Interview with Alex Karp, CEO and Co-founder of Palantir
This is walk. Thought this next segment is the conversation. Andrew had with Alexander Co Founder and CEO of Pailin. Tear the Tech Company provides software and data services for well a a lot of groups as you'll hear but it's probably best known for its relationship with the US government also quite controversial Given the company's role full working with the government in defense on ice with our allies with corporations there's always been view. It's a very secretive company in two thousand nineteen gene alone. The company signed one and a half billion dollars in. US government contracts one of those contracts in eight hundred million dollar deal with the Army Peletier beat out fortune. Five hundred company Raytheon for that one marking the first time that a venture backed firms received that caliber of recognition from the Pentagon and possibly more than anything else though. It's the company's Partnership With Immigration and Customs Enforcement that's created a stir until valley as well as internally Turnley at Peletier Alex Carp founded the company alongside a few other entrepreneurs including famed venture capitalist. Peter Thiel he co-founded Pay Powell and founders fund and invested in facebook anyway. Alex is he is one of the most unique interesting people in the world of business. He rarely does interviews but luckily for us. He's speaks Andrew. I gotTa tell you it's every time I have an opportunity to speak with him and really we've been able to do it now and you'll hear Davos you're just sort of blown away by the things that he says so here. It is Andrew. Ross sorkin annual interview with outs carp mark. CEO of talent here in the Alpine ski town of Davos Switzerland. Arc's thank you for doing this. Thank you so this was a very big year for you. We have a number of contracts. This is true we did very well so what happened. Well the long version is about five years ago we looked at our product offering and decide to rebuild our core offering for the government start with a commercial product which can be used to commercial and government and revitalize tragic going to market and and we saw the results Last year but dramatically this year and so that ended up with two very very large contracts that are public number of contracts that are not public and commissioner impact. That we're very proud of just so we're clear that's released publicly. One point five billion dollars in new contracts with that's true to you speak about those contracts. Let's well two of them are public. One of them is essentially. Give the DOD glow operating system in software with a on a timeline that otherwise I wouldn't be realistic so transformed the way. Decisions are made inside what amounts through the largest data organization in the world in timeline. That is very very aggressive. Another there is a little more classified and And we're we're just pouncing forward. The Core Mission of our company always was to make the West especially America the strongest longest in the world. The strongest ever been And for the sake of global peace and prosperity and we feel like this year we really showed what that would mean visit today. Do you believe is being driven by the government work versus the corporate. Well in the last couple of years most of our revenue has been commercial. Most of our clients have been government the the government government work inside and outside America's so strong Because of how it compounds that it's gone from being sixty forty commercial government to probably probably fifty fifty the impact of government. Work is the thing we are obviously the most proud of and is the past year. This sort of larger geopolitical Nicole conversation around. What does that into the business? Well you know decoupling. And and and strict regulation is a bonanza for pounder when we looked at what what did what should be done with data fifteen years ago. Most people aren't thinking about it and instead of thinking of this simplistic problem with aggregation of data. We thought about data's how can you aggregate and disaggregated this aggregate disaggregation meaning. How can you have silos while at the same time being able to call up at a granular level of what you're allowed to see in that silo? And what does that mean at a political level as Countries and states both need to have a horizontal view but want to have a more vertical view. They need Assad for platform that can allow a two countries to work together without sharing all all the information or to jurisdictions to work or to companies that for example a global company will have data stores in America data stores in Europe. Where only a subset can be shared in our architecture is is quite frankly built to deal with that and was built fifteen years ago to deal with that and revitalize five years ago so this decouple these these this decoupling world combined with Regulation quite frankly also combined with deep skepticism towards consumer in the valley is very much helping us. WanNa get to the sketches of the valley and just a moment but I wanted to ask you specifically about the protests this year about your work for ice and that ice this contract and what it's meant for your business we as everyone who's followed our company knows we take what amounts to strong but often Controversial positions the position of our company from the beginning was we're GONNA make America and the West Song and safer by integrating world class software into what amounts to legacy I see do systems one of our contracts at ice and there's an we started this contract under Obama and obviously there's a lot of concern legitimate concern about what happens on employer how it happens and what is the enforcement. Look like certainly diminish part of our work Finding people in our country who are undocumented. But it's a legitimate intimate complex issue. My personal position is We acknowledged a complexity people protesting whom I respect also dogs complexity is an issue that that is controversial and complex enough that the small island in Silicon Valley. That would love to decide what you eat. How you eat and monetize all your data should also decide who lives and your country and on what your conditions? There are elections. There are rules. They should be enforced. A transfer of one presidency and other and the the view of Silicon Valley that we get to the decide should not be the way the site of course this led to protests. My House has been protested for many months almost every day. Our officers protested many Palestinians who do not just follow what I say but are critical people. protested against internally. Some people were so upset about it that they left. These are very hard decisions. I I respect the people that that reside they can't be involved in this but we have a position. Are you comfortable with the trump administration's approach on the border.