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13 Sep 2021/01:11:34

Docker, Inc., an Early Epitaph

Oxide and Friends Twitter Space: September 13th, 2021

Docker, Inc., an Early Epitaph
We’ve been holding a Twitter Space weekly on Mondays at 5p for about an hour. Even though it’s not (yet?) a feature of Twitter Spaces, we have been recording them all; here is the recording for our Twitter Space for September 13th, 2021.
In addition to Bryan Cantrill and Adam Leventhal, speakers on September 13th included Steve Tuck, Tom Lyon, Dan Cross, Josh Clulow, Ian, Nick Gerace, Aaron Goldman, Drew Vogel, and vint serp. (Did we miss your name and/or get it wrong? Drop a PR!)
Some of the topics we hit on, in the order that we hit them:
  • Topic: Scott Carey’s article How Docker broke in half
  • Andrej Karpathy’s tweet showing InfoWorld.com spamming ads
  • Carey talked to:
  • [@5:21](https://youtu.be/l9LTJdT0sZ8?t=321) Akira Kurosawa’s 1950 Rashomon ~90mins. Watch a 2min trailer
  • Box office bomb “The Hottie and the Nottie” movie. Other stinkers: Gigli, Gotti
  • [@9:31](https://youtu.be/l9LTJdT0sZ8?t=571) Jerry Kaplan’s 1996 book Startup: A Silicon Valley Adventure
  • Steve’s take on commercialization > Bryan: There’s no question that they hit on something very big. > We saw a container as an operational vessel, but we failed to see > a container as a development vessel.
  • [@14:36](https://youtu.be/l9LTJdT0sZ8?t=876) dotCloud (PaaS) struggles to find a buyer; ultimately open sources as last resort > All of a sudden a company that nobody had heard of, > was a company that everybody had heard of.
  • They took too much money.
  • [@17:40](https://youtu.be/l9LTJdT0sZ8?t=1060) Pitfalls in raising money and scaling sales by imitating big companies
    • HBO’s Silicon Valley
      • Clip ~1min with Jan the Man, Keith, and Doug (I’m shadowing Keith) > Everybody should be spending time arm in arm with customers understanding > how is this technology going to solve a problem > which they’ll want to pay to have a solution.
  • Tom: Was there actually a business anyways? Or was it just technology?
  • What if developers are attracted to those things they know cannot be monetized?
  • There was this belief that if a technology is this ubiquitous, it will be readily monetizable.
  • [@27:26](https://youtu.be/l9LTJdT0sZ8?t=1646) Docker Swarm and Kubernetes > Hykes: We didn’t work at Google, we didn’t go to Stanford, > we didn’t have a PhD in computer science.
  • Stinemates: (The Kubernetes team) had strong opinions about the need for a service level API and Docker technically had its own opinion about a single API from a simplicity standpoint. We couldn’t agree.
    • DockerCon 2015: No mentioning Kubernetes! 
      • Brendan Burns’ talk “The distributed system toolkit: Container patterns for modular distributed system design” was unfortunately made private by Docker sometime in the last two years. The internet archive only has this. Burns wrote a blog post about the topics from his talk.
    • rkt (“Rocket”), CoreOS
  • [@36:11](https://youtu.be/l9LTJdT0sZ8?t=2171) Docker coming to market
    • Enterprise teams wanted support
    • Initial support offerings were expensive and limited (no after hours, no weekends) > Bryan: I floated to Solomon in 2014: run container management as a service.
    • Rancher Labs, K3s (lightweight kubernetes)
    • People care about GitHub stars (for better or worse)
  • [@48:02](https://youtu.be/l9LTJdT0sZ8?t=2882) Monetizing open source technologies
    • Triton implementing the Docker API
    • The support relationships are the foothold to figure out the product.
  • [@54:36](https://youtu.be/l9LTJdT0sZ8?t=3276) Venture capital going into Docker
  • Product market fit
    • Acquisitions
  • [@1:04:42](https://youtu.be/l9LTJdT0sZ8?t=3882) Could the outcome have been materially different?
    • Who made money on Docker? Cloud companies? Developers?
    • VMware acquires Heptio
    • Who invented containers? 
      • BSD Jails, Plan9 namespaces?
    • Tyler Tringas’ post about how small teams can create value with little outside investment, as a result of the Peace Dividend of the SaaS Wars.
If we got something wrong or missed something, please file a PR! Our next Twitter space will likely be on Monday at 5p Pacific Time; stay tuned to our Twitter feeds for details. We’d love to have you join us, as we always love to hear from new speakers!