The Beginning of Oracle

February 25, 2015 by  
Filed under Business Services

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By Phineas Upham

Larry Ellison co-founded Software Development Laboratories with Bob Miner and Ed Oates in 1977. Ellison had expressed an interest in building relational database management systems, which could be leveraged in large stores of data.

Ellison and team began work, with some early stumbles, but solid product releases. By 1979 they had changed the company name to Relational Software Inc, then again to part of the name we know today: Oracle Systems Corporation. This was a move aimed at aligning the company with its flagship product, the Oracle database.

Oracle is used in many applications, primarily because it’s easy to port. This was a huge part of the company’s success during the early and middle stages of its lifespan. Because Oracle database is programmed in C, it is adaptable to many operating systems. The first version of Oracle ran on PDP-11 hardware, and it was officially released as “version two.” The reasoning for the numeric switch had to do with public perception, with the company believing its consumers were most likely to buy the database if it had already had a first release.

The company did not see losses until 1990, when it had to lay off hundreds as sales dipped. Ellison found a new president at that point, and the company bundles many of its products to remain competitive. The strategy largely worked.

Today’s Oracle is a much larger company, with Ellison dabbling in many different platforms. Big data has always moved toward intelligence and the processing of that data, and many of Oracle’s recent acquisition reflect those changing trends. It’s likely that at least some of tomorrow’s predictive anything will run on Oracle databases.


Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or LinkedIn page.

Common Misconceptions Behind Wealth

February 5, 2015 by  
Filed under Finance & Loans

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By Phineas Upham

The wealthy are not lazy, nor are they greedy. Although some wealthy people do encompass those qualities, the vast majority strive to do good things with their wealth. Almost every major corporation on the Fortune 500 List is involved in giving back to its community in some form or another. Greed is one of many misconceptions about wealth that society must learn to overcome. Wealth is not to be feared, nor is it to be chastised. It’s something everyone can attain and all of us can do great things with.

There is Never Enough

One common belief for why people appear to be greedy is the presumption that there is never enough money one can earn. Otherwise, why would companies like BP strive to reduce losses and bring in higher profits year over year, even at the expense of workers?

The answer has to do with growth and fostering something. People can be stewards of money, or of organizations that produce money like corporations. How we use that money and wealth has huge effects across the social sphere. The accumulation of wealth is not done for the purposes of elevating the self, although individuals do benefit, it has to do with serving a community or a market.

Money Requires No Effort

It’s another misconception that the accumulation of wealth requires no real effort on the part of the wealthy. It actually requires great dedication to manage one’s wealth, and extreme discipline to spend it responsibly.


Phineas Upham is an investor from NYC and SF. You may contact Phin on his Phineas Upham website or LinkedIn page.