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CNBC: How one billionaire beat an elephant and Larry Ellison

QUOTE-UNQUOTE: After working for Oracle from its early days until it reached about $1 billion in sales, [Tom] Siebel had an idea: Rather than just focus on databases, he wanted to build an application – a program that would help businesses keep track of their best sales prospects and close deals faster. He took the concept to Oracle CEO Larry Ellison, who said no. Was Siebel crushed? Discouraged? "I was satisfied that it was a good idea, I was satisfied that there was a market there. It was just not a market that Larry Ellison was interested in pursuing at that time," Siebel said. "And I mean, Larry is a very, very bright guy. His successes speak for themselves. But he didn't have an interest. He didn't see the market. I did. And I just decided to go for it." Go for it, he did. Siebel Systems became a force in enterprise software, so much that Ellison tried to build his own version to beat it. Ellison eventually decided to buy Siebel out for $5.8 billion instead, with Tom Siebel's blessing. –CNBC's Jon Fortt for his Fortt Knox podcast via CNBC. Full story.

[Tom Siebel is a fellow St Francis Yacht Club member whom your Ed. has had the pleasure of getting to know over the past few months. A life-long sailor, like LJE Tom grew up in the Midwest. He gave a terrific talk at St Francis a month or so ago about his new J-Class yacht SVEA, with which he will be competing in the AC J-Class regatta later this month in Bermuda, and the Class Worlds hosted by NYYC at Newport, RI in August. –TFE]

Tom Siebel, left, being interviewed by CNBC's Jon Fortt. Photo: CNBC.

Tom Siebel's new J-Class yacht SVEA being worked up with her race crew for the first time, in Palma de Majorca earlier this Spring. Photo: Tom Siebel via StFYC.

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