March 27, 2015

FoundationDB acquired by Apple

FoundationDB (, one of the few gems in the NoSQL segment, just got acquired by Apple, we all read the news even if there is nothing listed on FoundationDB or Apple web site. Back a few months ago, we met FoundationDB founder, David Rosenthal, with the IT Press Tour group at Sutter Hill Ventures in June 2014 as we anticipated something big as the capabilities of the product are immense. And guess what, we're not the only one who watched and paid attention to that technology very closely. The interesting point is not the product, very good indeed, but the fact that a vendor of a product in a B2B mode is now a product for only one user, even big in that case Apple, and will become an internal solution. Three things for Apple:
  1. the FoundationDB technology is so disruptive and represents a huge business advantage that Apple decided to acquire the product for its own usage,
  2. the product is so good that Apple doesn't want anyone to use it instead of them or at the same time in a concurrent way (download menu is removed from the FoundationDB web site) and
  3. finally iTunes, iCloud and other projects must operate and run with modern technologies that support and enable new scaling model.

With this acquisition, Apple made a great decision that will illustrate again the famous Build, Buy or Partner approach. Too late and too long to build and probably not with the right expert team within Apple, Buy a product is not enough as a customer, other could benefit from it as well, so they buy the company and stop the commercial product and finally Partner is not the right model here as, like the 2 others modes, the product would have been available for other companies as well.
I'm pretty sure all of you remember a few years ago what Nicholas Carr wrote about "IT doesn't matter". It's true when all players adopt the same product, no more difference or advantage is created, and false when the product is unique because controlled by one company. Apple understood that. Very good catch.

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