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That matches my understanding of their tech stack as well. I also understand why people don't do an open sourced version - it doesn't pay nearly as well as having a job.

What I find interesting about this is that in effect Palantir is acting as a consulting company while pretending to be a software tooling company. This allows them to claim a higher earnings multiple to inflate value and extract more money out of VCs and offer a lower percentage of equity to employees. This is a very old trick. The problem is that consulting companies are much harder to scale than software companies and the inevitable disappointment will lead to a loss of equity.

There is good money in consulting (I am one) but it's hard to build a large consulting company when the 'tooling' companies can poach your talent away with cheap VC money and fairy tales about future piles of cash. It spoils the market. VC powered tooling companies masquerading as consulting companies are a real problem right now.

What's pretty interesting is that my understanding of their licensing scheme is that it is not cheap per seat per year. Something on the order of $10-12k. There was a pricing sheet that floated around a few months ago that was released through a FOIA request. So it sounds like they covered their initial development R&D costs through licensing, led with that tool into consulting.

My understanding is that many of the tooling companies who became consulting firms mostly jettisoned the tools along the way. Palantir has just let theirs stagnate.

You should check out Ab Inito, an even more secretive ETL company that predates Palantir and is also milking the DoD (it's an age old racket). They're $90K per seat per year and it's basically a crappy version of Jenkins. Apparently they have staff that search the internet and sue anyone who mentions them. Not even Palantir does that. So let's see how long this posts lasts :)


Wikipedia: "Ab Initio maintains a high level of secrecy regarding their products. Some people working with their product, even those who work for organizations who use Ab Initio, operate under a non-disclosure agreement which prevents them from revealing Ab Initio technical information to the public."

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