Web Masters Episode #22: Peter Zaitsev

Most websites will never need to worry about supporting millions of simultaneous users. But the ones that do run into serious database┬átrouble. When they need help, they call Peter Zaitsev, founder of Percona and one of the world’s leading experts at scaling databases. Listen to his┬ástory now on Web Masters


Image result for percona logo

Peter Zaitsev:

I don’t remember, what book it comes from, but then I remember this kind of interesting observation, right from business and entrepreneurship. If you are thinking relatively niche, like different or unusual business, then often you wouldn’t have as much competition because I am so glad there are much more people building another app. For example, compared to people who really do want to do the hard work, if a database is because, “Hey, you know what? That means my competition is in related to two companies, not 100s or 1000s.”

Aaron Dinin:

Chances are you haven’t heard of the person who was just talking and you probably haven’t heard of this company either. And he’s fine with that because, well, if you have heard of him, you’re probably his target customer. On top of that, there’s not a lot of other companies out there who can do what his company does, which means if you need the kind of services he can provide, well, you don’t have a lot of other options. And as he was explaining, that the benefit of providing a niche service. In this case, the niche service is database optimization. It’s probably not something you personally need, but we can’t forget that databases support almost everything we do on the web. And when a company’s web service gets really popular and has to scale to support millions of users, their databases start breaking.

When that happens, who does the company call to fix things? Well, they call one of the few people in the world who can help, Peter Zaitsev, founder of Percona. Are you ready to hear the story, let’s get dialed in?

[INTRO]

Aaron Dinin:

Hi, everyone. It’s time for another episode of Web Masters, the podcast where we learn about internet history, by talking with the people who have built some of the most important and impactful internet businesses and innovations. I’m Aaron Dinin. I teach entrepreneurship at Duke University. Over the years, I’ve found one of the best ways to do this is by inviting successful entrepreneurs into my classroom to share their stories. At some point, I figured why stop there? Those same stories would surely help other entrepreneurs, why not record them and share them with the world, which is exactly what this podcast is for.

And on this episode, we’re talking with Peter Zaitsev, a successful entrepreneur who’s going to help us dive into a very important, and I think under appreciated business strategy, which is the strategy of positioning yourself in a niche market. But before we discuss that, I want to take a moment to thank the company that’s helped make this project possible. Speaking of companies in niche markets, this episode of Web Masters exists in part thanks to the support of Latona’s, which is a boutique mergers and acquisitions company that specializes in helping people buy and sell cashflow positive internet businesses, and digital assets. That includes things like e-commerce stores, Amazon FBAs, SAS apps, domain portfolios, content websites, and any other type of work from anywhere, internet business. Admittedly, there isn’t tons of demand for buying and selling internet businesses.

It’s not as popular as say buying clothes, but if you’re the type of person running a profitable internet business, and you suddenly find yourself needing a way to sell it, well, you’ll be happy that a company like Latona’s exists because well that’s exactly what they can help you do. Similarly, if you’re interested in buying an already profitable internet business, you’re going to be glad that Latona’s exists too, because you can find listings for all sorts of businesses right now on the Latona’s website. In other words, if you’re a part of that small niche of people interested in buying or selling internet businesses, and I’m guessing at least a few of you are then be sure to check out the best place to do it, latonas.com that’s, L-A-T-O-N-A-S.com.

This episode’s guest, Peter Zaitsev, is an expert on databases. Databases of course are where most of the information on a modern website or web app is stored. That’s everything from your username and password to the caption you added to that killer pick you posted on Instagram last week. And that sense databases definitely aren’t niche. In fact, just about every major website or web app or web service, any of us use in a given day is built on top of databases. So, I suppose to some extent, we should all care about them. And when Peter’s talking with non database people, he often finds himself having to point this out.

