BusinessInterviews.com Q&A with Gary Nakamura, CEO, Concurrent, Inc.
October 10, 2013
Concurrent, Inc.’s vision is to become the #1 software platform choice for Big Data applications. Concurrent builds application infrastructure products that are designed to help enterprises create, deploy, run and manage data processing applications on Apache Hadoop.
Concurrent is the mind behind Cascading™, the most widely used and deployed technology for Big Data applications with more than 90,000+ user downloads a month. Used by thousands of data-driven businesses including Twitter, eBay, The Climate Corp, and Etsy, Cascading is the de-facto standard in open source application infrastructure technology.
What issue does your core product help solve and how so?
Cascading is all about making it easy for non-experts to adopt Hadoop for Big Data application development. When it comes to developing applications on Hadoop, developers program in MapReduce or scripting query languages like Pig and Hive. However, there is a growing realization that MapReduce is difficult to use, and Pig and Hive fall short of enterprise needs and enabling anything more than simple ad hoc analysis.
This is where Cascading comes into play, as it offers the first viable alternative to MapReduce for processing huge data sets on Hadoop. Cascading enables developers, data analysts and data scientists to quickly and easily build robust data processing and data management applications on Hadoop that can be deployed in the cloud or within private data centers. Cascading simplifies programming, workflow and data processing, allowing many successful, data-driven companies to gain significant productivity benefits, making it significantly easier to execute their Big Data strategy with existing skills sets, systems and tools – all while reducing the overall complexity of their technology infrastructure.
What has been your biggest challenge as a business owner and how have you met that challenge?
Our biggest challenge to date has been investing in and perfecting software that we give away for free, allowing tens of thousands of developers to adopt and thousands of companies to benefit and drive their big data strategies.
Going forward it will be about building a business, and continue to deliver useful and valuable software to market.
What’s the most exciting thing on the horizon for you/your Company?
We secured $4 Million in funding earlier this year, and are now working to release our first commercial product. The enterprise product is currently in alpha, and we are working to ship a beta version for additional users to evaluate. It is not a repackaging of our open source tools, but will be a new software offering that adds capabilities aimed at enterprises that need the added visibility and control of their big data applications.
Where do you envision your company in 5 years, 10 years, 20 years?
In 5 years, we want Concurrent to be the source for Big Data application infrastructure. We are well on our way to delivering the most comprehensive set of tools and runtime services aimed at enterprise needs. In 10 years, we want Concurrent to develop the same clout as Oracle, without the same overhead. As for 20 years from now… it’s too tough to say. We will stay focused on delivering great software to market whether in open source software or commercially, staying true to that will carry us forward. We look forward to furthering our business with the release of Concurrent’s first commercial product.
Have you had any mentors or role models that have influenced you? Describe the impact.
There are 2 quotes that have influenced my focus, planning, execution and consistent work ethic:
Thomas Jefferson – The harder I work, the luckier I get.
Branch Rickey – Luck is the residue of design.
The combination of the two has helped me immensely.