Sean and I are often asked why we started Pepperdata. We founded the company in May 2012, but our journey with Hadoop began much earlier; both of us started working with Hadoop during its very early days at Yahoo. Sean managed Yahoo’s web search engineering team, which in 2006 was the first production user of Hadoop, and I led the team responsible for sponsored search ranking and optimization.

As part of our market research during Pepperdata’s early stages (before we had a specific product in mind), we interviewed hundreds of Hadoop users at dozens of companies about their challenges and needs. We learned that more and more companies were using Hadoop in production, but when they did, they suffered from many of the same pain points that we had experienced with Hadoop years earlier.

Since we get the question so often, we captured a short video of Sean telling the story. By the way, both of us will be at the Strata + Hadoop World conference in New York in October. If you’re planning to attend and would like connect with either of us, send me an email at and we can schedule a time to meet!