The Pillorying of MarkLogic: Why Selling Disruptive Technology To the Government is Hard and Risky

Ok, to my usual writing friends this will seem like a foreign language, but perhaps this article will shed some light on just why the government website for the health insurance exchanges had such difficult problems. One comment I found interesting is Mr. Kellogg ‘ s statement that he hadn’t counted on “the politics” in dealing with a government contract. I thought that’s what government IS: politics. I wouldn’t expect it to be any different. Frankly that’s why I have avoided taking government jobs when I have considered doing something different with my career. Job stability in government – based settings is a thing of the past. Big government is no longer the savior of the people. Put that poison goblet down.

Kellblog

There’s a well established school of thought that high-tech startups should focus on a few vertical markets early in their development.  The question is whether government should be one of them?

The government seems to think so.  They run a handful of programs to encourage startups to focus on government.  Heck, the CIA even has a venture arm right on Sand Hill Road, In-Q-Tel, whose mission is to find startups who are not focused on the Intelligence Community (IC) and to help them find initial customers (and provide them with a dash of venture capital) to encourage them to do so.

When I ran MarkLogic between mid-2004 and 2010, we made the strategic decision to focus on government as one of our two key verticals.  While it was then, and still is, rather contrarian to do so, we nevertheless decided to focus on government for several reasons.

  • The technology…

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