Guy Kawasaki interviews Marten Mikos, CEO of MySQL

As usual, Guy Kawasaki does an excellent job with his Ten Questions with series. This time he talks to Marten Mikos, CEO of MySQL. Even though the interview is short, there are so many things I’d like to quote. Really. Here they are. I’ll try to limit myself. You better go read the whole thing.

On the importance of users and in the open source business:

At MySQL we LOVE users who never pay us money. They are our evangelists. No marketing could do for us what a passionate MySQL user does when he tells his friends and colleagues about MySQL. Our success is based on having millions of evangelists around the world. Of course, they also help us develop the product and fix bugs.

On the success story:

So we have always been focused on marrying the best of business with the best of free and open source software. It is not an easy line to walk, but it is highly rewarding. A few times we have erred to one or the other side, and then we have corrected our course.

On customers:

YouTube, Craigslist, Flickr, Habbo Hotel, LiveJournal, Technorati, Second Life, Trulia, FeedBurner, and Right Now are our customers

and more:

Omniture runs over 250 billion transactions per quarter on a farm of MySQL servers. Google uses MySQL for AdSense and AdWords. Other large installations include Wikipedia, Travelocity,, etc. The databases can be hundreds of gigabytes. Sites run on hundreds of servers, some on thousands.

and more:

We were used in the earth unit for the Mars rover. The special effects of The Lord of the Rings were based on MySQL. HotorNot runs on MySQL. Even the Oracle FAQ runs on MySQL ().

and more:

Google and Yahoo run mission critical applications on MySQL. Nokia and Alcatel build mobile phone networks that run on MySQL. MySQL was used in various emergency systems during the tsunami in South East Asia and during hurricane Katrina.

On open source:

I think the architecture of participation that is embedded in the open source philosophy is a superior innovation method. And it is not limited to software—look at Wikipedia. It just so happens that software developers were the first ones to adopt it in the modern world.

Excellent interview indeed…

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