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MySQL making inroads into traditional Oracle market

Guy Kawasaki, a brilliant fellow who writes for Forbes, recently interviewed Marten Mickos of MySQL and got some interesting insights into MySQL vs. Oracle and notes that the Oracle FAQ runs MySQL:

Question: Do you compete head to head with Oracle or do you have different customers?

Most new companies and new projects within existing companies are choosing open source infrastructure such as the LAMP stack. We donít see competition there.

We focus on the new applications and services that are being built for the online world: Web2.0, SaaS, and SOA but also new forms of datawarehouses and business apps. Our customers look for reliability, performance, scalability, and ease of deployment. They donít look for overly complex products that take days or weeks to get going and cost thereafter.

Thatís why YouTube, Craigslist, Flickr, Habbo Hotel, LiveJournal, Technorati, Second Life, Trulia, FeedBurner, and Right Now are our customers and not Oracleís. We believe the market we have chosen is the fastest growing part of the DBMS market. . . .

Even the Oracle FAQ runs on MySQL ().

In Info World, Guy Kawasaki continues his insights on Oracle vs. MySQL:

Having said this, Marten later riffs on this idea in a compelling way:

Think about the market-leading DBMS company [Oracle]. They have 50,000 paid employees who are working hard to keep their product competitive. We have 50,000 product downloads per day. This means that 50,000 human beings who tinker with our product every day. These people have ideas, suggestions, praises, complaints and although not all of them send us emails every day, the good stuff tends to find its way to the core MySQL team.

That's a great correlation. For every Oracle employee, MySQL gets a download each day. Even if I'm right and most of these MySQL "employees" don't contribute anything back, arguably at least as many MySQL pseudo-employees do as the Oracle employees who aren't coding because they're too busy contributing code or resumes to MySQL. (Just joking, Mr. Ellison! :-)

Guy also has some insights into Oracle, in his article titled "The Top Ten Lies of Entrepreneurs", noting that it can be a great mistake to underestimate Oracle Corporation:

LIE - ďOracle is too big/dumb/slow to be a threat.Ē

Larry Ellison has his own jet. He can keep the San Jose Airport open for his late night landings. His boat is so big that it can barely get under the Golden Gate Bridge. Meanwhile, entrepreneurs are flying on Southwest out of Oakland and stealing the free peanuts.

There's a reason why Larry is where he is, and entrepreneurs are where they are, and it's not that he's big, dumb, and slow.

Competing with Oracle, Microsoft, and other large companies is a very difficult task. Entrepreneurs who utter this lie look at best naive. You think it's bravado, but venture capitalists think it's stupidity.



 

 
 
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