May 1, 2017

Cloudera co-founder talks Intel and IPO

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata

Cloudera shares finished up more than 20% on Friday, in its first day of post-IPO trading. A few quick takeaways from an Axios conversation with company co-founder, chief strategy officer and former CEO Mike Olson:

Enterprise evolution: "The at long last willingness of enterprises to deploy in the public cloud is good news. Our first offering was a managed cloud big data platform but we couldn't get any big enterprises to buy from us in 2008. Our ability now to deploy on Amazon and Azure and Google means the hardware purchase friction is no longer applicable. We focus on the Global 8,000, because they have most of the data and most of the interesting data problems."

Timing: "When Intel did the strategic investment it really removed the urgency around the IPO in that we didn't need to raise money. But real companies go public and we were going to do it sooner or later. We made the decision around six months ago."

Did Intel offer to buy Cloudera? "I'm not going to comment on that."

Comp spin: "The huge investment IBM is making in Watson benefits us because it introduced a lot of our concepts to large enterprises, but I think Watson is much more of a branding exercise than a tech offering."

Culture: "I have told everyone in the company to ignore the stock price, and I'm sure that everyone is refreshing the stock price every 15 minutes or so. That will fade. Really the message I've shared is that most of the value in successful companies like Oracle is created after the IPO."

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Data: NewsWhip; Chart: Andrew Witherspoon/Axios

Stories about President Trump's photo op at St. John's church after peaceful protesters were forcefully cleared from the area averaged the most online attention of any issue about the president this week.

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