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  • Amit Kukreja

Palantir Helping The Workers


Palantir is helping the individual at companies progress as well as the company itself.


The following is a conversation between Palantir's CEO Alex Karp and the Product Manager Eran Witkon.


Alex: “If you assume that software is eating the world, then obviously business, you know, first you say we're going to manage data as if it was software. But in reality, what we're saying is the reason why this is selling like a weed and in the United States of America is that businesses are actually code. Or do you agree with that? And like and why is that the case?


Eran: “Think that everyone would agree today that data drives the business. And then the way you treat data is not through Excel, it's through code. So I think that actually works really well. Like you need to codify your business.


Alex: “Although I might be the only one who doesn't agree with that.”


Eran: “Why that?”



Alex: “Because data drives your business to the extent you have a read-write function with your data. Otherwise you believe you're driving your business with data, but in fact it completely disambiguates it. And so what ontology is really doing is allowing you to do what you know you have to do but can't actually do. Without an ontology, you say the data is running your business. But actually you're running your business with a stale version of the data. And the data is not being impregnated in any way with your conceptual categories that are determinative for your success in your business.”


Eran: Yeah, I took it for granted because if you were saying that your data runs your business but you have ten copies of that data, then you don't really run the business. You need that thing to be like a single source of truth that actually reflects what your business has.”


Alex: “Okay, given that you're on the cutting edge in your past life, and we would like to believe on the cutting edge in this life. And you've been here for how long?


Eran: “Six years.”


Alex: “Why? I mean, I'm sure my charming personality is one of the main reasons you stayed.”


Eran: “Obviously.”


Alex: “Obviously.” *Laughing* “But why? Why are you here? Why are you planning, hopefully to stay?”


Eran: “I hear Palantir talking about the mission, and a lot of that time it's in the context of, you know, fighting terrorism and all that. But to me, even in the commercial business and not just the government business, the fact that you kind of train people to take decisions based on truth. Is what helps us, you know, build a better world that is not based on, you know, fake news and demagogues and all of that. And to me, it's really important just for my kids.”

“It's not just internally. It's also externally. Like if you give an organization the tools for them to, as we said, you know, make the decisions on your own business based on what's really happening in their business. Not by who is shouting louder or their view of the world and all of that. Then they start to think like that.”


Alex: ”You know, one of the things I really admire and actually love about the Palantir product is in a lot of organizations, you have someone in the corner who's unpopular, who's doing all the work that creates Alpha, and they do not get promoted. But if you're using a Palantir product, it's very clear who is creating the Alpha. It's like, yes, this person actually is really valuable. And we've seen this across government contacts, commercial contacts. And it's something that I find, and I run into people who are, you know, were like, you know, 25 when they first used our product and now are doing very important things. And I believe we've played a minor role in making sure they advanced.”


Eran: “Yeah, I remember the story about this aircraft engineer that always had this theory about what's wrong with one of the things in the airplane but could never actually do this. I think I see him as this person in that corner and with Palantir and Foundry, he was actually able to test his theory, prove that it is right, and actually fix the problem.”


Alex: “Yeah I think, and of course were very enamored with the fact that this problem got fixed and it launched a huge business and preventive maintenance across the globe in numerous heterogeneous industries. However, my version of it is also; and that person probably advanced in their career. Would have probably been locked in some corner because they happen to be too quantitative and they don't quite know how to make everyone happy at the coffee shop, and therefore do not advance. And then the company doesn't advance. In any case, I'm happy you advanced to Palantir. Thank you. Had a great time.”





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