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Ali Ghodsi

10 Podcast Episodes

Latest 4 Apr 2021 | Updated Daily

Weekly hand curated podcast episodes for learning

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How to Commercialize Open Source (Ali Ghodsi, Co-Founder & CEO of Databricks)

B2B a CEO (with Ashu Garg)

In this discussion from our recent enterprise conference FC BUILD, Ashu interviews Databricks founder and CEO Ali Ghodsi. A rather unconventional company, Databricks began as an open-source project at UC Berkeley that moved into the commercial space after the team realized its impact. Ali and Ashu discuss commercializing an open-source project, identifying product-market fit, and optimizing go-to-market.


18 Mar 2021

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Pricing Strategy, Category Creation on Boss Talk #6 with Ben Horowitz and Ali Ghodsi

a16z Live

Pricing has huge implications for market size. How do you know if the price isn't right? And when a customer says something is too expensive, what are they really telling you? Also on Boss Talk #6: creating a new category, how Ali learned to handle racism, and when to bet on your next product. Boss Talk is the Clubhouse show where a16z cofounder Ben Horowitz and Ali Ghodsi, the Founder/CEO of Databricks, discuss CEO stuff, leadership stuff, management stuff... boss stuff. Live every Tuesday 5-6pm on Clubhouse. 


18 Mar 2021

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How to Build Your Executive Team with Ali Ghodsi of Databricks

Inc. Founders Project with Alexa von Tobel

In 2013, a team of academics at UC Berkeley was working to solve massive data challenges that were impacting the tech companies in their backyard. Fast-forward and that team now represents the co-founders of Databricks, a data and AI company used by more than 5,000 organizations worldwide. In 2016, Ali Ghodsi stepped into the CEO seat and the company is now valued at $28 billion. Ali shares why he prioritizes building leaders over making decisions, how he sees the future of AI, and how he navigates the unique experience of having six co-founders.


17 Mar 2021

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Competing in the Cloud on Boss Talk with Ben Horowitz and Ali Ghodsi

a16z Live

For some cloud software companies, they don't just build on AWS, Azure, or Google Cloud, they compete with them. So, how do you stay ahead when competing in the cloud?  a16z cofounder Ben Horowitz and Ali Ghodsi, the Founder/CEO of Databricks, cover that, as well as getting product-market fit on your second product, why it's difficult to do both on-prem and cloud software, the importance of making the right unpopular decision, and how to know if a potential exec hire is a cultural fit on this episode of Boss Talk – the Clubhouse show where a16z cofounder Ben Horowitz and Ali Ghodsi, the Founder/CEO of Databricks, discuss CEO stuff, leadership stuff, management stuff... boss stuff.  

1hr 2mins

11 Mar 2021

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Ali Ghodsi – The Past, Present, and Future of Big Data – [Founder’s Field Guide, EP.18]

Invest Like the Best with Patrick O'Shaughnessy

My Guest today is Ali Ghodsi, founder and CEO of Databricks, a data analytics platform for data scientists and developers. He's also the founder of Apache Spark, the open-source project that Databricks is built on, and is an accomplished researcher at UC Berkley's computer science department. Our conversation ranges from the origins of distributed computing to modern data infrastructure, how companies can leverage their massive datasets, and the transformation of Databricks through its phases of growth as a business. While technical, it's exactly the kind of conversation I like to have on this show. I hope you enjoy my conversation with Ali Ghodsi.  For the full show notes, transcript, and links to mentioned content check out https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes/4919706/ghodsi-the-past-present-and-future-of-big-data This episode of Founder's Field Guide is sponsored by Klaviyo.  Klaviyo is the ultimate marketing platform for ecommerce. With targeted segmentation, email automation, SMS marketing, and more, Klaviyo helps you create your ideal customer experience. See why Klaviyo's trusted by more than 50,000 brands, like Living Proof, Solo Stove, and Nomad to help them grow their business. For a free trial check out https://www.klaviyo.com/founders.  This episode is also sponsored by Vanta.  Vanta has built software that makes it easier to both get and maintain your SOC 2 report, at a fraction of the normal cost. Founders Field Guide listeners can redeem a $1k off coupon at vanta.com/patrick.  Founder's Field Guide is a property of Colossus Inc. For more episodes of Founder's Field Guide go to https://www.joincolossus.com/episodes.    Stay up to date on all our podcasts by signing up to Colossus Weekly, our quick dive every Sunday highlighting the top business and investing concepts from our podcasts and the best of what we read that week.  Sign up here - https://www.joincolossus.com/newsletter. Follow Patrick on Twitter at @patrick_oshag Follow Colossus on Twitter at @JoinColossus Show Notes [00:02:48] – [First question] – What is Databricks [00:03:34] – History of distributed computing [00:05:35] – Hardware that made this all possible [00:07:20] – Early challenges in building out these systems [00:09:43] – What has made networking technology better [00:10:35] – Doing something in storage vs with memory [00:11:45] – Origins of Hadoop [00:12:42] – Use cases of distributed data in 2010 that weren’t possible in 2000 [00:13:35] – Origins of Spark [00:15:25] – Early Spark and then the transformation into Databricks [00:16:50] – Early uses cases [00:17:37] – Their relationship to the open-source project [00:21:07] – What customers need in order to work with Databricks [00:23:11] – Their customer interaction [00:26:27] – How they think about making investments [00:28:24] – Their competitive advantage [00:30:13] – Other companies in moving the needle in building distributed computing industry [00:32:10] – Walls that need to be broken down today [00:34:02] – Best practices for companies when it comes to their data             [00:34:13] – Jeff Lawson Podcast Episode [00:38:47] – Lessons being a CEO [00:39:53] – Working at the University of Berkeley’s AMPLab [00:41:56] – What excites him about the future [00:43:29] – Kindest thing anyone has done for him


