Marten Mickos was CEO of MySQL AB, which is the key database used by most Internet startups, as well as by several long-established companies (c.f "Case studies" below). Owen Van Natta once said, when he was Facebook COO: "We (Facebook) are one of the largest MySQL websites in production. MySQL has been a revolution for young entrepreneurs".
In January 2008, MySQL AB announced that it had agreed to be acquired by Sun Microsystems for approximately $1 billion and the acquisition was completed the next month. With around 400 employees in 25 countries, MySQL AB was one of the largest open-source companies worldwide. It was downloaded around 40 thousand times a day (1 every 2 sec). Around 70% of the employees worked for MySQL from their home offices. Marten said it attracted those with "robust personalities", i.e. those able to produce without the immediate moral support of their colleagues and he believed "Our secret is in the way we operate our culture, and I'm convinced others cannot imitate that".
Marten left Sun over a month ago, where he was Senior Vice-President of the Database Group and "loves creating startups" and being involved with "growth companies" and for the moment has no immediate plans. He recently spent three days at Innovate! Europe in Zaragoza, Spain, attentively listening and giving advice to an ever-present queue of startup-CEOs, as well as answering Chris Shipley´s (co-founder Guidewire Group) questions on stage, where, most originally, he spoke about how he was able to create a strong company culture, virtually!
In this video interview at Innovate with Vator.tv (with transcript) he relates the notion of the "Stockdale Paradox" to the spirit an entrepreneur should have which is to "retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of difficulties, and at the same time, confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be" as well as the need for a CEO "to have a very high level of self-awareness" and to accept themselves. In reply to how he managed his company in a very distributed fashion, with distributed operations and everyone working virtually, he replied that "I think that offices are so last century. We've had offices in mankind for 400 to 500 years. But the human being is good at working at where he enjoys his life."
Click here for a list of prestigious conferences that Marten has spoken at and his recent twittering here. His recent donations have included that to the Software Freedom Law Center. He believes the future of technology will be Cloud Computing.
2. VTKK 1991-1993
3. ViSolutions 1993-1995
4. Solid Information Technology 1995-1997
5. Intellitel Communications 1997-1999 (he was instrumental in transitioning the company from a development lab to a commercial software vendor)
6. MatchON Sports 1999-2000 (which he grew to become the twenty-fourth “hottest e-business” in Europe within nine months of its inception.)
7. Vexillum 2000-2001
8. Hired as CEO of MySQL AB 2001 when the company had 12 employees
11. Oracle buys Sun for $7.4 billion dollars April 20, 2009
MySQL is the world's most popular open source database software, with over 100 million copies of its software downloaded or distributed throughout its history. With its great speed, reliability, and ease of use, MySQL has become one of the preferred choices for Web, Web 2.0, SaaS, ISV, Telecom companies and eliminates the major problems associated with downtime, maintenance and administration for modern, online applications. Furthermore Mickos said in the past that “MySQL is the only major database in the world that was designed for the Internet. It was designed in 1995, when the Internet already existed. Whereas all the other products were created in an offline world. So this created major design differences."
Many of the world's largest and fastest-growing organizations use MySQL to save time and money powering their high-volume Web sites, critical business systems, and packaged software — including industry leaders such as Yahoo!, Alcatel-Lucent, Google, Nokia, YouTube, Wikipedia, Travelocity and Booking.com. Omniture runs over 250 billion transactions per quarter on a farm of MySQL servers. Google uses MySQL for AdSense and AdWords. The databases can be hundreds of gigabytes. Sites run on hundreds of servers, some on thousands
MySQL is a key part of LAMP (Linux, Apache, MySQL, PHP / Perl / Python), the fast-growing open source enterprise software stack used by most internet entrepreneurs. More and more companies are using LAMP as an alternative to expensive proprietary software stacks because of its lower cost and freedom from platform lock-in.
MySQL, makes money by selling commercial licenses and by offering support and services. It makes MySQL available under the GPL at no charge, but sells it under other more traditional licenses to clients who do not find the GPL to be ideal for their purposes, such as inclusion of MySQL AB technology in a closed source product.
Other sources of revenue for MySQL AB are providing support and consulting, as well as training and certification for MySQL Server. Together with some additional services, MySQL also provide this as a subscription-based product, its flagship offering MySQL Enterprise, a comprehensive set of production-tested software, proactive monitoring tools, and premium support services available in an affordable annual subscription, which is also resold by other companies such as Dell, HP, and Novell.
History of MySQL
- 1995 Company founded by Michael Widenius, David Axmark and Allan Larsson
- 2001 Mårten Mickos elected CEO
- 2001 First round financing by Scandinavian venture capitalists
- 2003 Second round financing by a group of investors headed by Benchmark Capital
- 2006 Third round financing by Intel Capital, Red Hat, SAP Ventures, and others
- 2008 Announcement of acquisition by Sun Microsystems
MySQL Case Studies
Alcatel-Lucent uses MySQL Cluster Carrier Grade Edition to Handle over 60 million Subscribers
Booking.com Serves One Million Visitors per Day with MySQL Enterprise Unlimited
iStockphoto Grows to a Top-100 U.S. Website with MySQL Enterprise Unlimited
Sony Reduces Database Costs with MySQL
Craigslist Relies on MySQL to Serve Millions of Classified Ads
Learn How Yahoo! Powers Multiple Properties with MySQL
MySQL Powers Transaction-Heavy News Delivery System for the Associated Press