My first week at Unravel was marked with my attendance at dataworkssummit.com and I was acutely reminded of two things: how pivotal a role to our now data-centric world Hadoop performance (and all its committers) plays; and what a truly great decision I had made by joining the Unravel team.
What’s Different This Time?
What distinguishes the prior generation of tools and applications is that big data applications are made up of many parts. Applications such as the Internet of Things (IoT), customer analytics, and fraud analytics don’t exist in isolation of the underlying big data stack—they are tied to many different systems such as Spark, Kafka, MapReduce, Hive, Impala, Tez and Druid. How the stack performs has a direct impact on downstream applications. Managing this new generation of applications is highly complex and requires a full stack approach as they move to production and sit directly in the revenue flow.
I experienced first hand the business-critical value that AppDynamics, New Relic and others provided to enterprise application teams in the last round of architectural change. We are squarely in the midst of the next shift, where data and analytics is the currency of digital transformation and business performance. As in the previous generation, existing approaches are failing teams who need visibility and insights to support their rapidly evolving business and technical stakeholder needs. Dealing with massively distributed, high-velocity and rapidly expanding data sets in real time mandates an alternative approach—one that Unravel is pioneering; and I’m glad to say, we are seeing our approach validated time after time with industry-leading practitioners in business-critical production environments.
Why This Team?
As with any commitment of this nature, there are many decision vectors. In my case, ahead of even the phenomenal market opportunity is the make-up of the team. The values they embody and how that manifests in behaviors and actions is, for me, the most critical factor of my own personal success and that of the team. For anyone who has spent more than a few years in this valley echo-chamber we live in, you will have experienced how easy it is to source opinions (and that’s all they are) on people, situations and category opportunities. In my many discussions with the CEO, Kunal Agarwal, the team, and an even higher volume of discussions ‘about’ the team with others, I was struck by the degree of consistency of ‘opinion.’ This is an amazingly talented team that is maniacally focused on solving this ‘here and now’ set of meaningful problems, and doing so in such a way that puts customers and team first. Further reinforcement for me was customer validation. Without exception, these very hard-to-please, Fortune 100 customers had nothing but strong endorsement for the need and for the solution that Unravel provides.
So, two weeks in and with not a shadow of buyer’s remorse, now begins the journey of execution. In the words of Thomas Edison, “Vision without execution is just hallucination.”