Palantir Makes Clear That Its Aggressively Marketed Systems May Not Work as Advertised

December 21, 2022

The real journalists at the Wall Street Journal has made painfully clear that Palantir’s smart software and sophisticated platform for functioning like the seeing stone in Lord of the Rings does not work.

You can read the real news analysis in “Palantir Misfires on Revenue Tied SPAC Deals.” The main point of the write up is that Palantir, equipped with proprietary technology and oodles of seeing stone expert, lost a great deal of money quickly.

The article says:

The bets have backfired.

So what? No big deal. Tens of millions gone, maybe hundreds of millions. The bigger loss is the exposure of the shortcomings of smart software. What did Palantir’s spokesperson say:

The market has turned an it is now clear that these investments were unsuccessful. It was a bet on a group of early stage companies that, with the benefit of hindsight, we wish we did not make.

But Palantir’s marketing since the firm open for intelligence analysis in 2003 or almost two decades ago has pitched the system’s ability to reveal what ordinary intelware cannot identify. In my files, I have some Palantir marketing material. Here’s an example:


Who doesn’t want data sovereignty? ©Palantir Technologies

Several observations:

  1. The Palantir management team presumably had access to Gotham and other Palantir technology. But the Palantir system did deliver massive financial losses. Some seeing stone.
  2. In my opinion, Palantir made big bets in order to get a big payoff so that the company’s financial strength and the excellence of its smart software would be evident. What’s evident is that even Palantir’s software and its wizards cannot get the Palantir systems to be right about “bets.”
  3. Intelware and policeware vendors typically sell to government and selected financial services customers. Converting intelligence software tuned to the needs of a three letter agency has not worked in the past, and it is now evident Palantir may be failing in its commercial push now.
  4. Intelware works because no matter how slick the intelware is, governments also rely on old fashioned methods before taking action.
  5. Palantir’s technology is almost 20 years old, based on open source, and highly derivative. There are better, faster, and cheaper options available from Palantir’s competitors.

Net net: Palantir has embraced full throttle marketing. The company has done some interesting things regarding the IBM Analysts Notebook file formats. Palantir’s investment were, in my opinion, investments which made it attractive to the recipients of Palantir’s funds to become Palantir customers. As I write this, Palantir’s marketing is chugging along, but Palantir’s share price is a stellar $6.43 a share. A blind seeing stone? Hmmmm. Good question.

Stephen E Arnold, December 21, 2022


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