Gates claiming that he saw no need for a pc with more than 64k of RAM. 

So, here MySQL sits, trying to become a real database and their architecture and years of development took them in a totally different direction.  It is very hard to undo the past.  And, now with the overhead of Sun, it is hard to see a scenario where MySQL can become a leading DBMS vendor.

I think that the Sun may indeed be setting for MySQL.  Every day, more and more people come out of the woodwork running real applications inside major organizations on Postgres!

Being a niche player is fine.  It helps you make a name for yourself.  But, be careful or else you will be stuck in that niche forever.

Friday, May 2, 2008


Looks like the technology business might get a little more interesting today.  Rumor has it that Microsoft will initiate a hostile takeover of Yahoo today.  I love these days...

So, what do you think about a Microhoo?  I actually think the potential is there for it to be interesting.  But, the problem is that Microsoft will add too much overhead to the Yahoo technology and the company, making it a lot slower and Google will be accelerated further into the stratosphere as the dominant technology company. 

This is not as interesting as the KKR LBO of RJR/Nabisco in the 80s or the almost-crushing-at-the-time, but now-so-comical SCO lawsuit.  but, it should make for an interesting couple of weeks.


Where to begin....  Oh, Oracle, of course!

Larry Ellison tops the list of highest paid CEOs in the world.  Guess how much he made last year by charging ridiculously high prices for the Oracle database? 

$192.9 million dollars

Yep, that's right.  Larry made 192 million dollars last year.  We all know his net worth is estimated at $25 Billion.  And, though you have admire what he has accomplished, you really do start to hate the guy.  His cheesy "I look like a 1970s porn star" beard and his "I need to compensate" yacht paint a nice little picture. 

Two years ago, I was at Oracle OpenWorld.  You remember, the year he paraded penguins around the stage and announced Unbreakable Linux.  Well, for those who may not remember, or for those that missed it, the Oracle/BMW America's Cup boat was in the lobby!  Yes, the monster boat was in the lobby.  I just couldn't help thinking to myself:  How can people accept that?  mn_dayinthelife032_ckh

And, of course, you know about Larry's Japanese style estate in Woodside, CA.  This estate cost over $200 million after multiple change orders and construction delays. 

Larry had the audacity to claim a $3 million tax break claiming this flamboyant estate was overvalued because there was no market for 16th Century Japanese architecture.  Ummm, Larry, you built the damn thing.

Think about all of this when your Oracle Sales Rep comes knocking on your door this month to "audit" your licenses.  Larry needs a new boat.

Of course, I am just jealous ;)