The tale highlights the benefit of a blue-sky R&D operation. Overstock was founded in 1999 and went public in 2002, and Byrne — the company’s swashbuckling chief exec — created O Labs about a year ago to feed a bit more of the entrepreneurial ethos back into the company. “We’re saving $2 million a year with Mahout, and that never would have happened if not for the sort of experimental stuff we’re doing in the labs,” says Bagley. “We’re discovering things that can then have benefit across the company.” But it also shows how Hadoop and related open source tools continue to evolve and push even further across the web and into businesses. Mahout — which was specifically built for use with Hadoop — is little more than 3 years old, and it has already attracted the attention of several big-name web operations, including not only Overstock, but AOL, Foursquare, Yahoo, Twitter, and even Amazon.
(Full Story: http://www.wired.com/wiredenterprise/2012/12/mahout/ )