In his keynote speech Thursday, Greenplum Co-Founder Scott Yara told a packed house at the first ever Strata “Making Data Work” conference, “We need more startups!”
Afterwards, in an interview on SiliconAngle.tv (watch the video here), he expanded on that theme. “Back when the Web was new, everyone was excited about going out and creating new Websites. I want to see that same kind of excitement today about data.”
Web-based giants such as Facebook and Google are “insatiable about data”, and that data drives development of new services for their customers. But he sees room for many more entrepreneurs to start new data-driven companies providing new products and services. And, he said, in many cases they do not have to collect their own data.
“A lot of data is available publicly. You can use the Twitter API and drink from the fire hose, and a lot is available through Web-Crawl.”
Yara's own company, Greenplum, has been thriving as a part of EMC, which bought the start-up six months ago. Since then it has doubled in size and taken advantage of the huge increase in resources available through EMC to push forward some new initiatives.
EMC, he said, has created a vibrant environment for entrepreneurship at the infrastructure level. VMware was the size of Greenplum when EMC purchased it, and since then it has exploded into one of the drivers of advanced infrastructure. EMC, says Yara, has struck the right balance between hands-off management that allows the entrepreneurs to develop their ideas and providing resources to nurture that development.
And, he says, it is the right company in the right place today. “The heart beat of mobile, cloud, and social computing is data. So if the next 10-20 years of computing is about data, what company is better positioned than EMC?”
A lot of exciting things are happening at the infrastructure layer in big data, Yara says. But what makes it exciting is that big data “is not just for geeks. It is how data-driven services will impact society that is really exciting.”