Shock and awe! @SnowflakeDB is public. I met the founders Benoit, Thierry and Marcin in Jan 2013, invested in the seed financing soon after, and have invested in every financing since. Things weren’t always so obvious, as this post explains.…

A thread 👇👇
1/ Relational is dead

That was fashionable thinking in 2013. Remember Hadoop? Snowflake believed the cloud could unleash relational technology while preserving its benefits, such as the legions of analysts and DBA’s already trained in it – a large and ready market.
2/ Amazon will kill you

AWS based Redshift on ParAccel technology from the on-premise world. Snowflake would be cloud-native and operate as a service. “Smart money” was skeptical that product advantages would be enough. Plus, Snowflake would compete with its biggest supplier 😱
3/ Enterprises won’t trust the Cloud with their data

“When will you adopt cloud-based analytics?” I asked a panel of IT exec’s from a Top 5 bank in 2011. “Uh, never”. Snowflake believed data “born in the cloud” would provide a viable early market, and eventually dominate.
4/ Who are these guys?

Benoit, Thierry and Marcin are among the most gifted individuals I have ever worked with. But not straight out of central casting for the role of “Messianic Founder”. They just happened to understand the opportunity better than anyone else on the planet.
5/ Still not convinced?

Snowflake’s 2016 financing was a slog. The insiders had to backstop the company. That was a mere four years ago, folks. Investors today tweeting Snowflake S-1 teardowns and buzzy factoids are not shareholders and passed on that 2016 financing 👊
5/ Upside Surprise

“Snowflake is addictive” -- Snowflake Sales Ops leader, 2017. There was huge pent-up demand for analytics in the enterprise, and Snowflake broke open the dam. Evidence: staggering 158% NRR on six-figure-plus ACV’s 🔥
6/ Moral of the Story – Pt 1

Companies and investors can be categorized as “Before Its Obvious” and “After Its Obvious”. Snowflake is now “After Its Obvious” and has attracted admirers. But without “Before Its Obvious” supporters, we wouldn’t even be having this conversation.
7/ Moral of the Story – Pt 2

The founders were perfect for Snowflake. Part of their perfection was eagerness to embrace contributions from others: @laserlikemike as original CEO, @Bob_Muglia who helped lay the foundation and Frank Slootman who is leading the way to greatness
8/ Far from over

Huge thanks to all the Snowflakes who are the company’s not-so-secret weapons. It has been an honor to work with all of you! Can’t wait to see what you do next

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