Though Docker has 400 corporate customers — and plans to double its sales staff — “here’s what happens to a startup when Google gets all up in its business,” reads a recent headline at Bloomberg:
Docker Inc. helped establish a type of software tool known as containers…and they’ve made the company rich. Venture capitalists have poured about $240 million into the startup, according to research firm CB Insights. Then along came Google, with its own free container system called Kubernetes. Google has successfully inserted Kubernetes into the coder toolbox. While Docker and Kubernetes serve slightly different purposes, customers who choose Google’s tool can avoid paying Docker.
The startup gives away its most popular product while trying to convince developers to pay for extras, notably a program that does the same thing as Google’s. “Kubernetes basically has ruled the industry, and it is the de facto standard,” said Gary Chen, an analyst at IDC. “Docker has to figure out how do they differentiate themselves.” It’s up to [Docker CEO] Steve Singh to escape a situation that’s trapped many startups battling cash-rich tech giants like Google, dangling free alternatives… “They invented this great tech, but they are not the ones profiting from it,” said Gary Chen, an analyst at IDC.
Though Docker’s CEO is hoping to take the company public someday, Slashdot reader oaf357 predicts a different future:
To say that Docker had a very rough 2017 is an understatement. Aside from Uber, I can’t think of a more utilized, hyped, and well funded Silicon Valley startup (still in operation) fumbling as bad as Docker did in 2017. People will look back on 2017 as the year Docker, a great piece of software, was completely ruined by bad business practices leading to its end in 2018.
His article criticizes things like the new Moby upstream for the Docker project, along with “Docker’s late and awkward embrace of Kubernetes… It’s almost as if Docker is conceding itself to being a marginal consulting firm in the container space.” And he suggests that ultimately Docker could be acquired by “a large organization like Oracle or Microsoft.”
of this story at Slashdot.