One can't make the claim that operational SIGINT is so special that it never leaks, because that is one of the classified emails found on Clinton's private server - emailed from a former government worker that shouldn't have had access in the first place.
Palantir Stock Price
There are two software associations to the company. The first is Palantir Gotham. This software is describes as having the ability to integrate data into a searchable and discoverable interface.
In other words, it allows the government and corporations to analyze their data without violating civil liberties requirements. The other software Palantir is known for is Palantir Metropolis. If one was asked to describe the difference between Palantir Gotham and Palantir Metropolis, the answer would be that the former is based on data and the latter on events. That si to say, Gotham is used to describe relationships between objects. Metropolis is used to describe relationships between events.
But there is an indirect way to invest in the software developer. GSV Capital has invested in some of the biggest names in privately held companies. Dropbox , Spotify and Lyft are among their holdings. Palantir equates to Dealing with anti-terrorism and security for the government, banks and other sensitive organizations, the company must keep much of its activity under wraps. Confidentiality aside, investing in GSV offers traders an opportunity to buy Palantir Technologies stock indirectly.
Be sure to do your research on the other GSV holdings before you call your broker. As we mentioned much earlier, Palantir has been in the news a lot lately, and some of this news may be of interest to you. Despite Palantir execs stating that they would never issue an IPO, the company is currently struggling to hold on to its valuation.
The company, as you know, primarily depends on government contracts for survival. The company has corporate clients, but has found that many of those clients have left. The big box stores, for example, have determined that they can create their own software at a lower cost than Palantir offers.
Until then, however, the company is struggling. Currently, the software requires a hands-on approach by engineers, and Palantir developers are working to create a more automated software. The company hopes that this will attract more civilian consumers. There are several reasons for this. There's enough Chinese immigrants to educate you about Chinese engineering schools. Europe is just too diverse to build up this Either way, you end up not looking at what foreign school they went to, but rather what graduate program they got into in the US.
Secrecy, inexperience of the developers, and wooing them with money and a great interview experience. A solid first impression. My guess is the hype created through secrecy. The stock options and perceived prestige.
Palantir has great marketing. The government and NGO work certainly sounds compelling you're going to be finding terrorists and improving public health until you realize it's a soul-crushing job mostly pushing low-level data around.
KingMob on May 8, Ironic, considering Palantir's involved in the ad world, too. I'm in kind of an odd position, because I worked there for many years with no CS degree at all and I was a lot older than most not all. They do hire people who are great at CS things, and that often translates into mostly people from higher tier CS programs, but the filter that is applied during hiring is not that.
If you can't do the job They also like to recruit from around Washington DC area schools Univ. Saw them at career fairs while also recruiting there. They all wear cool hoodies and project this agile young startup image. It seems to work, there is a decent size line of young hopeful grads wanted to work there. It doesn't hurt that Palantir's offices in McLean are reminiscent of the GooglePlex while the top defense contractors' offices look like those in Office Space.
They are doing everything right recruiting-wise. I think only Google and Facebook had lines longer than them amongst maybe 50 companies or so. The office isn't in McLean anymore, it's been moved to Georgetown. That sounds like a nightmare, traffic-wise. I forgot to also mention that, from what I've heard, if you are going to work for Palantir, their NYC office is where you want to be. This would jive with a talk I heard at a conference from someone working on a collaboration at GSK with them; although that talk made it sound like there was some machine learning magic that was helping them structure their unstructured data; some of which is currently in the form of non-standardized handwritten logs at manufacturing plants that are just scanned into PDFs before being handed off to Palantir.
On a side note, the code name mentioned in the talk I saw for the project at GSK was definitely not Ribo as stated in the article. I don't know if this is a case of GSK having a different internal code name than Palantir's internal code name, but GSK's code name was also based on Tolkien. The government is disentangling itself from the company, because IAD guys are starting to realize that Palantir is just another consulting firm. Moreover, they're a consulting firm that failed to deliver on their promises.
