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Bruce Scott on Founder Larry Ellison

The Arc of Company Life and How to Prolong It


One of the largest and most influential software companies in the world,Oracle was originally founded as Software Development Laboratories in 1977. Between then and 1982, the company searched for product market fit, eventually determining how to commercialize its relational database system for enterprise companies. That's when it was officially named Oracle and entered growth. But when most early employees recall what gave the company its early competitive edge, they point to CEO Larry Ellison

Bruce Scott, co-architect and co-author of the first three versions of the Oracle database put it this way: “I've thought a lot about why Oracle was successful... It was really Larry's charisma, vision, and his determination to make this thing work no matter what. I can give you an example of his thought processes: We had space allocated to us, and we needed to get our terminals strung to the computer room next door. We didn't have anywhere to string the wiring.”

“Larry picks up a hammer, crashes a hole in the middle of the wall and says, 'There you go.'”

Stashed in: Founders, Startup Lessons, Oracle, @firstround

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Larry Ellison had a hammer. Everything looked like a nail to him.

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