Big Data is big business. It’s a truth that Cloudera CEO Mike Olson understands better than most.
Olson is no newcomer to the tech business. Prior to Cloudera, he ran Sleepycat Software which maintained the Berkeley DB database. Oracle acquired Sleepycatin 2006. The meteoric rise of Olson’s new company Cloudera however might end up taking a different path.
“It is our conviction that we’re building a long term standalone company and that we want to remain independent,” Olson said.
Though he would rather remain independent, Olson noted that he has investors and they want a return on their investment.
“I did sell the last business I had to Oracle and I can tell you that for me personally it was a life changing transaction,” Olson said. “It made a big difference in what I could aspire to do next.”
In Olson’s view, what is happening in the Big Data market today feels a lot like the relationship database market of the 1980’s and 1990’s.
“We believe that this market will be worth tens of billions of dollars a year, just as the relational market is,” Olson said.
Olson aspires to bring Cloudera to the public markets in an IPO and grow the company.
“I would love the opportunity to ring the opening bell on Wall Street,” Olson said. “Certainly we think the company has the capacity and the opportunity to be a long term standalone business.”
“So while I won’t say there no case in which we would not entertain an M&A offer, I will say that we’re focused on building a business that doesn’t grow up to be sold to IBM, but gets to grow up to be IBM.”