What will replace SQL?

OK, if we’re going to have a significant increase in noSQL approaches to big data management, what will take the place of SQL?

This isn’t just a Zen koan.  SQL, a language I never cared for, nevertheless has two signal virtues:

  1. By being essentially universal (I know, I know, more honored in the breach than in the observance), SQL provided for separation of concerns between the data layer and applications.  It at least defined in principle some kind of border even if, like the border between Kenya and Somalia, it’s something of a literary device.
  2. By separating the results of a query from the procedure for the query, SQL allowed both to be honed separately.  We have good storage engines today and good data science because the two are separated.

What will take the place of this border in the noSQL world?  Today it’s anarchic: the query is a method in some languages, a specification in others, and (thanks to some bridging technologies), SQL itself.

Just as web applications took UI/UX back a decade, noSQL risks taking the data layer abstraction back a decade or two.  Needs some work.

Anybody know good companies or approaches to this problem?

Salt Cod Fish Cakes

Ever since I made salt cod this past September I’ve been meaning to make something with it.

The problem has been that you have to soak the salt cod in fresh water for 24 hours (or even more!!) before using it, so you have to be together enough to plan 24+ hours in advance and then deliver on the other end.

This week the perfect storm.  Debbie is out of town, so when I got home Thursday night from NYC I had no distractions and was able to see clearly forward to the Friday night as an oppty.  I jumped on it.

Salt Cod Fish Cakes, from Gourmet, via Epicurious, are what you might call, if you were Jewish, latkes with scales and fins.  Basically a potato pancake (with an inexplicable bit of parsnip thrown in) with salt cod as about half the throw weight.


Here’s the finished fish cakes.  I thought they were great, but I love salt (I thought the unwashed bacalao was pretty tasty, before the 24 hours fresh water treatment).

Anyhow, as Marshall would say, good chomp.

Great product” vs. “Great business

We investors frequently fault entrepreneurs — especially tech entrepreneurs — for not understanding the difference between a great product and a great business.

A business is so much more than a product: it’s a value proposition; it’s communicating that value proposition to the customers; it’s bringing the product to the market, and to the customers; it’s establishing an advantage vis a vis competitors; it’s building an organization that can reproducibly do all of the above.  It’s no wonder that many startup businesses don’t know whether or not they have a great business, even when they might have a great product.

To be fair, however, many VCs and angels don’t get the difference between a great product and a great business either.  We convince ourselves that just because we understand how a product works that we understand the business that could successfully sell that product.  Or we think that because we can understand a product in a marketplace that we undertand all the “gotchas” of running a business in that marketplace.

It’s not just entrepreneurs who need to be honest with themselves about the distinction.

One Hit, One Miss

Made two dishes last night: "New Coq au Vin" and "Crispy Cauliflower with Olives, Capers, and Parsley".  One hit, one miss.

2011-10-01_19-15-50_357The hit was the cauliflower.  The long cooking with oil in the pot – maybe you’d call it “non-stir-frying” or “pas de saute”-ing – made the cauliflower tender and crispy.  And the dressing was peppy enough to please Debbie and me.  Doesn’t look fantastic in this picture, but it was pleasant enough to the eye and tasty.

2011-10-01_19-22-45_184The dud was the chicken.  I don’t know – I’ve got a thing about braised chicken, and I had an unstoppable yen to do some kind of chicken braised in wine.

The recipe looked bland, but I kept hoping that the infallible Epicurious would prove itself again.  Guess what, it didn’t.  Maybe I’m getting better at translating in my mind from the (web) page to the table.  In any case, it was not obviously flawed in any way, but didn’t taste very… pronounced.