The recent demise of RethinkDB has not only send shockwaves through the open source community, it also got its wider ecosystem thinking.
On paper, RethinkDB had everything to be set up for success: Based in Silicon Valley it passed through YCombinator and secured funding from Andreessen Horowitz, Highland, SV Angel and many other of the biggest names in the business.
And it certainly had product/market fit. RethinkDB built a database that let users stream search results in realtime. Whenever a new entry matched an existing query – or an existing entry stopped matching – it send out an update.
This is big, very much needed and fairly unique. Granted, it’s possible to shoehorn similar functionality on top of CouchDB, Mongo or PostGres – but RethinkDB was the only database that had this feature properly baked into its core.
So why didn’t it succeed? Well, it did. RethinkDB quickly accumulated a large following, 16k in
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