Curry On
July 16-17th, 2018

Lessons from a Big Data Machine Learning Startup
Cliff Click


I co-founded H2O - and left it ~5 years later (and it’s still an on-going concern), that was about 3 years ago. Along the way we pivoted, rebuilt the entire code base 3 times from scratch. We delivered the fastest K/V store on the planet which is also exact & consistent, parallelized & distributed, with ML algorithms and a clicky-clicky GUI for doing hard-core data science. We ran R on TB of data and Logistic Regression on 7 TB in minutes. We amazingly broken stuff: crash-on-1st-use in front of Netflix. We raised money at least 3 times, hired and fired (your first fire is always traumatic!). We discovered it’s really hard to make a platform company, much much harder than making a platform. This less talk and more war stories from my H2O days.


Cliff Click was the CTO of Neurensic (now successfully exited), and CTO and Co-Founder of, builders of large-scale real-time ML & analytics. He wrote his first compiler at 15, and the HotSpot Server Compiler a bit later. He helped Azul Systems build an 864 core pure-Java mainframe that keeps GC pauses on a TB heap to under 10ms. He wrote award-winning compilers on PowerPC and HP hardware, worked at HP Labs, speaks regularly at industry and academic conferences and published many papers about HotSpot technology. He hold a PhD from Rice and over 20 patents.