I'm not sure if they'll be audited and put to sleep, or if they have enough government patrons. FinTech has realized Palantir's tech is pretty pictures and the rest is just a datalake setup.
To negotiate and buy it is hard, even when it was the new hot company. Then to actually run the software be prepared to pay high rates for their "forward deployed engineers", which the rest of us just call "software consultants. Having worked and lived with devs from the Bay Area, I can say that the the government could use a lot of help from Silicon Valley. But Palantir is not the help they need.
So Palantir offers expensive custom-coded ETL? I'm sure it's awesome not to be a recent-graduate from a top university doing tons of mydata. This is essentially a consulting company, which are heavy on name recognition and having pedigreed talent. It's pretty antithetical to the spirit of silicon valley IMO and is something much more typical of NY. Or DC or Boston. KKKKkkkk1 on May 6, Is Stanford CS grads working in sweatshops really a thing?
Glad I didn't go to Stanford! We really dodged a bullet. Alden will likely have a very juicy part 2 in another month. A few years ago I sat in on a CS course at Stanford and was able to count 4!
It was ridiculous, I probably have the picture somewhere. Maybe because they recently had a recruiting event and handed out shirts? I got a tshirt at the techto meetup here in Toronto a few months ago. Palantir T-shirts are super convenient. I don't care at all that someone else is wearing the same t-shirt, if it means I don't have to go clothes shopping. Lxr on May 7, Palantir tshirts are very popular on Australian university campuses too in my experience, from recruiting events they run.
It's sorta Accenture-style consulting but with a lot of pre-built proprietary tech to achieve a high degree of leverage. I know someone whose partner works at Palantir London. I've heard similar about the London office. What I've heard is, there is very little in the way of basic engineering practices or organization. People hacking stuff together all over the place, very poor test practices, stuff is broken all the time.
Hero coding to get things working. And cult vibe through the roof. They weren't happy there. I feel like a similar argument can be said for any major engineering company. Most new grads heading to Facebook, Google and the like are doing grunt work. Unless you're working at a true startup, where you know everybody's name, you'll be doing some degree of grunt work. What language are they using for cleaning up the data for import?
Is there a market for a middleman i. If this type of company already exists who are some examples? This is very unsexy work which I happen to enjoy. Tycho on May 9, There is a company that called CloudFactory that offers a distributed task platform for data science.
Data wrangling manpower on-demand. Data wrangling -- Trifacta, Tamr, etc. Who are the clients and how much do they pay for these services? Whats the typical size of the dataset? Speed benchmarks shared with the public? Stanford emails out a jobs summary for each graduating class. For graduates the 1 most common job title was Forward Deployed Engineer lol -- Calling Palantir a "sweatshop" when the starting salaries are six figures is ridiculous.
There are 8 billion people in the world, and a lot of them actually do work long hours for a few USD a day with next to no rights. Say you took a job at Palantir because you bought into the hype about fixing government.
Now you work with some smart people and the pay and perks are pretty strong, but you find yourself doing consulting type work and feel unfulfilled. Maybe youre helping some large fund manager migrate off of Oracle DB or something.
The solution is to find more important work. Something you really care about. Something that directly helps at least a few of the 7. On one hand I agree with you that borrowing a term like "sweatshop" to describe Palantir is ridiculous. The abuse of language not just in this instance, but overall, is ridiculous to both extremes. Having said that, I think the intention was to describe Palantir in relative terms compared to other companies in SV.
With that in mind, then yes, Palantir is one of the worst places to work at among companies of the same type: I think it can be bad if you're not a specific type of person. I loved interning at Palantir and absolutely hated interning at Facebook. There are people who legitimately enjoy super high intensity environments. There are people who legitimately loathe low intensity environments. If you're not one of those people, you're not going to have a good time at Palantir — this is not a secret.
This is stated over and over by everyone. Shyam head of BD has a public blog post shaming the very notion of work-life balance. No one is tricking anyone, except candidates fooling themselves into believing everyone is lying and it's actually a chill place. Ultimately, the sweatshop analogy is pathetic on this basis alone: Working conditions aren't really the problem with abusive employment.
