TechCrunch reported late Tuesday that MongoDB has confidentially filed for its IPO
, meaning we should see the company’s financial details relatively soon. I’m anxious to see what they reveal, in large part because MongoDB is a different type of company than companies like Cloudera and Hortonworks. Rather than pushing heavy infrastructure products and services built around a new technology, MongoDB built a database that’s relatively easy to adopt and, indeed, has lots of users as a result.
The last estimate I saw was that the company is doing more than $100 million in annual revenue, although how many paying customers it has or how much cash it’s losing I do not know. I’m especially curious to see the ratio of users and paying customers—something about which MongoDB has been dogged for years. Assuming it’s pretty high, that could viewed as a weakness of its business model (and open source generally) or as a potential goldmine of enterprise sales to come.
On the latter point, the company has expanded its lineup of revenue streams pretty heavily over the past year with new products. That’s also a fairly stark departure from other public open source companies, which have tended to focus on infrastructure.
Two other things I want to highlight today are:
1. Gartner released its new Hype Cycle for Emerging Technologies, which actually includes quite a few artificial intelligence techniques and technologies
—more than I would have guessed. I’ll admit that I have a tough time distinguishing between “deep learning,” “machine learning” and “cognitive computing” on the Peak of Inflated Expectations (as well as some of the more specific technologies elsewhere), but if we’re going to break them up I’d actually argue that machine learning is probably mature beyond the rest and well up the Slope of Enlightenment. (God, I love those labels.)
2. WIRED has a good story about why the fears of job loss due to automation might be overblown.
You should just read it, but the gist is that there’s really no evidence of large-scale replacement of workers by robots and, in fact, some signs point to the opposite conclusion. If you’re searching for a reason to be optimistic on this issue, this will help—although, I’d note, talking about robots is not the same as talking about automation via software, which is kind of its own discussion.
And here are couple other, complementary pieces on this issue from today: