What will replace SQL?

OK, if we’re going to have a significant increase in noSQL approaches to big data management, what will take the place of SQL?

This isn’t just a Zen koan.  SQL, a language I never cared for, nevertheless has two signal virtues:

  1. By being essentially universal (I know, I know, more honored in the breach than in the observance), SQL provided for separation of concerns between the data layer and applications.  It at least defined in principle some kind of border even if, like the border between Kenya and Somalia, it’s something of a literary device.
  2. By separating the results of a query from the procedure for the query, SQL allowed both to be honed separately.  We have good storage engines today and good data science because the two are separated.

What will take the place of this border in the noSQL world?  Today it’s anarchic: the query is a method in some languages, a specification in others, and (thanks to some bridging technologies), SQL itself.

Just as web applications took UI/UX back a decade, noSQL risks taking the data layer abstraction back a decade or two.  Needs some work.

Anybody know good companies or approaches to this problem?


Connected TV

We’re looking for investments in connected TV.  Apple TV and others have thus far not ignited this market, but we believe something will.


Great product” vs. “Great business

We investors frequently fault entrepreneurs — especially tech entrepreneurs — for not understanding the difference between a great product and a great business.

A business is so much more than a product: it’s a value proposition; it’s communicating that value proposition to the customers; it’s bringing the product to the market, and to the customers; it’s establishing an advantage vis a vis competitors; it’s building an organization that can reproducibly do all of the above.  It’s no wonder that many startup businesses don’t know whether or not they have a great business, even when they might have a great product.

To be fair, however, many VCs and angels don’t get the difference between a great product and a great business either.  We convince ourselves that just because we understand how a product works that we understand the business that could successfully sell that product.  Or we think that because we can understand a product in a marketplace that we undertand all the “gotchas” of running a business in that marketplace.

It’s not just entrepreneurs who need to be honest with themselves about the distinction.