There are people who take on far more life-threatening and limb-damaging jobs than a sweatshop. The key distinction from those people and those who are abused is that they are free to leave and thus free to demand proper compensation. No Silicon Valley company is a sweatshop. What a delusionally entitled way to see the world. According to the arguments in this thread, Palantir is not a startup, so it cannot be placed in that type.
Omg thank you for writing this. This industry needs to stop being so insular. I'd argue your job is a sweatshop. For graduates the 1 most common job title was Forward Deployed Engineer lol This actually gives some credence to the sweatshop narrative.
A Stanford education is so much about getting placed in a titled job that a manifest goes out every year about where graduates were allocated? In-house programmers or independent contractors would be making much, much more. Why does the salary matter? The labor in those firms are treated like fungible slaves, worked for illegal hours and disposed off uncerimoniously after a few years, to be replaced by fresh bodies.
Hi all -- I wrote the Palantir article. It's really awesome to see all this discussion about it. As I say in the post, please don't hesitate to contact me if you'd like to chat confidentially.
I am always eager to hear any tips or new information. Find me on WhatsApp, Telegram, Signal, or encrypted email. By the way, your PGP key has no signatures on it. It could trivially be swapped out on your webhost if the server was compromised and no one would know the difference.
You should go to a PGP key-signing party. I would offer to sign your key, but you aren't in the NYC office like I would've assumed. Fortunately there's no shortage of people to sign your key in SF! This seems relevant right now https: The grandparent is advising the writer to improve the verification aspects that PGP provides.
Have you tried re-establishing trust with a Signal user who wiped their device? It falls back to the same PGP problem of comparing a string of numbers over a different secure channel. Moxie addresses some problems with the OpenPGP RFC and with the GnuPG implementation, but after re-reading that post I don't see how it relates to the verifiability issue the grandparent is bringing up.
Or he could post his key signature on multiple media, provide links to them, and not expose his social network ;. There's not particularly any connection between your social network and your PGP key signatures. That's what key-signing parties are good for: You get your needed signatures from people who are strangers, who are validating your identity through other means, such as access to your email account, physically matching photos that are associated with your various online presences, and possession of government-issued photo ID.
Do you have your PGP key fingerprint on your business card? If not, you should. This article is much more interesting than its fairly predictable headline implies. While the secrecy of Palantir has served as clickbait for many years, there's actually real news in this. And the news is about the difficulties of scaling a services-heavy, on-prem software company that basically rents out forward-deployed engineers at 10s of millions of dollars per year.
Especially when the software is an open-source stack, and the engineers are increasingly junior as the companies grows.
That said, it's still great at sales. We took the questionable baity bit out of the title. It seems to be perfect and unfair to clients business model. Same was described by Zed Shaw about ThoughtWorks.
I just saw a few videos presenting their products. Apache Hadoop, Hive and Pig, among others. And actually, it's usually an enterprise distro such as Cloudera's CDH rather than Apache Hadoop itself, which is kind of a nightmare.
I want to see what Palantir actually produces. If you don't know what "fusion center" is - https: Kind of looks like ArcGIS. I have just realized that I have been grossly underpaid. And I'm sure all those engineers they hire make excellent geographic analysts.
Don't ignore the network visualization on the right. My understanding is that it's a slice through an ontology driven knowledgebase. Palantir provides consulting services on the ontology as well as the integration services to map customer data to that ontology.
The tool provides a visualization of this knowledgebase. That's what I thought. Even if they had auburn hair and tawny eyes? Wow this is incredibly fascinating, how were they able to talk publicly about this? Oh my god, what the hell is that thing! Note the timestamp on the video I removed the claim re: By the way, if Palantir's product actually works, your manager already knows you're talking about them.
That wasn't the concern. I said the team is very good relative to my experience at other places. They know that I like 'em already, don't worry ;. Do you have any recent pictures of the products?
