I was talking to one of the prominent General Partners at a Venture Capital firm here in Silicon Valley over the holidays…discussing how the Cloud market is evolving. We both agreed that 2013 will mark yet another shift in the evolution of web applications.
I personally simplified this view of cloud evolution by defining its progression in the following periods…dating back to these noteworthy events:
- ISP Era: Software Tool & Die is founded in 1989
- ASP to SaaS Era: TeleComputing founder coins ASPs in 1996
- IaaS & PaaS Era: Amazon EC2 is Launched in 2006
- Analytics Application Era: Apache Hadoop 1.0 launched 2012
Sure, Apache Hadoop was technically released on December 27, 2011…but most of us were out drinking brandy eggnog then (just as I am now).
Lets just look at the beginning…when The World operated by Software Tool & Die started the first ISP. Pretty cool to think that they were the first dial-up service provider that offered direct access of the Internet to the general public.
Even though “Application Service Providers” or ASPs existed earlier, Jostein Eikeland, the CEO of Telecomputing (founded in 1995), is credited with coining the acronym ASP in 1996, according to Inc. Magazine.
Other notable events just following 1996 include the beginning of SaaS powerhouses such as:
- Saba (Learning Management System SaaS): 1997
- RightNow (Customer Experience SaaS): 1997
- Kenexa (Hiring SaaS): 1997
- Salesforce.com (CRM): 1999
- Netsuite (ERP): 1999
- Taleo (Talent): 1999
- Cornerstone (Talent): 1999
- Concur (Spend Mgmt): 2000
- SuccessFactors (Performance Mgmt): 2001
Established players like Rackspace also started in this same time period. Rackspace was launched in October 1998 with Richard Yoo as its CEO. Although most hosting companies focused on the technology end of hosting, Rackspace created its “Fanatical Support” offering to focus on service and support. On March 28, 2000, Rackspace received funding from prominent VCs and the rest is history.
What’s incredible is the fact that companies like Rackspace were able to create such value based on the simple three-tier architecture of web applications, namely the database (RDBMS), web server (application), and browser (client). To think that billions of dollars of value was created on such a simple architecture.
If back in the 1980′s, someone told you that web applications which consisted of text, photos, and videos coupled with some dynamic HTML were going to create a multi-billion dollar market….would you have believed them?
So…what if I told you in the year 2012 that analytic applications which consisted of intelligent ways to interact with users on the web…allowing web pages to “come alive” through batch, near real-time, and real-time data analytics….was going to create yet another multi-billion dollar market….would you believe me?