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What Does OpenAI’s Acquisition of Rockset Mean for AI Companies?

🌈 Abstract

The article discusses the rise and fall of tech companies like Clubhouse, Evernote, and, and how they were ultimately absorbed by larger tech giants. It then analyzes OpenAI's recent acquisition of Rockset, a real-time analytics database, and why this move is significant for the company's strategy of integrating structured and semi-structured data into its AI ecosystem.

🙋 Q&A

[01] The "Microsoftization" of Companies

1. What is the author's explanation for why some tech companies disappear after initial success?

  • The author argues that these companies were never truly products, but rather features masquerading as products. When these features try to stand alone, larger tech giants swoop in and incorporate them into their own sprawling ecosystems.

2. What are some examples provided of this phenomenon?

  • The author gives examples of how Pinterest absorbed the essence of, Twitter and Discord added audio-only channels, and Google, Microsoft, and Apple have their own note-taking features in their ecosystems.

[02] OpenAI's Acquisition of Rockset

1. Why did OpenAI choose to acquire Rockset instead of a vector-only database like Pinecone, Milvus, or Weaviate?

  • The author suggests that OpenAI likely acquired Rockset because it specializes in handling structured and semi-structured data, which is important for the company's Retrieval Augmented Generation (RAG) feature and its recent addition of the ability to read Google Sheets and create native tables.

2. What are the key features and capabilities of Rockset that make it a valuable acquisition for OpenAI?

  • Rockset is a real-time analytics database that can handle semi-structured data, allowing users to ingest JSON documents and run SQL queries on the flattened data. It has a three-tiered storage architecture similar to SingleStore, with support for in-memory, local disk, and object storage.

3. How does the author believe OpenAI will leverage Rockset's capabilities?

  • The author speculates that OpenAI will extend its Retrieval tool to connect with more structured data sources, such as MySQL, Postgres, Kafka, and others, allowing users to bring in both unstructured and structured data into the OpenAI ecosystem.

4. What is the author's advice for Rockset customers regarding the acquisition?

  • The author suggests that Rockset customers should consider taking immediate control of their data, as the acquisition may lead to changes in the platform. The author offers to provide a step-by-step guide, but notes that it would be biased towards the product they work for (SingleStore).

5. What is the author's key message for companies that consider themselves AI-differentiated?

  • The author advises AI-differentiated companies to think deeply about their data, especially the real-time curation of their own data for their AI features, as this may become a key differentiator.
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