You can find some public stuff here: Griever on May 7, I have to say, this does look pretty clean. Looks like the web-based client work has finally started to produce a client. Here is a live version of a [Palantir product for the Carter Center] http: I'd say it looks quite nice for a digital map. For what's it's worth, this type of analytics and market research is what Nielsen NLSN has been doing for several decades..
Indeed they were the first real BigData company. They just don't charge monthly.. You buy access to a set of data markets, products hierarchies and often some level of custom reporting and scheduled updates on the data. Palantir is much closer to Accenture than Nielsen. For the most part, Palantir is helping you analyze data you already have, not providing you with new data.
Actually maybe they do - they just brought back Cherry and Vanilla coke in Canada. I for one will be contributing to an increase in sales. Many of those requests came back empty, here's one that produced responsive documents: That compares to a departure rate of Palantir paid annual bonuses in March Bonuses are paid as at Palantir , holidays are over, kids are about to finish school.
I imagine that a number of ex-employees go on to work in the industry whose data they analyzed at Palantir. This may help to explain why employees are willing to work for less than elsewhere.
It's because three years later they will work for much more elsewhere. Especially the hedge fund analysts. Saw the aftermath of a Palantir project after the client parted ways with them. What a train wreck. There was a lot of hype around them but when one looked deep into what they actually did it was a lot of smoke and mirrors and not a lot of substance.
Even basic stuff like data cleaning and integration was poorly executed. Senior leadership didn't see value in what Panintir did, the project was cut off and they were asked to leave. Not surprised in the slightest to hear they are struggling. The problem with Palantir is the following: Three letter agencies are paying and will continue to pay for Palantir consulting and products.
However Palantir has been unable to fully productize their solution it is still pretty much consulting. Thus they have hard time convincing Fortune companies to pay due to the costs and depending too much on human interaction.
The software company focuses a vast majority of resources on POCs and "consulting" revenue really, rent-a-coder revenues and these "consultants" end up failing as product innovators i. Ultimately, this happens because leadership neglects product and becomes too caught up chasing deals and burdening the organization with custom development work to close the gap between the existing product versus market needs.
This is OK if your software company's consulting services are affordable. Enterprise clients tends to be quite accepting of the need for customization after product purchases.
An alternative business model that seems to work is management consulting, where you can charge huge consulting fees if you have earned the requisite reputation , and you can even cross-sell relatively low cost in-house software products or services alongside the consulting work. However, high value consulting engagement like McKinsey tend to last weeks not years , making the expense palatable to clients e.
There is an interesting potential disruption occurring at the intersection of management consulting and software, but not much has changed yet with traditional business model divide between old-school management consulting and enterprise software, and Palantir doesn't seem to have cracked that code.
Wow, that's a good summary. It's a trap that companies fall into and can never get out of: Company has Product X and a bunch of smart engineers excitedly working on it. The sales process ensues. No customers actually want Product X, but a few whales say "We don't want that, but you have smart people, we will pay you for this sorta-related ABC custom solution for us!
But in reality they've just turned into a contract engineering company and don't know it. Steps 2 and 3 repeat until Product X is a franken-product that has so many features in it, nobody knows what it is supposed to do, customers still don't want it, and the engineers eventually realized that they are no longer working on the product they were so excited about. You hit the nail on the head, though I would also highlight this from the article: My own experience small , not a big-5 at all with Management Consulting, and following the sales and execution process, was many times this issue.
Engagements from months standard, with a few at several years. Every contract was a big fight of the above push and pull. I don't think this is all that surprising. If you look at their staffing numbers and their fundraises, they appear to not be sustaining business but just growing staff because that's what startups do. Customer loyalty is important, but considering that they've been adding staff at a fast rate, most of their customers should be new-ish. Based on my understanding, they message as a software seller, but appear to make most of that revenue off of consulting and integration services tied around their software lock-in.
They also message as a big-data company, but AFAIK don't provide anything that would be called "big data solutions" these days. I thought Sankar's name sounded familiar, turns out he was the guy at the very heart of Palantir's very embarrassing industrial espionage and racketeering efforts against a competitor. He was apparently punished by being promoted to company president.
