Photo: All Things D
A decade after the dotcom bubble burst, big enterprise companies like SAP and Oracle were shocked that software-as-a-service and cloud computing could threaten them, says legendary venture capitalist Marc Andreessen.”The joke about SAP has always been, it’s making [1950s] German manufacturing methodology, implemented in 1960s software technology, delivered to 1970s-style manufacturing organisations,” he said in an interview with TechCrunch’s Alexia Tsotsis.
After the dotcom crash, “They said, ‘Oh, thank God we don’t have to worry about this Internet thing. It’s over. Stick a fork in it. It’s not going to be a big deal.’ And then it turned out that it actually wasn’t over, and they still haven’t adjusted.”
SAP responded by spending billions to acquire software-as-a-service companies SuccessFactors and Ariba.
Oracle CEO Larry Ellison famously got it wrong, too, according to Andreessen.
“Larry Ellison in 2002 came out and gave a speech and said the correct model for enterprise software, enterprise computing, will last for 1,000 years.”
While we couldn’t find that speech, we do know that as late as 2008, Ellison was still dismissing cloud computing, famously calling the term “complete gibberish.” These days, however, Ellison takes credit for inventing cloud computing when he backed NetSuite and Salesforce.com.
Meanwhile, in 2012, Oracle also acquired a bunch of cloud companies and started hyping up its Oracle Cloud.
Andreessen is on the board of Hewlett-Packard, which increasingly competes with Oracle, especially its growing hardware business.
The latest tech figure to say that the Internet is over is David Sacks. Sacks believes that startups should stop trying to take out the big Internet players.
To that idea, Andreessen retorts, “People reach a point where they start to get a little bit too rich, maybe a little bit too old, and they start to say these things. And then so here we sit 10 years later and we are in the middle of a complete reinvention of everything in enterprise computing.”
(Disclosure: Marc Andreessen is an investor in Business Insider.)