|Tom Siebel is Back! A Software Pioneer Explores IoT and A.I.|
Tom Siebel, who was employee number 20 at Oracle and later sold his company to Larry Ellison for billions, has a new startup that is riding the convergence of artificial intelligence with the Internet of Things, as the world zooms toward perhaps 50 billion connected sensors by 2023.
Tom Siebel is a legend in enterprise software, having sold his company, Siebel Software, to Larry Ellison’s Oracle ( ORCL) in 2006 for $3.4 billion.
You might not immediately suspect that about him in person. His mop of curly hair and his thoughtful expression give him the air of a Bob Dylan of technology, an artist, while his youthful enthusiasm suggests he’s still on the Silicon Valley startup road trip, even though at age 64, he’s seen four decades of the tech world’s evolution.
Unlike many very accomplished people, he deflects from his own ego and endows his peers in tech, such as Ellison, with heaps of praise, calling them “brilliant” “very, very smart,” or “so, so smart."
Siebel recently swung by the Barron’s offices to chat about C3 IoT, his next company, which he claims has already surpassed established firms such as IBM ( IBM) and GE ( GE) in the Internet of Things.
A graduate of University of Illinois at Urbana Champaign, Siebel had originally intended to become a lawyer, “but I was saved!” he quips. After a stint in Idaho working on a ranch, he returned to his native Chicago and ultimately sought out an education in business, which led to a masters in computer science.