They hire like a consultancy. Your topline scales linearly with the staff you can ship out to client sites. What's interesting is that despite that being the case, and they charge out their staff at huge rates especially compared to what they pay them , they're still losing money.
I don't see this as particularly damning to Palantir. If you view Palantir as another consulting firm, I'd be curious as to how its rates and deliverables compare to the that of MBB. My uneducated guess is that what Palantir is offering for its billing rate is probably in line with the standard for consulting firms.
But it is pitched to investors and clients as a product company, not a services company. The two get valued very differently. That picture of Alex Karp is amazing. The article hints at a larger problem that underlies all data-science-as-a-service outfits: How can you price the generation of insights so that you; Palantir etc.
Confusing company on many levels. On one hand such huge clients, top talent until recently , and Thiel's famous success pre-requisite of having unique offering.
But clients are now asking tough questions about what value they can actually bring to the table for crazy dollars, and things may becoming home to roost.
Seems like hardly fits the "competition is for losers" claim. Consulting firms are all about overpriced bullshit analysis. Seems like Palantir plays that game but sadly not even well. I have no problem with that recruitment video. When you have the reputation of a secretive, shadowy company, it makes sense to forego a polished video and instead aim for something more organic and "real". People want to work at something that mirrors Google, not LexCorp.
Spinning the reported facts another way, Palantir has doubled revs over last year, and could turn a profit at will. Meanwhile it is able to set price optimally at verge of pain point for some of the largest enterprise customers.
Sounds like a well-run company. Lxr on May 6, A shortcut to avoid calling them "Palantir employees"?! I think in this situation, it's the less nefarious explanation that probably reflects reality. It's probably just a shortcut for "X-company employees". JoeAltmaier on May 7, Is it an American thing? We name folks from counties and states with nicknames too - Hoosiers from Indiana for instance.
And folks from Cedar Rapids are Cedar-Rapidians around here. It's not just an American thing, it's the concept of a "demonym" -- and there are official and unofficial demonyms. For example, the official demonym of Massachusetts is "Bay Stater," but everyone uses the far more popular "masshole. Internal reports are always written in Clingon!
There seems to be a lot of confusion here so let me clear up some things from my former several years at Palantir. If you can model your problem as a graph, chances are that Palantir will help you find some solid insights if there are insights to be found across your 15 disparate datasets.
Software Engineers build the core platform. If these customizations end up being useful, they get rolled into the core platform ideally. If you can get into Palantir, you can get into Google: Why not go to Google? Here are like examples: From your description, this is a classic Accenture-style and Bain and other strategic consulting and systems integration business model, though possibly with higher quality work, based on that latest management buzzphrase Big Data.
At least they have the decency to tell you who they work for right in their name. Tossrock on May 6, It always kind of amazed me as a pick for a company name. Like, they realize palantirs are a tool of the bad guys, right?
They're not a good thing! It's like naming your company "Stormtrooper", or "Dementor". Actually the palantiri were created by the elves as communication tools, even before the sun and moon were created, and used by the good guys for several thousand years before they fell in the hands of the bad guys about halfway through the third age. The explanation I've seen is that a palantir itself is value-neutral. However, because Sauron and Saruman each had one and used them regularly, using any of them became risky, because they were a channel through which information and influence could leak.
There's a company in Boston called Vecna . I always thought it was odd to name a company after a famous evil lich .
Though now that I'm reading the company's About page, I see both names were probably inspired by the Czech word for "eternal". I think it is happening unconsciously. Like say Chertoff named his naked-airport-scanner company Rapiscan. I think on some level they do it because they can, and that serves as a signal -- we are so awesome we can even use a name like that and still be successful.
Palantir is probably worth less than the money invested. They certainly have "special sauce" over and above their value as a consulting firm which are worth maybe 2x revenue. But how big is the market for that "special sauce"? The intelligence customers are low-capability, have massive datasets and really do need Palantir.
But they've tapped out that market. So look at the consumer brands in their customer list: But you could fit the data for any of them into the RAM on one server. Yes Palantir has super smart guys who can find fascinating relationships in the data. But there are only so many relationhips to find.
