Ali Ghodsi – The Past, Present, and Future of Big Data – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.18]
My Guest today is Ali Ghodsi, founder and CEO of Databricks, a data analytics platform for data scientists and developers. He's also the founder of Apache Spark, the open-source project that Databricks is built on, and is an accomplished researcher at UC Berkley's computer science department. Our conversation ranges from the origins of distributed computing to modern data infrastructure, how companies can leverage their massive datasets, and the transformation of Databricks through its phases of growth as a business. While technical, it's exactly the kind of conversation I like to have on this show. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Ali Ghodsi.
For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/4919706/ghodsi-the-past-present-and-future-of-big-data
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[00:02:48 ] – [First question] – What is Databricks
[00:03:34 ] – History of distributed computing
[00:05:35 ] – Hardware that made this all possible
[00:07:20 ] – Early challenges in building out these systems
[00:09:43 ] – What has made networking technology better
[00:10:35 ] – Doing something in storage vs with memory
[00:11:45 ] – Origins of Hadoop
[00:12:42 ] – Use cases of distributed data in 2010 that weren’t possible in 2000
[00:13:35 ] – Origins of Spark
[00:15:25 ] – Early Spark and then the transformation into Databricks
[00:16:50 ] – Early uses cases
[00:17:37 ] – Their relationship to the open-source project
[00:21:07 ] – What customers need in order to work with Databricks
[00:23:11 ] – Their customer interaction
[00:26:27 ] – How they think about making investments
[00:28:24 ] – Their competitive advantage
[00:30:13 ] – Other companies in moving the needle in building distributed computing industry
[00:32:10 ] – Walls that need to be broken down today
[00:34:02 ] – Best practices for companies when it comes to their data
[00:38:47 ] – Lessons being a CEO
[00:41:56 ] – What excites him about the future
[00:43:29 ] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him