There’s thousands of companies want to go into the cloud but lack the ability to do so. John Mathon, the tech pioneer behind TIBCO and the publish subscribe technology, has created an out of the box solution to give them a Google-like infrastructure on day one. His full stack automation solution is is called Agile Stacks.
Alan: Welcome back I'm here today with John Mathon. John is the founder and Agile Stacks and also the CEO. John welcome to today’s show.
John: Thank you, good to see you here.
Alan: So Agile Stacks, before we get into the company. Let's let's take your history, your background from school, educational what you've done in the past and bringing us up to date.
John: Okay well my big background, I went to MIT and I and I met a friend there and one of the most peculiar things is we both knew we wanted to start a company together and it was only a few years from when we finally met. I could get him out here in California we started this company that call TIBCO software. And that was very successful we conquered the financial industry and and Wall Street in a matter 5 years get 50 percent market share throughout all of Wall Street and the world really in financial industry and the company was you know amazingly. We invented this thing call publish subscribe and patented the idea and made the technology so that people could distribute information very easily around enterprises but you know eventually everywhere. So this idea published right now it's become really prominent in things like IOT and also even in the cloud we're starting to see more and more that's around this publish subscribe idea, so it lives on and I've been very vocal in supporting you know the progress of IOT and publish subscribe and moving the industry you know in that direction and following it it with some cool ideas and companies. My latest is Agile Stacks, I’ll tell you about if you’re interested.
Alan: Sure, when you were moving into first, the TIBCO arena on the subscription model also newswires do they also take hold of this such as Reuters?
John: One of the things that it you know we found was that information of all sorts can be distributed through publish subscribe very easily- it's a great model and so the news organizations picked up on it. Reuters bought TIBCO at one point and then we we actually split apart and had sort of a partial ownership by Reuters- so it was a spin out and that was kind of interesting. But all of the news companies eventually model you know a lot of their stuff on the publish subscribe model. It’s had a very powerful effect on lots of industries.
Alan: So John, you’re always constantly thinking outside the box looking for the next big idea and in really bringing change to our individual lives. When we look at Agile Stacks, touch on the vision and what inspired you to do this and what do you really see for the vision of the future?
John: I've always worked in enterprise IT in helping other companies and that's what I know. I'd love that do consumer stuff more but you know that's just what I got and seem to get pinned into. People seem to think I'm good at that and I have a lot of ideas. So I have been talking a lot of businesses over the last 5 years or so and one of the problems that I see a lot of businesses having is, going into the cloud and building their infrastructure to offer services. It's a very tough thing and only the biggest companies like Google and Apple and Facebook and stuff I've done it well. A lot of other companies are struggling. We know though from Gartner and just my experience millions of companies want to go into the cloud and start offering services. It's exploding. As the cost of the cloud goes down more and more businesses want to just take all their operations and move it into the cloud. The problem is it's very difficult to move especially a lot of our older industries and stuff and businesses into the cloud. So I saw the problem at my last open source company that's working at where people were trying to deploy multiple services at same time and they couldn't make them work they didn't know how to make it reliable how to make it secure are a lot of it knowledge is missing from many companies and they don't have a good resource to get quality on information and so I saw this serious problem that a lot of organizations we're going to fail at getting to the cloud and so I have developed a technology, not unlike publish subscribe in some ways. There's a a public subscribe component kind of concept in here. So it's a of leverages some old ideas but some new ideas. And it enables us to take. Large numbers of components in technology and integrate them and make them work in the cloud without having to have all the expertise. And giving you what we call a "Google-like" infrastructure out of the box on day one. And you can run like Google. It's a it's amazing, it's such a brilliant way I think and it's gonna help a lot of companies get to the cloud faster and better.
Alan: I'm visiting here today with John Mathon, he is the founder of Agile Stacks, and John I need to take a quick break and we'll be right back after these messages.
Alan: Welcome back and is here today with John Mathon, he is the founder of Agile Stacks. John, we were talking about the history of what you've done in the past- MIT graduate and starting TIBCO right out of school, a very successful public company and this new idea coming for agile stacks. It's more of an enterprise software model that helping business move to the cloud. But what are some of the barriers of entry that you face as you're getting ready to roll the software out?
