I’m not in the prediction business, although I used to say about my work at DEMO that is it was easy to predict the future when everyone was telling you what they planned to do in it. When five or six startups parade through your office each day and share their big plans, one starts to see patterns, the kind of patterns that enabled DEMO to introduce the first Software as a Service (although we didn’t call it that then) two years before Salesforce.com came along, among other prescient product launches.
Often, though, the “predictions” of my DEMO days have been claimed in the review mirror. At an event the other night, for example, I reminded a colleague that Evernote, a current and deserved darling, launched at DEMO ten years ago.
So yesterday, when I got this hunch, I decided to record it here for posterity. My prediction:
Within the next 36 months, Oracle will acquire Dell.
I have no insider knowledge, but consider it. Both companies are making plays for the cloud. Both companies are tacking their way to becoming service companies. The companies have more overlapping and complimentary offerings and markets than competitive ones. Oracle has to figure out how to become an efficient hardware company; Dell knows how to do that very well. Both companies have to invigorate their growth. Dell is going private as a means to do that outside the demands of quarterly earnings reports. Oracle grows by acquisition. Dell investors will, no doubt, seek pay off for this multi-billion dollar gambit. Oh, and Larry Ellison and Michael Dell are, by some reports, best of friends.
It’s a just a hunch. I may be prescient. I may be crazy.
Only the future will tell.