28 Jan 2021

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20VC: Databricks CEO, Ali Ghodsi on The 3 Phases of Startup Growth, How to Evaluate Risk and Downside Scenario Planning & Who, What and When To Hire When Scaling Your Go-To-Market

The Twenty Minute VC: Venture Capital | Startup Funding | The Pitch

Ali Ghodsi is the Founder & CEO @ Databricks, bringing together data engineering, science and analytics on an open, unified platform so data teams can collaborate and innovate faster. To date, Ali has raised over $897M for the company including from the likes of a16z, NEA, Microsoft, Battery, Coatue, Greenbay and more. Prior to Databricks, Ali was one of the original creators of open source project, Apache Spark, and ideas from his research have been applied to Apache Mesos and Apache Hadoop. In Today’s Episode You Will Learn: 1.) How Ali made his way from fleeing Iran as a refugee to living in a Swedish ghetto? What was the founding moment for Ali with Databricks? 2.) How does Ali think about and evaluate risk today? Why does Ali always make his team do downside scenario planning? How does Ali think about his relationship to money today? Why does Ali disagree with gut decisions? What is his process for making decisions effectively? 3.) Stage 1: The Search for PMF: What are the core elements included in this phase? What types of leaders thrive in this phase? What type struggle? How can leaders sustain morale in the early days when it is not up and to the right? Who are the crucial hires in this phase? 4.) Stage 2: Scale Go-To-Market: What are the core roles needed to expand GTM fast and effectively? Why should you hire sales leaders before marketing leaders? Why is hiring finance leaders so crucial here? What mistakes are most often made here? How do the board resolve them? 5.) Stage 3: Process and Efficiency: What are the first and most important processes that need to be implemented? How does Ali need to change the type of leader he is to fit this stage? How does one retain creativity and nimble decision-making at scale and with process? Item’s Mentioned In Today’s Episode Ali’s Favourite Book: Good Strategy Bad Strategy: The Difference and Why it Matters As always you can follow Harry and The Twenty Minute VC on Twitter here! Likewise, you can follow Harry on Instagram here for mojito madness and all things 20VC.


14 Jan 2021

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Data Lakehouse, meet fast queries and visualization: Databricks unveils Delta Engine, acquires Redash. Backstage chat featuring Databricks CEO / Co-Founder Ali Ghodsi

Orchestrate all the Things podcast: Connecting the Dots with George Anadiotis

Data warehouses alone don't cut it. Data lakes alone don't cut it either. So whether you call it data lakehouse or by any other name, you need the best of both worlds, says Databricks. A new query engine and a visualization layer are the next pieces in Databricks' puzzle. We connected with Ali Ghodsi, co-founder and CEO of Databricks, to discuss their latest news: the announcement of a new query engine called Delta Engine, and the acquisition of Redash, an open source visualization product. Our discussion started with the background on data lakehouses, which is the term Databricks is advocating to signify the coalescing of data warehouses and data lakes.  We talked about trends such as multi cloud and machine learning that lead to a new reality, how data warehouses and data lakes work, and what does the data lakehouse bring to the table. We also talked about Delta Engine and Redash of course, and we wrapped up with an outlook on Databricks business growth. ZDNet article published in June 2020


24 Jun 2020

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How to Go to Market (Ali Ghodsi, Co-Founder & CEO of Databricks)

B2B a CEO (with Ashu Garg)

On this episode, we have Ali Ghodsi, cofounder and CEO of Databricks, a cloud platform for massive scale data engineering and collaborative data science.For the first third of the podcast, Ali tells us the story of how a research project at the AMP Lab at UC Berkeley grew into Databricks. This will be of particular interest to anyone who wants to know how to commercialize open source.After that, Ali gives listeners a crash course on how to build an early stage go-to-market machine—from how and who to hire, to how to coordinate sales and marketing, to how to execute. It's a fantastic bootcamp for startup CEOs.


12 Jun 2020

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Your Company Needs “Boring AI” to Avoid Becoming Obsolete, says Databricks Chief Ali Ghodsi

Powered by Battery

Many technology CEOs come from the nation’s top business schools, or emerge from Silicon Valley garages. Others come by way of Iran, Sweden and the University of California at Berkeley’s computer-science department.That’s Ali Ghodsi’s story, at least. Ghodsi is a PhD computer scientist who, with several others, is the original creator of Apache Spark open-source, unified analytics engine project. He and his co-founders later leveraged that project to create the data and analytics company Databricks, which now has more than 900 employees and $100 million in annual revenue. In this episode of Powered by Battery, Ghodsi talks about Databricks’ early days as well as the challenges that he, as an ex-academic, faced building up core corporate functions like sales, marketing, finance and HR. Have a listen.


12 Sep 2019

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Ali Ghodsi On Building A $28 Billion Business And Being Considered One Of The True Founders Of Artificial Intelligence


Ali Ghodsi is the cofounder and CEO of Databricks which accelerates innovation by unifying analytics across data science, data engineering, and the business. The company has raised $500M at a $2.75B valuation from NEA, Andreessen Horowitz, Battery Ventures, Data Collective, Microsoft, Coatue Management, Green Bay Ventures, and SineWave Ventures to name a few.


27 Aug 2019