Welcome to Inc.‘s Founders Project podcast with Alexa Von Tobel, where we bring you tales of guts, inspiration, and drive that define the entrepreneurs building the future. Each week, we dig into a founder’s professional playbook and uncover what makes them tick. On this week’s episode:
How to Make Good Moves, With Jay Kreps of Confluent
In 2011, Jay Kreps was an engineer at LinkedIn, leading the platform’s search, recommendation engine, and social graph. In an effort to figure out how to make real-time streams of data useful to organizations, he started an open-source project called Kafka. The tool become popular and today is used by over 70 percent of Fortune 500 companies. Inspired by Kafka’s early success, Kreps took the leap into entrepreneurship and in 2014 started a similar platform, Confluent, which he just took public in 2021.
Jay shares what it means to process “data in motion,” why he only spent one year in a traditional high school, and how poker informs his decision making: “The goal for a poker player is to make good moves,” he says. “Sometimes when you play well, you still actually lose the game because you just got bad cards or your opponent got good cards. There’s like a bunch of things out of your control, but you have some things in your control that you wanna make good decisions around.”