June 19, 2012

Hadoop marketing themes that deserve to be ignored

This is part of a four-post series, covering:

The posts depend on each other in various ways.

I am subjected to much Hadoop marketing. Indeed, I even help various clients inflict Hadoop marketing upon the world. But a guy’s got to draw a line somewhere, and there are certain Hadoop marketing themes that I just refuse to take seriously.

1. Big data. I think the term “big data” long ago jumped the shark. If a firm uses the term “big data”, I teeth-grittingly let it pass. But if they send me PR email offering to “explain” the benefits or “real meaning” of “big data”, my response is apt to be unkind.

2. Conference-timed news. I’ve never liked the custom of multiple vendors piling announcements into the same conference week. It seems like a calculated strategy to ensure getting the least possible mind share and attention — unless, of course, your announcement is so lame that brief mentions in conference-week roundups are the most visibility you can hope to get. Even so, many vendors make the marketing choice to pile on. Fine. But I’ll write in response if and when I feel like it.

3. Contribution Olympics. The Urinary Olympics as to who contributed more lines of code, patches, whatever to various Hadoop sub-projects got pretty silly; and although it peaked last year, elements of it are with us still. I do see two scenarios where the whole discussion might have genuine value, namely:

Otherwise, however, I pay little attention to claims like “We thought this scheme up 2 years ago, and hence we’re the experts on whether it’s now ready for production.”

Comments

11 Responses to “Hadoop marketing themes that deserve to be ignored”

  1. Joe on June 19th, 2012 6:59 pm

    (Feel free to delete)

    Curt, FYI, the hyperlinks in the preamble of each of these four posts are broken. ~ s/06/07

    I think you’re getting ahead of yourself =]

  2. raoul on June 19th, 2012 8:16 pm

    What else would you call big data? Kind of new to all of hadoop and all unstructured data.
    Is hadoop the only way to get answers out of unstructered data?

    Raoul

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  6. Ken on June 20th, 2012 12:28 pm

    “The Urinary Olympics”…

    Not quite as elegant as “machine-generated data” and some of the other concepts you have coined but descriptive and entertaining nonetheless.

  7. Curt Monash on June 20th, 2012 5:32 pm

    Hi Ken,

    I picked it up from a football coach argument 40 years ago, between John McKay of USC and John Ralston of Stanford. Memory tells me it was Ralston who said it, but that could be wrong, as McKay was a guy who had other great one-liners.

  8. Allen Brumm on June 22nd, 2012 7:12 pm

    RE: “as to who contributed more lines of code”. Not impressed either.
    Real skill is who can remove the most lines of code AND maintain or increase functionality while doing so. No one seems to brag about this though…

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  11. Paul Johnson on June 29th, 2012 8:07 am

    All good points.

    Like all vogue phrases/concepts in IT, once the ‘big data’ genie has escaped the bottle there’s no putting it back in.

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