Graphs as a foundational technology stack: Analytics, AI, and hardware
How would you feel if you saw demand for your favorite topic — which also happens to be your line of business — grow 1,000% in just two years’ time? Vindicated, overjoyed, and a bit overstretched in trying to keep up with demand, probably.
Although Emil Eifrem never used those exact words when we discussed the past, present, and future of graphs, that’s a reasonable projection to make. Eifrem is chief executive officer and cofounder of Neo4j, a graph database company that claims to have popularized the term “graph database” and to be the leader in the graph database category.
Eifrem and Neo4j’s story and insights are interesting because through them we can trace what is shaping up to be a foundational technology stack for the 2020s and beyond: graphs.
Eifrem cofounded Neo4j in 2007 after he stumbled upon the applicability of graphs in applications with highly interconnected data. His initiation came by working as a software architect on an enterprise content management solution. Trying to model and apply connections between items, actors, and groups using a relational database ended up taking half of the team’s time. That was when Eifrem realized that they were trying to fit a square peg in a round hole. He thought there’s got to be a better way, and set out to make it happen.