I get a lot of press releases. Most of them are from startups with the same old enterprise product ideas under different names. Some are for “new” products from existing companies (by “new,” I mean new implementations of old ideas).
Think you have a great idea? Please tell me it isn’t one of these:
1. A column family or key value store database
You have a brand-new take on how to store data, and it starts with keys associated with something. It's revolutionary because blah blah blah.
No -- stop it. Don’t start any more of these; don’t fund any more of these. That ship has sailed; the market is beyond saturated.
2. ETL/monitoring/data catalogs
The market might bear a totally new approach, but I’ve yet to see one (I mean actually a new approach, not simply saying that). I recently watched a vendor drone on for more than an hour before telling us what it was pitching. The more times a vendor says “revolutionary,” the more you know the only thing that’s new is the pricing. It's an ETL tool with a catalog and monitoring that only works with their cloud, but they support open source and community! Sad, man.
Seriously, you can’t dress up your ETL/governance tool as a brand-new product idea -- you've now invented Informatica. I’m not saying you should use Informatica, I’d never say that, but I’m saying "Zzzz, don’t start another one." If you’re a big enough vendor to build your own, that’s nice, but no one cares.
3. On-prem clouds
OpenShift, CloudFoundry, and so on have all become “new and interesting ways to manage Docker or Docker images.” Also, we say “hybrid” because if you try hard you might get it up to Amazon, but the tools for doing that will certainly suck. Frankly, I’m skeptical that the “hybrid cloud” is anything but a silly marketing gimmick in terms of practicality, implementation, or utility.
4. Hadoop/Spark management with performance enhancements
Management in this area is a real problem, but if you’re starting now, you’re late to the game. This is a niche market. [Disclosure: I’m an adviser for one of these.]
5. Generic data visualization tool
In truth, I’m not superhappy with any product in this area (Tableau in particular sucks). This is a market that has had 1,000 false starts along with a handful of good players that charge too much. Amazon and others are getting into this game as well, although I’m dubious anyone wants to pay by the cycle to draw a chart. Anyhow, the usefulness of these tools will fade as we move to more automated decision-making tools.
6. Content management systems by any other name
People are still writing me about how they started these things. They have new names for them -- but no, I’m not writing about them. If I covered consumer electronics I probably wouldn’t write about the various toasters you can buy at Target either. Are you people joking?
7. Another streaming tool
Between Kafka, Spark, Apex, Storm, and so on, whatever you need in big data software is covered. Your “revolutionary” new way to stream is probably not new.
8. Server-side blah blah with mobile added
Yes, mobile exists, but with maybe one or two exceptions a mobile app is mainly a client to the server like a web browser. If this means you added sync or notification to your existing product, cool. If you launched a new product line with “mobile” on it, please sell this to journalists and analysts with no technical background.
If you’re about to build any of those, please stop. Don’t tell anyone about it. Walk away from the keyboard before you bore someone.