Peter Zaitsev:

For many people, I will say, “Well, look, you use Facebook, right?” I mean, for example, and say, “Oh, yes”. “And you know, like sometimes this Facebook is kind of slow or is down?” And they say, “Oh, yes. That’s annoys me quite a lot.” And they I’ll tell him, “Well, you know what? In many cases, this is because their database is malfunctioning. And we are the people which help companies like Facebook to make sure their database is running and sorted, and you can enjoy your social life, apps and whatever 24/7.” Right. So that’s how I would explain it to somebody who has nothing to do with computers.

Aaron Dinin:

But even though databases themselves aren’t niche, being able to scale databases to support millions of simultaneous users is a skill most of us will never need. That’s where someone like Peter comes in. Peter is an expert on database performance. And he spent most of his career helping companies scale their database architecture to be able to support more users. But of course that’s not where he started. Instead, Peter story starts when he first discovered the internet, while growing up in Russia.

Peter Zaitsev:

I was born and raised in Russia. Internet out there was kind of coming, I think, slightly later and slightly different than in US. People sometimes tell me, “Remember those AOL discs, they would send to everybody?” And say like, “Nope, I wasn’t there at the time.” So, my involvement, I think, with something like internet started with something was called FidoNet. And if you remember that as something like email newsgroup kind of thing, which you would connect with your modem, download that. That is how I was sort of exposed to the internet initially. And I think then about ’95, ’96, I got the internet in a place where I started.

Aaron Dinin:

And what were you thinking when you first discovered the internet? What got you excited about it?

Peter Zaitsev:

Early internet was fantastic, because it was raw and kind of wild uncharted territory. You could do anything, good, bad, right. For example, things like no spamming laws or things like that didn’t exist yet. It’s like, “Hey, you know what? You can grab wherever email somewhere and you can just send them all alike, or you can make money on ads.” I remember first it had like a banner ads with 10% click rate, imagine that. People in the internet are so excited about such things as banner ads, were actually clicking on that.

Peter Zaitsev:

My first experience with internet was, I was actually working with a local company, which was producing assembly kind of computers, which low on the … A little bit of internet kind of Web Masters style system administrator, kind of IT guy, at that time. And for me, because I have a math background, I always had this fascination with numbers, statistics, so on and so forth. And so, the first real startup I had, what was there like internet counter, something as rudimentary, Google analytics didn’t exist at that time.

Aaron Dinin:

Wait, your first startup was like a Russian version of Google analytics?

Peter Zaitsev:

That was a project called Spy Log, though the internet like don’t even cheat names were fantastic, right. Now, you probably would not call a service like that Spy Log, especially if you’re from Russia. But at that time, that was received very well by their early crowd and really was quite successful project around that since ’99 to early 2000s.

Aaron Dinin:

And what happened to that company?

Peter Zaitsev:

So, just to be fair, in that company, I was a co-founder and a kind of person number two. We had other person who was CEO. I was CTO, responsible for all the technical staff, and the company started going pretty good. There was a lot of potential, raising the capital, going really big, but then dot-com bubble crash happened. And what was very interesting at that time in Russia, you would see number of venture capitalists, came to Russia, looking for deals couple of years before, because obviously, there was opportunity and the excitement about internet everywhere. But evaluations in Russia would say, joke compared to Silicon Valley. But then the dot-com crash happened. Those people just packed up and left. And in the US, you at least have a choice to come to Sand Hill road and maybe beg for investment. In Russia, it’s all kind of just evaporate.

So, our company had a hard time in this case and the change for us was not even kind of so much like revenue operation, but we were a company of Russian investments, who were expecting with all that kind of momentum, what the company will go big and fast, but then the future didn’t look so rosy anymore. They kind of come and say, “Well, you know what? We know we invested for this amount, but now I think we wouldn’t like to have a full company,” instead. This is well reality of doing business in Russia in the late ’90s, early 2000s. And for my side, I kind of kept the job with Europe, but not my equity as a part of transition and the flow. I decided that is not for me, obviously. So, I left the company after few months.

Aaron Dinin:

So, people just took your company from you? And that was just kind of how startups worked in Russia back then? That seems a little weird.

