Are Today's Tiny Startups Tomorrow's Software Titans?

Not so long ago, a technology called the relational data base was languishing in deep academic obscurity. And Oracle Systems Corp., a West Coast startup among the first to sell such software, was a computer-industry nobody. Then, almost overnight, in the early 1980s, relational was hot. And by last year, Oracle had grown to be one of only three software companies to reach $1 billion in annual sales.

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