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Starting in 1977, the founders of the Oracle Corporation created a product and a company which in less than 20 years would come to dominate the DBMS marketplace, and become one of the world's largest computer software and services companies. With virtually no outside financial investment, the founders bootstrapped the company by developing project software under contract while working overtime to develop the original Oracle relational database management systems product. Through a combination of insightful decisions about the direction of the technology and fortunate advances in the marketplace, Oracle was able to leapfrog the established software vendors who were committed to older legacy DBMS approaches. And by aggressive and smart marketing and ongoing development work, Oracle was able to outdistance their RDBMS competitors and hold their own even against IBM. This article tells about the first 10 years of the Oracle story.