I’m clearly wired towards make it happen opportunities and then go do them.
For startups—have a good idea and then make it happen for 10 years.
Where to get good ideas: talk to users; talk to more users; hang around a critical environment of smart people.
Today’s legacy database vendors are all the same and their software is good for nothing (one size fits none). Instead I’ve been building vertical market engines that are good for specific problems.
Turing Award citation:
Michael Stonebraker has made fundamental contributions to database systems, which are one of the critical applications of computers today and contain much of the world’s important data. He is the inventor of many concepts that were crucial to making databases a reality and that are used in almost all modern database systems. His work on Ingres introduced the notion of query modification, used for integrity constraints and views. His later work on Postgres introduced the object-relational model, effectively merging databases with abstract data types while keeping the database separate from the programming language. Stonebraker’s implementations of Ingres and Postgres demonstrated how to engineer database systems that support these concepts; he released these systems as open software, which allowed their widespread adoption and their code bases have been incorporated into many modern database systems. Since the pathbreaking work on Ingres and Postgres, Stonebraker has continued to be a thought leader in the database community and has had a number of other influential ideas including implementation techniques for column stores and scientific databases and for supporting on-line transaction processing and stream processing.