John: Well there's several things that I that I could talk about one is a just starting the company's been kind of a challenge. This has been a tough market right now and if you know not a lot of VC's are investing, it's been it's been a tough thing to go out and raise money right now. A lot of people mention that. I think that's a good thing though actually because when times are tough like this and it's hard to raise money, it means there's less competitors and it means some of the best companies the world have been built during times when it's been harder to raise money. I I look at that actually as a positive. So not a lot of competition not a lot of people thinking about the same things and that's a benefit. So the other thing is that as we've talked to the VC's and to different people and to companies, we've refined our idea and find this is very common in a lot of small companies- even at TIBCO. I remember, we had originally 3 vectors that we were going out on and we ended up having to decide on one finally. Took awhile to figure it out and with Agile Stacks we have had to think about our message our value proposition very clearly and carefully over the last several months as we've talked to different people and it's really helped us gel the ideas. It's a very positive process actually in a lot of ways. Even though you get rejected a lot even though you're facing a lot of issues. The product itself though is a remarkably simple idea to help companies get going forward and this is one of the most exciting things I've seen. I have started other technology companies before and when I go in and talk there's always 50 percent 60% 70% of companies don't want it, don't need it, not interested. When I go in and talk about Agile Stacks, and we talk about the problems- I mean there's hardly a company I talked to that isn't interested and needs the kind thing we're talking. It's been very exciting for me to go and just talk to people and find how they all have the same problem over and over and over again. So many companies. So the cloud is pervasive right now, everybody is moving in to the cloud, it's becoming a crowded space. But there's a lot of room to grow.
Alan: I saw an article come across at my desk that talked about how much Google and Apple are buying up companies- big data companies, AI companies as quick as they can. What do you think is behind all this? Is that it is that a good move in terms of how you see it? Or are they trying to kill the competition?
John: There's so many good ideas out there and I guess Google and Apple and other companies are recognizing that. It's a lot easier to acquire something that's a good idea than it is to build it yourself. And so you know it's very typical for companies to go out like that and buy all kinds of companies. I think you're right that there is an accelerated curve of acquisitions because there's so much out there. It's just a very exciting time actually. I call it, the virtuous circle, but there is an enormous innovation curve going on right now where we have an exponential growth in technology ideas and every idea feeds other ideas which then drives technology faster and so I don't think companies to keep up with it, they need to buy people with good ideas because that's where everything is and it's gonna continue to be that way.
Alan: A friend of mine and I were talking about the information overload that we're in right, that there's so much stuff so much changed so much information. That we really need to transition to AI in order to get stuff processed.
John: That's an interesting perspective. We used to say at MIT that was like drinking from a fire hose because you had so much stuff you had to absorb so quickly, but I have found my whole life is like that. I mean it's just a constant stream of massive amounts of information growing exponentially keeping up today's technology is hard enough. I actually call this the age magic. The reason I use the term age of magic is, when you don't know what is possible when you don't know the technology behind it it can seem as if it was magic that people can do these things. When I look at my cell phone, it's just astonishing the data rates that we can get through these things. The amount of applications and data that can fit on the phones and stuff it boggles your mind. If you have any knowledge of the technology involved its just amazing yeah and the more you know the more boggling it is. There's new innovations coming down like digital antennas that are revolutionizing cell phones and and other technologies in IOT that are gonna really I'm improve that performance, the battery life, the band with and everything. So theres more change coming it's not like we've reached the end of this at all, it's it's actually accelerating. And there's a lot of things happening that are extremely exciting so I can I can definitely see all these companies accelerating the purchase I can't see how they could stop.
Alan: I'm visiting here today with John Mathon, he is the founder of Agile Stacks, and I need to take a quick break and we'll be right back after these messages.
Alan: Welcome back, I'm visiting here today with John Mathon, he is the founder of Agile Stacks, and John a lot of our listeners are business owners or entrepreneurs and they may not have the strong background though in Tech. Could you explain for the listeners, a case scenario of full stack automation and how that would affect their business and maybe some real life examples?