And once that's done, the IT staff of the customer can do the work easily themselves. So I'm sorry but I think Palantir is a washout worth less than the money invested. I'm actually surprised that Palatir paid below market rates. I heard they paid well above market rates, which justified their stance of never going public. Kadin on May 7, I hadn't heard that either. Their reputation in the DC area is that the generally pay market rate, although I think part of their recruitment strategy is that they're less stodgy than the other big defense contractors.
Not sure if that's really true as I've never worked there, but that's the pitch. What I've heard is that they pay well for incoming grads, but then no pay raises Whatever you do, please don't discontinue Plottable. Sadly, the devs don't seem to have a lot of time to devote to updating the site. Wow, that is one great web site. I think that would make even patio11 blush.
That implies an average length of tenure of 5 years. Very few college grads that I know stay at their first job for 5 years. The average doesn't tell the true story tho'. If you have a few old-timers in management but a majority of engineers churning in a year, then your product is mainly being worked on by people who never get fully up to speed on your codebase, supervised by people who haven't programmed in years.
From a linked article: On the other hand, no consulting firm should have 20x revenue multiple. I've often heard the Palantir narrative where they talk about a core platform or product that they build independent of the consulting work. That might explain the optimistic 20x revenue multiple. However, I don't think that platform has really come to fruition and they're still relying primarily on consulting to fuel themselves.
Someone else here mentioned that they hadn't fully productized their solution, which prevents them from closing large clients outside of government contracts. How can they ask for such high prices? Price discrimination at its finest. If you are a philanthropy stopping pedophiles, we will give you the same product you would get if you are wealthy special forces unit in a very wealthy country," Karp said.
By having connections to people spending someone else's dollar with low accountability. To get an idea of the kind of stuff Palantir do then it's worth taking a look at the presentation that was leaked during the HBGary leaks: AndrewKemendo on May 8, I used Palantir heavily in my previous work and it was disappointing at how manual it was based on what we were sold as a mostly automated platform.
It had a great interface for creating network diagrams, and collaborating but it was a huge pain to get integrated. I mean if nothing else, give us keyword matching and linking! Interviewed with them once: Weirdest thing was I randomly ran into this guy onsite that was a friend-of-a-friend..
The headline graphic really caught my attention, because my fingers have ls -latr ingrained into them. I thought it oddly fitting.
I know a few people who have worked for Palantir. They all agree it doesn't work. They all quit because Palantir data analysis is being used to ruin lives throw people in jail and they believe the whole operation to be a giant defrauding of the government.
I worked at Palantir for over 7 years, and that doesn't sound like any of the projects I knew about or any of the people that I worked with. While I'll defer to you about what people you know, I don't understand how that doesn't sound like any Palantir product you know. It's the core product. When it's sold commercially it's used to find people committing fraud, and those people could be arrested, put on trial, and if found by a jury of their peers to have committed the crime beyond a reasonable doubt, thrown in jail for a number of years.
When it's sold to militaries and intelligence agencies it's used to make kill lists. It's a scummy company. And if there's any doubt don't forget, they were implicated with HBGary in a dirty tricks plot against Wikileaks and Glenn Greenwald after the the scope of NSA mass surveillance was starting to be uncovered. Um, and that's a bad thing how, assuming they really committed fraud? Militaries and intelligence agencies do much more than just make kill lists. And I sincerely doubt such lists are created without human supervision.
But being mostly a pacifist I've never wanted to work with those projects, so I don't know the details. I work at Palantir. The grandparent said he doesn't know of any Palantir product that sends people to jail. That just doesn't make any sense. But to answer your question: My problem with Palantir is that it's a surveillance tool that's used to kill people.
You can't pass it off as "just a tool", because this was its initial rationale, and what its initial customers do. All the commercial fraud products are just after the fact product repositioning. The algorithmic kill lists I refer to go by the military term "signature strike". To create target lists, the government essentially data mines their survelince data use social network analysis sound like any product you know? If the classifier comes back "true", the person gets droned.