Palantir Technologies: Evidence That Making Big Money Comes from a Financial Play, Not a Product

April 12, 2020

DarkCyber spotted an interesting item of information in “Palantir Eyes $1B in Revenue and a Break-Even Year, Setting the Stage for IPO.” Palantir has ingested more than a billion dollars since it was founded in 2003. (That seems to be 17 years!) The article points out that Palantir “will have its first break even year in 2020.” The message is that it takes time and significant investment to generate $1 billion in revenue and break even.

With dozens and dozens of companies chasing the intelware and policeware markets, what’s the likelihood that a start up will be able to generate enough revenue to:

  • Fund customer support
  • Invest in new features and technologies
  • Attract and retain staff
  • Market to sectors that are expensive, time consuming, and difficult to reach?

The answer is that Palantir is an excellent example of how a useful idea can struggle to generate sustainable revenue among customers under severe budget pressure and aware that the “next big thing” can be obtained either on a trial basis or at a low price.

DarkCyber gives Palantir credit for its perseverance, although its methods of obtaining some traction can be considered more than interesting. In fact, in its dealings with the Analyst Notebook file format, interesting does not quite capture the somewhat unusual techniques the firm found appropriate.

When Palantir goes public, will those patient investors reap massive paydays? The investors hope so. The employees hope so. But the lawyers and accountants know they will be paid.

What about the users of the system? DarkCyber does not know. Perhaps the seeing stone will reveal the answer?

Stephen E Arnold, April 12, 2020


3 Responses to “Palantir Technologies: Evidence That Making Big Money Comes from a Financial Play, Not a Product”

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