John: I'm very lucky that through the years I've had a lot of good people that I've met, and experiences, and one of them is a company in the Netherlands called Yenlo and Ruben van der Zwan, the President there. He's become a great partner of mine in building of this Agile Stacks and has introduced me to a number companies in Europe and stuff as we build the company. They do consulting all over the world. So Ruben took me into a company called QB which is an IOT company that that makes thermostats and energy monitors for the home in Europe. I't like the NEST of Europe. They have shipped 10 million of these devices or are trying to ship 10million of these devices around. But they have a huge problem in building the IT support all those devices. They have struggled with getting the qualified people that they need and building that infrastructure and and really making it happen and one it's very interesting; when I first started talking at QB, it was very early in Agile Stacks. I didn't really want to talk to them since they were Yenlo customer. So I was just listening and I asked them how they were doing as far as the cloud deployments and stuff. And they went into a tirade and basically told me the whole story of how painful it was and how they would like to buy premade stacks if they could of technology because they just didn't want to deal with it. It wasn't there core business too do enterprise infrastructure. Their core business revolves around their IT device and the applications in the consumers and things like that they didn't really want to spend half of their time developing the infrastructure for it. They wanted that off the shelf. Which was astonishing to me because I that was what I was planning to do and they just basically told me before I even mentioned anything that they wanted that. That's really exciting from a businessman's point of view is to have a customer just tell you- before you even mention it to them that that's what they want, I've had that experience several times now.
Alan: It was interesting, not to digress here, but at last night I went down to have some light bulbs replaced and I went down and I I saw this Philips Hue light bulb. And I thought- multicolor? I never had a lighting bulb that would change colors before. So I went home and I put in the light bulb and has all this wifi connection, and I thought, now how do we get it to change colors? Well I found out you have to buy the templates for 5 Bucks on Apple. And I could see that a lot of businesses don't want to be in developing his proformas and templates really to scale out.
John: Yeah, so we expect to enable lot companies to move faster and have much higher security. One of the big issues with any enterprise going into the cloud is security, reliability, how to make it really reliable but security especially. There's so much threat from people you know attacking and concerns that having high quality security in your infrastructure is something that a lot of people don't know how to do.
Alan: It used to be that when we would buy a PC, they we would upgrade to the next Pentium chip or AMD and we would see the immediate performance, but in the cloud, because the desktop is removed essentially from us, we no longer sees the speed at which things are processed, but can you give us a bit of update at where we're going with this and the speed of the cloud and what are the barriers right now that in the technology that people are trying to work through so we can get to the next level?
John: That is actually a really a pertinent question. There's two angles on that I think important. One is we have reached the end of Moore's Law. We did that actually several years ago. Computers have not gotten faster, we've been stuck about 2 to 3 gigahertz for a long time now. And what we've done instead is we've increased the number of processing units. But that depends on being able to divide the work effectively between those units. If the work can't be divided then you can't go any faster and so we're stuck with the a lot of times our processing not being able to to grow as fast as we want. This is very important when it comes to AI applications or things that have a lot you know computation that's involved. So there's two angles. One is the IO limitation, that just the sheer amount of IO, of data in and out needs to be massively increased and we have the capacity to do that and I'm working with a company that's actually to buy some are agile stacks that's going to dramatically increase the performance of the IO operations and CPU. It's a it's a major improvement in overall performance of computers that could be arriving in the next 2 or 3 years to finally break and get back in the Moore's law maybe maybe get faster and faster. The other angle of course is quantum computers and we're seeing a lot of advances on the quantum computer front but we're far from making it for general computational purposes. There's a lot of applications of those that are starting to evolve that could be interesting. Google as you know and other companies are using it for some work in the back office and doing stuff behind the scenes.