Peter Zaitsev:

Yes. Yeah. Well, so for me, what the loan experience for me was saying, write this, and then also some other things I have to deal with like, bribes. And I thought, “Hey, you know what? I want to have my own business again for sure, but I probably do not want to have it in Russia.” I thought I want to move. And specifically, to United States as it’s kind of land of entrepreneurial opportunity.

Aaron Dinin:

Wow. Okay. That sounds like a different entrepreneurial ecosystem for sure. It doesn’t really seem like the kind of place that fosters entrepreneurial thinking. So, out of curiosity, growing up in that environment, how did you decide to start your own companies?

Peter Zaitsev:

My family were Russian scientists. So, this is kind of probably as far from entrepreneurs like as you can get. And I think my dad doesn’t quite still understand what it makes kind of to run your on company. Right. He’s still asking me, “How much do they pay you?” And I have to explain to him over and over again, “Dad you don’t understand. There is no they, if you’re running your own business.” But for me, I think I just had this very big feeling of independence. I never liked taking orders or even in relationship with teachers often was very strange. I would often pick a fight and try and explain why they are wrong. And some teachers love it. Some teachers absolutely hate me as that’s troublemaker. And I think as I was getting to that, that probably was the idea of, “Hey, you have to put yourself in a situation where you don’t have to be taking orders because you probably wouldn’t do very well.”

Aaron Dinin:

As someone who teaches entrepreneurship, I actually see this pattern a lot. Peter’s story of being the student who questions the status quo and questions the authority of the teacher, can make them, not such an appealing student to teach for most teachers anyway. Personally, I actually enjoy those kinds of students, but it’s also what makes them the kind of person who would become an entrepreneur. After all questioning the status quo and challenging authority structures is a big part of what helps entrepreneurs uncover opportunities for innovation.

In Peter’s case, not only did that skill help him start his company, it’s also what helped him find his way out of Russia. Specifically, Peter’s willingness to question and challenge things. What some people might call an abrasive personality, it actually appealed to an entrepreneur named Marten Mickos, who at the time was CEO of a company called MySQL AB creator of the MySQL database.

Peter Zaitsev:

Thankfully in my fellow startup, I had a lot of experience with databases, the MySQL in particular. I knew this kind of guy who was always trying very early versions. And then if it would break, I will write a lot of emails saying, “Look at that. Your software is junk, look at this bug. And that bug,” right. Marten, MySQL founder, he was happily be the guy who appreciated that, because others might have think of me as a joke, which probably I was, but he appreciated that. And he essentially given me the job in MySQL AB, and I worked I think for a couple of years from Moscow and then moved to United States while working for MySQL.

Aaron Dinin:

Would you mind giving a quick explanation of what MySQL is for people listening, who maybe don’t know much about databases?

Peter Zaitsev:

Yeah. No, absolutely. Absolutely. Well, so if you look at the modern world, right, and even for many decades now, the store and brought us huge amount of data. And a lot of that data is a stored in something which is called databases, like your bank’s transaction sites, for example, stored in some database, somewhere in a bank. And MySQL is one of such database, which is become very popular during the internet times. It’s something which underpins even now companies like Twitter or Facebook. It came to fame largely because it is open source, which means, unlike other databases, like Oracle, which you had to pay a lot of money for, you could use MySQL absolutely for free. And that was very important, especially if you are a startup and don’t have a lot of money to spend. So, that is what’s the MySQL is.

Aaron Dinin:

And MySQL is really popular, right? Probably the most popular database on the web. So, why and/or how did MySQL become so popular versus all the other possible databases?

Peter Zaitsev:

Yeah. So, okay. Let’s look at the kind of history here I teach maybe interesting. So, if you look at the initial depth before the dot-com crash, at that time actually a lot of the early stage companies, they were built on a lot of commercial software. They would run something like a Sun Solaris, use Oracle as a database and so on and so forth. They would use kind of this traditional enterprise technology. Then the dot-com crash happened, the new generation of a company, they had to start with a fraction of a capital or those legacy companies had to because nobody wants to invest in the internet companies just after the internet bubble bust. And so at that time, a lot of the open source software come to raise that would be Linux as operating system, Apache as a web server. And the MySQL was pretty much right there at the right time in the right place.

