Richard Daley's been developing business intelligence systems since the mid-1980s, when he worked on what IBM called "executive information systems." Now he's the CEO of open source BI company Pentaho. Daley water-skis every day before work near his company's Orlando, Fla., headquarters.
CEO of Pentaho
Interview by J. Nicholas Hoover
Photograph by Eric Larson
WHY ORLANDO WORKS
"It's not as important to be in Silicon Valley when you're based on an open source business model. We have a very active developer community located throughout the world. If you look, JBoss is in Atlanta, Red Hat's in Raleigh, you'll see Digium over in Alabama. There's a bunch of successful open source companies that aren't based in the valley."
Daley is one of a dying breed. "Nobody water-skis anymore. Wakeboarding's a lot more exciting for kids." Wakeboarding tricks like "rails," the "Superman," and backflips are fun to watch, but it's harder to discern water-skiing expertise as a spectator, he says.
Daley's been called a BI pioneer. "We were building dashboards on mainframes back in the mid-'80s. They would only go to a few elite members of the organization in the Fortune 500, who could afford these things."
Daley has four kids at home who love soccer. "It's constant--we're always traveling from one tournament to another. I'm actually one of the calm parents on the sideline versus the ones screaming and trying to coach the kids all the time. I let their coaches do that stuff; I'm there for support and encouragement."
DOESN'T FEEL THE MAGIC
Though Daley lives near Disney World, he doesn't get over there much. "We've probably been there just a couple times. It's kind of like another planet, so we avoid that side of town."
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