Alan: Elon Musk recently gave a speech that was published in the Guardian in June of this year. And it completely turned my head where it dwells upon the quantum computing, the laws of physics and how indifferent- the same amount space you could have 6 dimensions of time. And Elon came out and said, it's 1 billion to one likelihood that we're inside of a virtual world. And I thought, this guy's the founder of Tesla and Space-X. And I thought, oh Elon that's out there. But he made the following point- either we're at the end of the world. Or we're gonna really transcend into something new as we start to move into this next dimension of virtual reality and AI.
John: I heard the same comments from Elon and he says that he's had long discussions with people about the VR and the idea 'are we in the matrix' and he's apparently concluded that we are in a matrix. And I haven't really thought about it long enough to say whether we're in a in a matrix or not yet but I can't discounted either on.
Alan: All I can say is Gene Roddenberry when he did Star Trek. He gave us a good perspective of what we're moving through. We're up against the break, can I hold you on for another a segment?
Alan: I'm here today with John Mathon, he's a founder of Agile Stacks and we'll be right back after these messages.
Alan: Welcome back, I've been visiting here today with John Mathon, He is the founder of Agile Stacks. John as we've talked about the mission of Agile Stacks in terms of moving enterprises into the cloud... as good as AI is, it won't ever overcome what the human mind can do.
John: That's a fascinating topic. I've though about it quite a bit because I studied AI back at MIT. We divide AI into narrow intelligence then general intelligence then superior intelligence. We're really doing ANI right now- Narrow intelligence, which means we can play computer games pretty good and things like that. We're not good at building computers that can think beyond a narrow region- they're not even really thinking or planning, they're actually just recognizing things and stuff. We're still early early. One of my heroes, Roger Penrose, he's a famous mathematician and physicist from London. He has proposed that the human mind is a quantum computer or many quantum computers. He's laid a lot of theoretical foundation for that. What that means is that the brain operates at a different level. What happens in quantum mechanics is that things proceed from one state to another and when they do, they jump from one state to another. When you think about it, this is kind of how the mind seems to work. When you think about something, you think in a logical step by step fashion a lot, a lot of times the answer just jumps at you. That is, in a very simple way they way that quantum mechanics works. When it tunnels through a plant chlorophyll and produces he energy for the plant, it does it in almost a magical way. In the same way Roger Penrose basically postulates that the brain works this way and their could be quantum operations operating in the brain. Some physicists don't believe this and say it's too wet, but there has been work done to show that it's not. What that means is, that it the brain is operating as a quantum computer, it's able to process information so much faster than a computer could. That it may be unreachable for a regular computer to ever get to intelligence. But there's several other implications of this, one is, the way that quantum mechanics works is, it occurs in the underlying vacuum of space. That's where quantum operations happen. What that means is that our brains if they are actually operating in quantum space, that our consciousness is really in quantum space, not really in our physical brains. Our brains are transducers or proxies for our intelligences and our consciousness, which would then be in quantum space. As a result, when you die, according to a theory like this, your physical body, the transducer, from quantum space may go away, but your concisousness may still exist. Now without the senses of eyes and ears maybe that consciousness doesn't have anywhere to go, I don't know, we don't know about this. But this is the kind of thing that people don't realize, like the world is full of new mysteries and new possibilities that even scientists can't deny could be happening. If that's true, and Roger is one of the most brilliant people ever to exist, he may be even smarter than Einstein. If he believes this, I think people should look at it. It's not a stupid idea.
Alan: I think the further we go the more we're beginning to understand about how quantum mechanics is transcending multiple dimensions. The science of creation, and I think that was one thing that Elon was trying to bring out in his recent comment. He said, "As we move forward guys, put your seatbelt on because either we're coming to the other world or we're going to have some major breakthroughs on where this technology is all going.
John: I strongly believe with Elon that we are on the cusp of a lot of new break throughs, that's why I called it the age of magic. I think we're going to see a lot more magic coming on over the next five-ten years and a lot of big changes happening in the world in the next five to ten years.
Alan: So John if a person wants more information on Agile Stacks, how would they go about that?
John: They could go to our website. We're in stealth mode, but we're going to launch the website very shortly, that's one way, just stay tuned.
Alan: John thanks for being on today's show.
John: Ok Thank you Alan