And it was the only open source database, good enough for internet applications and so it really became a dominant player at that time. Now, if you look for it now, what is like 15, almost 20 years later, MySQL still is the most popular open source database, but there is much more variety right now. There is, so-called like NoSQL databases, might grow in such as MongoDB or Cassandra, Redis. PostgreSQL is also very quickly growing and very popular for new applications of open source database. So, now we think we going to get much more variety in a database space than it was in early 2000s and pretty much all the upsides starting at that time would use MySQL as a database.

Aaron Dinin:

Okay, and I’ve been dying to ask someone this for a long time, who would know the quote-on-quote, “real answer to this question”, is the proper pronunciation, MySQL or MySQL?

Peter Zaitsev:

Remember MySQL was born in between Sweden and Finland, right. So, it’s not native English speakers. And the traditional pronunciation preferred by the founder is MySQL. Like why YMCA, MySQL, right. So, that’s how we do it now in America a lot of people will go by MySQL. So, now you can use it one way or another and it’s fine.

Aaron Dinin:

All right, let’s call that debate settled. If you want to sound like you know what you’re talking about when discussing databases, you should always say SQL and not SQL. As for Peter, he spent his next few years establishing himself as an expert in the MySQL industry by literally being a part of the team developing MySQL. However, and an odd parallel to his first startup investors got involved and eventually new owners, which changed the fundamental core of the company in the vision he had initially believed in.

Peter Zaitsev:

MySQL was created, The culture of a company was what we are there really to make the difference in a world, kind of democratize databases and sit Oracle if this kind of newer, better, free database called MySQL. But when MySQL raised money, venture capital, and naturally a lot of company focus were shifting to kind of financial milestones from, “Hey, I’m here to make a difference in the world,” to a point towards there have been some, what I would consider questionable technical right or some other decisions. And I found myself mentally like switching from talking about a company, as we did X, we did that. Then I talked to the people to talk about, they did X, and they did that, kind of distancing myself because I sort of didn’t want to be really associated that closely to that company anymore. I could not wholeheartedly support with decisions of what was company was making. And I understood that at that time, that is a time for me to leave.

Aaron Dinin:

Tired of working for other people and being controlled by their needs. Peter was ready to start his own business. Unfortunately, Peter, wasn’t an American citizen and that complicated his path forward.

Peter Zaitsev:

I thought I’d have to leave and start something on my own. But unfortunately, due to U.S Immigration laws, I couldn’t really create a startup in U.S and have a path to green card and to citizen potentially. So, I had to leave and I went to United Kingdom, which at that time had much more open immigration policies and I started Percona. I was there in United Kingdom, in London.

Aaron Dinin:

Where did the idea for Percona come from? I mean, it basically began as a consulting firm, right?

Peter Zaitsev:

The idea for Percona, first, was really around the consulting. Something was kind of surprise me when I came to United States was if you think about this technology consultant culture, where I felt, “Oh my gosh, those people are paying the big bucks.” Often like 100s of dollars an hour. They really have sort of acting in the best interest of client. But then I discovered actually in many cases, they are sort of like a glorified salespeople. Who work for a company and they really have the product to sell.

Peter Zaitsev:

So, they don’t really have those fiduciary duties right of, act in the best interest of a customer, even though they’re paid by that. And I was really appalled by this situation. I mean, how can something like that be happening in United States? That’s not what you see in the movies when you’re growing up in the Soviet Union. So, I decided then I start Percona really will have that unapologetically customer focused approach. “Hey, we are doing consultant and we are doing what’s right for you with no ifs and buts.” That was really the cornerstone of what Percona was about, and I think we are very successful with that. We’ve developed a lot of good reputation by saying how things are. And if we offend somebody’s feelings well, so be it.

