But competition in the database business is heating up

CATCHING SNOWFLAKES is fun. It has also become lucrative. Many investors scrambled for shares in Snowflake, a maker of database programs, when it went public on September 16th. The eight-year-old firm more than doubled its valuation the first day of trading from about $33bn to just under $71bn, making its initial public offering the largest ever for a software firm. Even Warren Buffett, abandoning his customary tech-shyness, got in on the action. The legendary investor’s conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, invested $735m in the firm, through a separate private placement and by purchasing shares from a former chief executive—a stake that is now worth

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