What is the difference between God and Larry Ellison
Larry Ellison, the founder and CEO of Oracle, is one of the richest people on the planet, an original and an eccentric who is not shy, like Bill Gates, by the way, to give an interview to Playboy. His father was from Russia, and Larry often compares Microsoft’s policies with a situation similar to the one in the Soviet Union: “Lack of competition will result in high prices and poor quality.” Larry Ellison’s biography is entitled: “How God Is Different from Larry Ellison.”
His mother's name, Florence Spellman, was recognized only at the age of 48. A 19-year-old girl gave the fruit of fleeting love to her maternal aunt. Lillian and her husband Louis Ellison adopted a newborn.
At school, Larry showed an extraordinary mathematical talent. He studied with brilliance for two years at the University of Illinois, but his adoptive mother died there, and he was not up to exams. Then he spent one semester at the University of Chicago, where he first came into contact with computer science, but also threw it, having rolled in California.
In a new place, he began to pee programs on Fortran. Experience was accumulating, acquaintances were being made in the computer world. And Allison read special literature. And after 12 years of “sitting on the stove”, in 1977, he, together with two friends - Bob Miner and Ed Oates - founded Software Development Laboratories (soon renamed Relational Software Inc). The impetus for this significant event was the article by Edgar Codd, an IBM developer, which caught his eye and spoke about the prospects of creating universal databases capable of functioning in any computer running the SQL query language.
I must say that databases existed before that. However, to call them a product to be replicated would be too bold. Each company that produced computers developed its own bases, and it was impossible to use them on another machine. Alison, however, swung at universal universalism and the unprecedented simplicity of a database management system (DBMS), starting with building relational DBMSs on PDP-11 mini-computers. The distribution area of the System R relational DBMS was limited to monsters - IBM mainframes the size of, sometimes, the size of a room. Larry’s strategy was that his product should work as efficiently as possible on any computers with any masses of information - plant specifications, staffing tables, commercial contracts, astronomical observation banks, intelligence data ...
Lari has an old friendship with American intelligence: even with the name Oracle, his corporation owes a project that they developed (and did not) for the CIA. Unlike the project, Oracle managed to bring to mind and convince the CIA that this is exactly what they need. The ability to persuade is a very strong side of Larry Ellison. Firstly, he has powerful charisma. Secondly - excellent acting data. He turns presentations of his new products into unforgettable shows.
Here is an example of one of these views. On a huge monitor, a magnificent image of CEO, Larry Ellison. Thirty seconds later, he himself flies onto the stage, as swift as a fighter (and he has a fighter instead of a business jet). A principal adversary of personal computers, he says that he will now launch a presentation program on his PC. Jumping to the unfortunate PC, as if accidentally clinging to an innocent piece of iron with an elbow, it falls, smoke is pouring out of it, sparks are pouring in, something explodes. All this is accompanied by comic gestures and facial expressions. Then Larry “remembers” that, fortunately, he managed to transfer the files for presentation to the server, with which for sure nothing would happen. So, cute and fun, but at the same time both visually and convincingly.
The DBMS, which was gaining popularity, entered the market not like everyone else, but with a feint: right from version 2, they decided that Oracle 1 sounds solid. State structures do not like newcomers. After selling this version of the CIA, Ellison made extensive use of the fact for advertising purposes: our product protects US public interests! Result: in 1980, the company's profit reached $ 1 million. The program was even purchased by IBM for its S / 370 mainframes. Well, the market reacted to the emergence of Oracle 3 with rush demand. And in 1983, Relational Software Inc. It was renamed Oracle Corporation so that no one confused which product it produced.
The company was expanding rapidly: 400 new recruits, mostly sales managers, were already working side by side with 8 "old-timers". And sales grew even faster. Soon, the corporation's capital exceeded a billion dollars. And in 1986, Larry Ellison, with a fortune of $ 185 million, was ranked by Forbes magazine. Bill Gates was also there for the first time, who had 315 of these millions. So they are called to this day - “the first software millionaires”. Allison has been striving to catch up with Gates all his life, for which he does not consider hostility to be necessary. Once, even with a wild roar, he flew on his fighter “Marchetti” over the mansion of Bill Gates. True, it is not known whether he was at home.
At times, Allison managed to circumvent Gates - in 2000 he became the most successful CEO, having managed to increase his fortune by $ 3.9 billion over the year and brought it to $ 48 billion. This happened because Oracle grew incredibly due to the growing leaps and bounds, e-commerce. Gates, as a result of the antitrust lawsuit, "lost" $ 10 billion. However, the next year he recouped.