Aaron Dinin:

Fair enough. So, your pension for telling it like it is, became a core part of your business? That makes sense. And how did you get your initial customers?

Peter Zaitsev:

Even before I started Percona, I started to blog, first on Live Journal. Then I moved to domain called mysqlperformanceblog.com. I also spoke at some conferences and so on and so, in our little niche, I was the known expert in MySQL and MySQL performance. And when your starting a small company in a consulting space. It doesn’t take a lot to feel your pipeline. In fact, in the early days, if you’re going to, we didn’t even have a company website. I just put this little link on our blog say, we do MySQL consulting, which would just say, “Hey, we can do consulting and suggest to send me an email.” And that kept us busy. I think it was so busy. I know what I wasn’t even replying to all emails at the time. I didn’t have any tracking system early on. So, sometimes you would get somebody like, “I sent you, it’s like a short email. I’m sending you. Can we please finally get some help?”

Aaron Dinin:

This right here is the key to Peter’s entrepreneurial success story. Notice how he didn’t look around for a big popular market and then figure out how to launch a product into it, which is how a lot of the entrepreneurs I’ve talked with approach building their startups. Instead, Peter established himself as an expert on a niche topic in an important industry by doing that, he solved the most important challenge in building companies, which is the challenge of getting a steady, reliable stream of customers.

In other words, if you needed help scaling your MySQL database, you were going to find Peter. True there aren’t a ton of people in the world who need help scaling their MySQL databases to accommodate millions of users. But that doesn’t matter. What matters is that the ones who do need help need it urgently and have the resources to pay. That type of customer is fantastic. It’s the kind of customer that makes a great foundation for building a successful business.

Peter Zaitsev:

I did not expect Percona to grow as large as it is now. I kind of felt, “Hey, you know what will do is consultant in business for a period of time until I figured out something else.” That’s frankly, it’s kind of relatively typical for many experts to do, but then I think partly because it was right place, kind of right time, it a grew on me, relatively soon after, after Percona was started, when MySQL was acquired by Sun, then that’s going to get the company into this kind of couch it transitioning which happened with acquisitions. And then that Sun was acquired by Oracle, which was even bigger deal. Because remember in the early days of MySQL, Oracle was arch-enemy. We were out there to kick Larry’s butt.

Aaron Dinin:

That would be Larry Ellison’s butt, by the way, founder of Oracle and one of the top five or 10 richest people in the world.

Peter Zaitsev:

And now, Larry owns the whole company. Many people were leaving and there was a lot of uncertainty. And so, Percona as this alternative, that you can go and not deal with all that Sun, Oracle, MySQL drama, but get a great quality services that was very attractive. So, that was a great time for us.

Aaron Dinin:

But MySQL is still open source, right? Meaning anyone can use it free of charge. So, how are you making money by support?

Peter Zaitsev:

That is a great expression. I like about the open source. Some people say, “Hey, so what does free means? And open source? Is it free as in freedom? Or is it free as in there?” And the answer is both, but I think first and foremost, it is free as in puppy. And what I mean by that is like, you can pick up puppy literally for free, but then that puppy will take a lot of your time and money to keep it happy. The same applies to the open source software. It’s maybe free, but in the end it requires a lot of care and that care you can either do it yourself, but many companies don’t have that expertise or time, or you can hire somebody like Percona to help instead. That is a whole value proposition field.

Aaron Dinin:

It seems worth pausing to point out that here, Peter is basically explaining the open source business model. Lots of people think open source means hobbyist programmers, sharing knowledge for the good of humanity. And I suppose that’s true sometimes, but in terms of the bigger open source projects tools like MySQL and Red Hat Linux and WordPress, open source is kind of like a Trojan horse. It lets software companies establish themselves inside of other businesses for little or no upfront cost. And the monetization opportunity comes on the backend as those businesses scale their usage of the software, not coincidentally, as Peter mentioned earlier, this is why MySQL thrived in the wake of the dot-com bust and to Percona’s advantage a similar thing happened again a few years later.

