Browsing articles from "January, 2014"

Dude, Where’s My Car?

Dear Ashton,

I’m looking forward to watching your movie, Dude, Where’s My Car?

Because, seriously, dude, where’s my car?! We just lived through a real-life version of the movie when your investment Getaround lost my girlfriend’s car—for a whole week!

Dude Where's My Car With Getaround Investor Ashton Kutcher

No, I’m not kidding. This isn’t a spoof on your movie. This is the real deal. Some “dude” rented her car and thought he had returned it.

According to him he was “so wasted,” that he parked the car in a lot near his house rather than back in its rightful parking spot, a mile and half away. When he finally remembered that he hadn’t returned it, he didn’t even remember where he parked it! I mean, where do we even start on that one?

But then there’s the fact that Getaround didn’t figure out her car wasn’t in its rightful parking spot—for a whole week! Shouldn’t they have used software + GPS technology to figure that out? She called Getaround when she got back from from visiting family over the holidays to ask, “Dude, where’s my car?”

The good news is, they found her car. And the dude even remembered that he still had the key. It took them more than 30 hours to get her car back to her. That was frustrating.

If it were me I would have sent over a cool MINI from the Getaround fleet to make up for the fact that a) her car was missing and b) she might actually need to use her car to go somewhere!

Ashton, like you, I’m a huge fan of Marketplaces 2.0, and I love the concept behind Getaround. I think it’s awesome that you’re an investor in the company. I just hope no one else has to experience your movie in real life like we did!

I have to say, now that we’ve lived through this we really want to watch your movie. I’m sure it will be funny.

Thank you and all the best.

Jan 13, 2014

Why I Write

While I was in China, one of the questions I got asked a lot was “Why did you write Big Data Demystified?” I talked about my own very personal experience with Big Data, how I used it to measure my progress every week when I was training for my first Ironman and how I wanted to share that with others. I talked about my desire to take everything I had learned about Big Data and put it in one place–to create a lasting work that encompassed the knowledge I had acquired so other people could share in the learnings.

But then later, while I was talking with my Dad I told him that what I really wanted to say was, “I wrote the book because I love to write!”

To his great credit, he said, “you should just say that!”

I have always enjoyed writing. In eighth grade, I took a course called Expository Writing with Mr. Stewart. I credit that class with teaching me almost everything I know about writing. One of my favorite exercises was writing a Dr. Seuss-like story. Mine was called Horace The Hippo. It was a story about a Hippo who lost everything because of his weight problem and what he did about it.

I love writing because it’s a way to clarify my thoughts. It’s a way to communicate. It’s a way to generate new ideas.

People often tell me they want to write a book but they just don’t think they can.

How do you write a book? One word at a time.

It sounds so simple, yet it can be so difficult. People ask me if I ever get writer’s block. I do get writer’s block–all the time. My solution is to write one sentence. I may throw that sentence out later, but if I can write one sentence, then I can write another and another and… before you know it there’s a whole chapter.

People also ask how long it takes to write a book. The research for Big Data Demystified took me more than nine months. That was after I had already been in technology for years and built two storage companies. So I felt like I had a very strong basis for understanding the space and I was really digging into the details. The actual writing took 10 weeks.

There is a great quote by the famous conductor Herbert von Karajan. A flutist asks him when he should come in and von Karajan says, “When you can’t stand it anymore!” That’s why I write. When there is so much content in my brain that I can’t stand it anymore–I write.


Jan 4, 2014

Announcing The Big Data Landscape Conference 2014

Announcing The Big Data Landscape Conference 2014

Registration for The Big Data Landscape Conference 2014 is now available at

The Big Data Landscape Conference 2014 brings together some of today’s leading independent Big Data companies with Silicon Valley’s most prominent Big Data and Cloud investors. The Big Data Landscape Conference 2014 will take place on Thursday January 23, 2014 at the new Hotel Zetta, San Francisco.

At the conference, David Feinleib, author of Big Data Demystified, will release the 2014 Edition of The Big Data Landscape. Feinleib’s Big Data Landscape and Big Data Trends presentation have together been viewed more than 150,000 times both in the US and abroad and are used as references by leading technology investors, buyers and vendors.

“Although more than 150,000 people have viewed The Big Data Landscape, it’s all too infrequent that investors and technology buyers get to interact with these companies directly,” said David Feinleib, Managing Director of The Big Data Group. “Our Big Data Landscape Conference offers direct, candid interaction with the CEOs and founders of the next breakout companies on The Big Data Landscape.”

The Big Data Landscape 2014 Edition includes mobile analytics firm Flurry and Big Data discovery firm Recommind, which are expected to go public this year. It also includes companies like Spunk, a leading operational intelligence vendor with a market capitulation above $7 billion.

“The companies at The Big Data Landscape 2014 Conference are meeting customer needs today and are backed by leading investors like Accel, Greylock, Lightspeed, Mohr Davidow and others,” says conference co-producer Bill Long of DISCERN Advisors.

The companies include Apigee, a pre-IPO provider of Big Data APIs and applications; Identified, backed by Eric Schmidt’s Innovation Endeavors; Qubole, founded by the former head of Big Data Analytics at Facebook; Splice Machine, founded by industry veteran Monte Zweben; Trifacta, founded by Joe Hellerstein, one of Fortune Magazine’s 50 smartest people; and Ufora, a transformational Big Data company for financial services.

The Big Data Landscape Conference is sponsored by The Big Data Group, Burr Pilger Mayer, DISCERN Advisors and Hotel Zetta.


About the Big Data Group

The Big Data Group provides advisory and strategic consulting services to technology buyers and vendors. The Big Data Landscape is a leading source for up-to-date Big Data market information and insights. The Big Data 100 is an annual listing of the top 100 Big Data Vendors.

For more information visit:
About Discern

Discern Advisors is a leading boutique investment bank focused on Big Data, Mobile applications, SaaS and Cloud Computing. We are entrepreneurs, investors and advisors with 25 years of connections to the world’s leading technology companies and investors. Discern’s analysts benefit from the collective knowledge of our entire team, powerful information analytics tools, and proprietary data streams.


Burr Pilger Mayer
Burr Pilger Mayer (BPM) provides meaningful, comprehensive financial and business counsel. We are experts in accounting, tax, and finance, and our people are distinguished by their knowledge, discipline, and unremitting commitment to the success of clients. As the largest California-based accounting and consulting firm, BPM has served the Bay Area’s emerging and mid-cap businesses as well as high net worth individuals for the past 26 years.


About Hotel Zetta

Hotel Zetta has re-imagined the corporate meeting space into a place that’s fresh, vibrant and highly productive—the perfect setting for your next corporate function, meeting, or private event. If you’re looking for a dynamic location to meet in the heart of downtown San Francisco, Hotel Zetta is for you.

Jan 3, 2014