The development of Oracle Corporation was not progressive. In 1990, the company's market value unexpectedly fell by 80%. There was a desperate situation fraught with bankruptcy. Allison reacted promptly and harshly, if not cruelly. 400 employees were dismissed - 10% of the staff. And almost all of the top management - people close to Larry, those who 10 years side by side with him increased the fame and fortune of the company. (The exception for the inveterate pragmatist Ellison was always Bob Miner, a gifted programmer and just a very good, kind person. When he passed away in the mid-90s, Ellison felt that this loss was irreparable for him personally and for the company, “kind spirit ”which Miner was).
Larry did not make excuses. He simply explained his position. “We were the fastest growing company in the history of the computer industry, but suddenly we reached a dead end and started banging our heads against the wall,” he said. - We have reached billions in revenue, but we have faced practically insoluble management problems. The fact is that the people who managed the billionth company remained the same as at the time when our company cost $ 15 million. I felt an incredible sense of gratitude to everyone who worked with me, to everyone with whom we created Oracle. But I had no choice. I had to fire them, realizing that if this is not done, then soon there will simply be no Oracle. First of all, I felt responsible to the whole company, to all the staff, to all shareholders and customers. ”
New managers were hired, "trained" on huge volumes of production and fierce competition. And after some time, Oracle returned to its former heights. But henceforth Ellison never deviated from the principle: “Business is more important than people”, which Bob Miner had tried to balance before, declaring the opposite: people are much more important than business.
In the market for software products, Oracle Corporation ranks second after Microsoft in terms of sales. However, in the DBMS segment, it is the undisputed leader - it owns 61% of the market. And these positions Oracle retains over 20 years thanks to continuous innovation. Ellison was one of the first to appreciate the enormous potential of the emerging Internet and to include in advance in its products features that allow it to be used effectively. As a result, he got a fair share of the pie as soon as the e-commerce mechanism was working hard. All Oracle Corporation software products can not only work with the Internet as a huge repository of information, but also use the distributed computing resources of the world wide web.
The development of Oracle Corporation, like any successful company, can be compared with the mechanism of galaxy formation. Initially, an explosion of accumulated intellectual and entrepreneurial energy occurs, which is rapidly expanding, capturing the market. Over time, the energy density decreases and expansion slows down. However, Allison still maintains a fair amount of internal pressure in her company, and there is no need to talk about stagnation. Having occupied dominant positions in the DBMS segment, it has decisively taken root in the field of corporate applications - ERP, CRM and other "heavy" software.
Moreover, he acted as his main rival in his time. Bill Gates legislatively tightly linked his operating systems to PC sales, Allison - his applications to his DBMS.
This is how events unfolded. Oracle CEO made a loud statement: the software market is oversaturated with players, most of whom must leave. Only giants survive, which include Microsoft, Oracle, Hewlett-Packard, Sun and SAP. Giants will buy medium-sized companies. Well, the "pot-bellied little thing" should evaporate. And further: "We need specialists, clients and money of medium-sized companies."
The first victim was PeopleSoft. At the end of 2004, having paid $ 10.3 billion, Larry took possession of People's Software. Indeed, he needed a company to oust it from the market: he left only the leading developers and production facilities, and all software products went to landfill.
Then several more acquisitions followed, smaller, costing Allison another $ 15 billion. And finally, in February of this year, it announced the purchase of BEA for $ 8.9 billion. All this was intended to catch up and overtake the market leader in enterprise applications - the German company SAP . I managed to catch up. To overtake - not yet. SAP President Henning Kagerman explains this by saying that Allison is not quite right when he talks about the glut of the market. If so, it is indeed necessary to take an active takeover and consolidate its market share. But not all niches are occupied. SAP, in any case, manages to find and offer fundamentally new software solutions that attract new customers to the company.
For Ellison, this is the details. In business, he prefers an aggressive strategy. Such is his nature. It cannot be without risk, without battles both with competitors and with natural elements. Allison is a great athlete, a yachtsman. Among his sports trophies is a medal for winning the prestigious Sidney - Hobart sailing regatta, which he received in 1998 under incredibly difficult conditions, having passed through an unprecedented storm. He is piloting a personal fighter. He even had intentions to buy a supersonic MiG, but the deal fell through. In his fleet there is a car that once took part in F1 - this is the McLaren team car. He loves thrills, speed - and this helps him in business, where the success of the whole thing sometimes depends on the ability to quickly make the right decisions.
CEO.ru: 09/12/2008 // Allison Larry / Person
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