Someformer employees of Yahoo, Google and Facebook recently announcedthey’ve spawned a startup, called Cloudera, to provide support for Hadoop, an open source development platform for building applications to process large volumes of data.
This is not the first time ex-employees of well-known companies have formed startups. (Earlier this year, search engine Cuilwas built by ex-Google staff). Actually, employees of companies thatare known and not-so-known leave to start their own businesses all thetime – that’s part of the startup culture – but it doesn’t always makethe news.
Butdoes association with a successful company make the news because themedia seeks out and hones in on these eyebrow-raising tidbits ofinformation, or is it part of a well-engineered marketing strategy bythe startup?
Spawninga new company is by no means a picnic, and if the founders have someclaim to fame, then it’s not a bad idea to capitalize on it. But it’sat once a blessing and a curse. If potential customers perceive aformer employee of a successful company as having the ability tosomehow transfer that success to the startup, then that’s a good thing.But what’s not so good is the definite expectation of success by virtueof the connection.
Moreover,the startup will probably endure a frustrating lifetime of comparisonwith every instance of success and failure explained in relation to thecompany that once employed the founders.
Butso far, the ex-Yahoo, Google and Facebook employees behind Cloudera areoff to a good start. They’ve shown their mental brawn by getting in onthe business of helping customers manage the reams of data theyproduce. Recognizing that particular market as fruitful is a good movegiven the trend towards explosive amounts of corporate data and theneed to somehow control it.
Butthe journey has only just begun for these ex-staff of these famouscompanies. And, they will no doubt at times come to love their formerassociation as much as they’ll despise it.