13 Juli 2012

You Know, for Search! (inc)

Von Shay Banon

When I set down to write the first lines of code for Elasticsearch, about 3 years ago, I looked at my wife and my 2 months old daughter and knew perfectly what I was getting into. Well, as Miracle Max would say, I mostly did. I knew that its going to be a commitment that will take a big chunk of my life to follow through, I knew that I was building something useful that will make developers life simple, and I knew that there is a need for something like Elasticsearch out there.

Obviously, I knew all those things, but not many others did. Its funny, as Tim Robbins found out in the classic Cohen brothers movie, “The Hudsucker Proxy", getting people to see a circle and state “You Know, for Kids!", and making the leap to understand what it can actually be is not simple.

Thomas Jefferson said: “I am a great believer in Luck, and I find that the harder I work, the more I have of it". Elasticsearch was and is certainly not a walk in the park. Building a distributed system, that can handle massive amounts of data, and still be usable is no simple task. I do feel lucky though, we live in an age where anyone can open a laptop and set out to change the world (a bit), with extra luck points for having an understanding spouse.

More than that, I feel lucky with the community that evolved around Elasticsearch. It caught me by surprise the speed at which Elasticsearch got adopted. I knew that something was missing, I just couldn't believe how quickly people will realize it as well. I am very proud of what happened around Elasticsearch, the ecosystem that developed around it, and the users actually taking and using it in real systems and in production.

But, dodging buses like crazy for the past couple of years has left me exhausted, and the user's request for having something formal around Elasticsearch, the need to feel safe, has been increasing exponentially. You see, I have seen it happen for 10 years now, it usually starts with “lets just have a search box so people can search some content", and quickly evolves to using it in many other parts of the stack / system, quickly increasing its importance in the application.

Luckily (do you notice a trend?), a few months ago, my good friend from the Compass days Uri Boness mentioned that he was doing something around search, and I got to know Steven, who was leading it. Steven and myself immediately hit it off. You see, Steven and myself think very much alike, yet still differently. It's a rare combination that doesn't happen frequently, but when it does, exciting things happen. And to top it all, Steven comes with an extensive track record when it comes to Open Source projects. When I learned that Simon Willnauer, one of Lucene rock stars is part of the team as well, the inevitable conclusion was not that hard to make. It Just Felt Right.

So, I am extremely happy to announce that we now have an Elasticsearch company, your basic one stop shop for anything to do with Elasticsearch. What does it mean? It means that we can basically move Elasticsearch harder, faster, better, and stronger, while providing all the services you might expect from an Open Source company.

On top of that, the Elasticsearch team also includes Nick White (the finance wizard), as the CFO. Chris Male, and Martijn van Groningen, both amazingly talented developers and Lucene committers, and the valuable Elissa Nancarrow to handle, well, basically everything else. With the future holding additional talented people joining the company (and if you are up to it, we are hiring!), it really feels like we are on our way to build something really special.

I still vividly remember 10 years ago sitting in a one room apartment in London, with no job, first getting into the search space by writing “iCook" for my wife while she was studying to be a Chef at the Cordon Bleu. Its been a long journey to get to this point, yet it feels like it has just begun...

Steven's Post
Uri's Post
Simon's Post