Photo: All Things D
Marc Andreessen thinks that the clock is ticking on Oracle and other old-line software and infrastructure companies.His evidence: not a single one of Andreessen-Horowitz’s startup investments use Oracle software. They all use cloud-based alternatives instead.
Andreessen kicked off BoxWorks, the first-ever customer conference for cloud collaboration provider Box.net, this morning in San Francisco.
His firm invested in Box, he says, partly because he found that a lot of the other startups they were funding already used the product.
As he put it, “10 years ago, it was a joke: you’d raise $20 million in venture capital and write a $4 or $5 million check to Oracle, Sun, BEA, and EMC….When it started, Salesforce looked like a toy compared with Siebel. Look ahead five years later, it’s obviously better. Not a single one of our startups uses Oracle.”
Cloud computing has lowered costs so dramatically, it’s made huge success stories like Facebook possible. “10 years ago, Facebook wouldn’t have been viable as a company or a business. The infrastructure costs wouldn’t have worked. The checks to Oracle, Sun, BEA, and EMC would have crushed the company before it ever got off the ground.”
He also said, “I think the clock is really ticking and Oracle is the most vivid case. I have huge respect for Oracle, Larry Ellison is one of my idols — I wouldn’t quite say role model….But objectively looking where they are, they have all the old software, they’ve cranked up the maintenance fees. That’s all well and good for customers that model, but they have not leaped forward into this change.”
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