Albert Wenger, a partner at Union Square Ventures, says that the firm thought carefully about the competitive market before investing in 10gen. “We feel that [cloud computing] is a deep and profound shift in how computing is done, and it’s not going to play itself out overnight,” he says. Wenger adds that in light of that fact, he is particularly attracted to 10gen’s potential to start a community centered around building open-source infrastructure in the cloud. He envisions an open-source system that makes it easy for any individual to have access to the infrastructure that he needs to build a Web application, increasing the possibility that important Web applications will be built and distributed.
10gen has developed new technology for its system. Like BigTable and Amazon’s database, Mongo gets away from traditional relational databases, which Merriman says can have problems performing typical operations when data is stored on large numbers of machines. Instead, Mongo is an object database, meaning that information is organized around the objects being represented rather than around the relations between objects. Merriman says that this design works well with many of the programming languages used for Web design, which also encourage programmers to structure an application around objects.
10gen is still working on its business model, Merriman says, but he expects that the company will partner with hosting providers, layering its software over their hardware to make it easier for customers to set up and manage Web applications.