This is the reality Lore is still struggling to get Walmart’s entire executive team and board to accept, though sources say McMillon also acknowledges it: E-commerce in the US is becoming a “winner take all” industry. Or, at a minimum, a “winner take most” market.
X is perhaps the only enterprise on the planet where regular investigation into the absurd is not just permitted but encouraged, and even required. X has quietly looked into space elevators and cold fusion. It has tried, and abandoned, projects to design hoverboards with magnetic levitation and to make affordable fuel from seawater. It has tried—and succeeded, in varying measures—to build self-driving cars, make drones that deliver aerodynamic packages, and design contact lenses that measure glucose levels in a diabetic person’s tears.
The purpose of X is not to solve Google’s problems; thousands of people are already doing that. Nor is its mission philanthropic. Instead X exists, ultimately, to create world-changing companies that could eventually become the next Google.
For Kojima, the future involves ridding himself of distracting responsibilities. “When working in big companies, especially Japanese companies, every little thing has to be approved beforehand, and you need paperwork to do anything,” he said. “Now that I’m independent, I can do what I want with much more speed. I don’t need to invest time in unnecessary presentations. I shoulder the risk.” He also relishes the chance to speak his mind. “When I was in a company, my personal statements could be taken as the over-all direction of the company. As such, I couldn’t say just anything.”
If successful, the round of fund-raising would make Uber the world’s most valuable private start-up by far. A round this summer valued the company at more than $50 billion, a bit more than Facebook was valued at after its last big round of private capital fund-raising in 2011.
Sony today reported a $780 million operating profit for Q1 2015, up 39 percent annually, as the company’s camera sensor business and PlayStation 4 arm pushed it past analyst expectations.
Frenkiel said that if they had continued with Amazon, MemSQL would have spent roughly $900,000 over the next three years. This validates his decision to switch to physical servers at a cost of $200,000. “The hardware will pay for itself in about four months.”
“The public cloud is phenomenal if you really need its elasticity,” he said. “But if you don’t — if you do a consistent amount of workload — it’s far better to go in-house.”