Peter Zaitsev:

Frankly, another important luck factor was, and I hope you guys don’t hate me for that, but the great recession was another fantastic thing for us. And I think in open source in general, because then people suddenly did not have any money for ultra expensive commercial software. They were looking at open source alternatives, such as MySQL and especially at some more agile and lower costs companies like Percona, who could help them to make things happen.

Aaron Dinin:

When I was researching Percona I couldn’t help, but notice that you’ve expanded beyond consulting services and launched your own open source software projects for MySQL, as well as other databases like MongoDB. So, is it safe to assume that your way of capitalizing on the open source software model beyond just consulting?

Peter Zaitsev:

Well that’s right. So, in the earlier days we just did the service will help people to fix problems tune database and so on. And so. But then you discover what, by this kind of configuration and application, you can go on this so much. There are some problems which are inside of the database kernel, which requires solutions in that database kernel as well. And that’s how we started to deal with our own software. Like pretty much to fix the needs, fix the problem, which we could not get fixed at any other way. And from that, Percona software was born. And now obviously a number of years later, we have pretty much the open-source slot form, which covers both MySQL, MongoDB and Postgres. And a lot of our value proposition is heavy in the features, which you only can find in property versions outside Percona.

Aaron Dinin:

To have your own open source software projects. I mean, that’s a big undertaking, right? So, it’s obviously not just you consulting anymore. How big is the Percona team at this point?

Peter Zaitsev:

Yeah, so we are about 250 people. So, we are not huge if you compare us to our competition, like Oracle, for example, we are tiny, but we are obviously much larger than two person start-up, which we were back in 2006.

Aaron Dinin:

And you’re the CEO of Percona, right? As someone who’s clearly more of a tech guy than a business guy, how have you approached the CEO role?

Peter Zaitsev:

Well, yes. I mean, it is interesting. I was for years thinking what kind of CEO I can be. And frankly, I did not work for many companies and didn’t have many role models. I had a CEO model of market makers, CEO of MySQL AB, and he was very fantastic CEO, like very articulated, well spoken with a look of Brad Pitt. So, really that’s kind of how I would say like, the most essential CEO. He was very good in front of investor board room and so on and so forth. But then I thought it is kind of not me. I am more of a geeky, nerdy guy, frankly, I like computers much more than people because you know what, you tell them what to do, right. And if you write right code, they will follow that religiously, then people are messy, people are complicated.

So for me, I was kind of taking a different path, which I think as an entrepreneur and as the sort of like controlling your shareholder you have, is to build a team, which is built around your strengths and weaknesses. So, I probably much more of a conventional CEO or at least more than Marten Mickos was, involved in the technology. I still speak on technology topic and a lot of the conferences, talk to our customers directly. And I typically go toe-to-toe with a lot of technical people, but I have very senior operational finance sales people, so they can run those parts of a business with very little supervision from my side.

Aaron Dinin:

Okay. You’ve surrounded yourself with great business talent. That makes sense. The other thing I noticed as I was learning about Percona prior to chatting with you is that you’re an entirely remote company with employees scattered around the world. What’s that like?

Peter Zaitsev:

Well, I think a lot of difficult stuff in our case comes from being such a diverse organization. We have people from all these like 35 different countries or so, and it is amazing how big difference there is in a different culture and what you can find and discover. I remember for example, discuss on the Slack about one guy who was saying, “Well, you know what? I want a second wife, but I am not sure how should I approach my first wife about that topic,” stuff like that. Which is like, “Wow.” You know that is not something that you would expect as American water cooler conversation.

Aaron Dinin:

No, definitely not any water cooler conversations I’ve had. But speaking of American water cooler conversations, you did eventually make it back to the States right? Why did you decide to return?

