Pros and Cons of Palantir?

July 12, 2012

It seems as though writer Dave Kellogg would love to hate analytics firm Palantir, if only he could. That’s my summary of his Kellblog entry, “Why Palantir Makes my Head Hurt.” Though he admits there are several things about the company he is forced to admire, his sense of fair play compels him to slam it in print.

Kellogg believes that Palantir is playing fast and loose with definitions for accounting reasons. For example, they claim to have no marketing, sales, or services. He also asserts that their positioning as a billion-dollar company is a stretch. (See the piece for his explanations.)

Kellogg admits to some bias borne of his experiences covering Palantir. He writes:

“It turns out being a naysayer isn’t fun work:  for three years you sound like a whining, doubting-Thomas constantly on the back foot, constantly playing defense and then one day you’re proven right.  But there’s no joy in it.  And the naysaying doesn’t help sell newspapers so you don’t get much press coverage.  And, in the end, all people remember is that ‘MicroStrategy was pretty cool back in the day’ and ‘Dave’s a grump.'”

Okay, so now we know where his head is at. Kellogg is conflicted, because he still thinks Palantir does several things very well; he calls them “the first SI to figure out how to build a world-class software business.” Sounds like he really admires the company. If only he didn’t despise them so.

Cynthia Murrell, July 12, 2012

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