Peter Zaitsev:

Yeah, so I mentioned the company was started in UK, mid 2000s, and now Europe and UK, they have much more active startup scene. At that time, that wasn’t the case. I could get a business out there, but it was like, “Peter, put on the suit and go and do some boring things for a month in some sort of bond co-insurance company in the London city.” Where my interest in customers were in US, that’s where people were like doing some cool stuff, and they have added, “Hey, you know what? Let us try to completely reimagine our database all weekend.” So, that was much more fun. So we thought, “Hey, you know what? Maybe we should go back to the States,” and that’s what we did.

Aaron Dinin:

Right. You and I clearly have very different ideas of fun. Re-imaging my database architecture in a weekend is not very high on my list, but you know, I guess that makes me wonder, are you really that passionate about databases? I mean, you’re clearly someone who’s technical skills could be applied to all sorts of things. Why build a company around databases? What makes that such a great entrepreneurial opportunity?

Peter Zaitsev:

You know like a saying in the gold rush, most money is made by selling shovels, and the database is a shovel. When it comes to our more involved then we are building more and more apps to process more and more information.

Aaron Dinin:

And that right there is the other piece to Peter and Percona success that’s important to highlight. Peter didn’t just specialize in a niche market, there are plenty of niche markets out there that don’t have lots of room for growth. For example, did you know there’s an entire market of people who collect the sticker labels from bananas? Seriously, Google it, obviously there’s not a ton of room for growth in that market. In contrast, Peter recognized that being an expert in database optimization was serving a niche market, but it was a niche market tied to a much bigger market, or as Peter puts it, it’s like being a shovel seller during a gold rush.

Yes. It’s a bit of a business cliche that during a gold rush, you want to be the person selling shovels. But as the story of Percona reminds us, its good advice. So, if nothing else, I hope you appreciated the reminder. I know I did, which is why I want to thank Peter Zaitsev, for sharing the story of Percona. If you’re one of those few people in this world, looking for regular thoughts, tips, and tricks about the best ways to support and scale your MySQL database so it can reach millions of users, you can follow Peter on Twitter. He’s @PeterZaitsev. While you’re on Twitter, be sure to let us know what you thought of this episode. We’re @WebMastersPod. I’m on Twitter too @AaronDinan. That’s A-A-R-O-N, D-I-N-I-N.

You can also find me on medium.com, where I write lots of articles about startups, entrepreneurship, and building internet businesses. Another quick, thanks to Ryan Higgs, our sound engineer, and a thanks to our sponsor Latona’s. Don’t forget to check out latonas.com. If you happen to be interested in buying or selling an internet business. Also, if you happen to be interested in hearing more from some of the Internet’s most important and impactful innovators, be sure to subscribe to Web Masters in your podcasting app of choice, because we’ll be releasing another episode in just a few days. But for now, well, it’s time for me to sign off. Good-bye. And could you tell me where the name Percona came from?

[OUTRO]

Peter Zaitsev:

Where the name Percona comes from? Well, I have a great grandfather from Italy, called Francesca Percona, and then I discovered that I felt that’s what the wonderful company name, with Italian zing to that. You like the story?

Aaron Dinin:

Yeah, I guess. Not what I expected, but I guess didn’t really know what to expect. So, I suppose it’s as reasonable as anything else.

Peter Zaitsev:

Well, and that is absolutely (beep). That is not where Percona name comes from, I like telling that to see how many people react.

Aaron Dinin:

That’s ridiculous. You’re ridiculous. Now I understand why you annoyed a lot of people.

Peter Zaitsev:

What is a funny thing is, I recently by chance found a person, Francesca Percona. There seems to be such a person existed. So, I was like, “Wow, that’s even funny.” But anyway, really Percona comes from performance consultants. That’s what it stands for. Then I added A, because I think it’s kind of sounded better compared to Percon. And I think because there was like already the company name and domain was taken by some vacuum cleaner manufacturer or something. So, yeah. That’s where company name comes from.

Aaron Dinin:

You should stick with the first story. I think I liked it better.

Peter Zaitsev:

Yes. Yeah. Well, if only truth didn’t matter.