60 Days into the Job…

60 days into my new job, and I’m sharing an award with Steve Ballmer and Linus Torvalds. Two individuals (sharing the company of many others) I would never presume to count out, but apparently Business 2.0 does. It’s an honor to share their company.

Were it me, I guess I would’ve waited for some business results, but maybe I said something here that annoyed them (which is ironic, given that they cite citizen media as being the most profoundly relevant force in the market today, number 1 on their 50 that matter most).

And continuing the ironies, I had the pleasure of chatting with number 44 of the 50 that B2.0 implies does matter, Bill McDonough, a couple weeks ago – click here for his and my thoughts on sustainable development, and the impact of bridging the digital divide on familial stability.

I also had a good chat with Kevin Werbach at his Supernova conference last week. What a very smart guy, and a great conference. I’ll post the content as soon as it’s available. Talk about someone who clearly does matter… he’d be in my top 50.

And here’s a great win against Microsoft – I’m hopeful you’re going to start seeing a lot more of these…


Filed under General

21 responses to “60 Days into the Job…

  1. Won’t it be fun to make them eat those words!
    From where I sit, it looks like we are starting to go places in a big way. I’m sure that you’ll enjoy mentioning that listing when they want to interview you as the CEO of a company that is going gangbusters.
    I also find it interesting that they list slashdot, while I would probably agree that they don’t really matter, it’s almost a given that they have a far larger readership 🙂

  2. One of the most innovative practices I have seen from Sun in the last years is the trial-based marketing for the servers such as the T2000. I wonder what impact such initiative will have upon Sun’s overall performance and how it could also spill-over into Solaris and other Sun backed software and system solutions.

  3. David Ely

    Last year I was the Manager Customer Satisfaction & Loyalty for StorageTek in EAME and had begun implementation of a customer satisfaction delivery strategy called “Customer First, the way we work”. Having developed, documented, and begun deployment in only 6 months, my job was elminated for cost cutting. I was very disappointed since the workforce had enthusiastically embraced the strategy and I had learned that EAME sorely needed it.

  4. Xavier Hanin

    I personnaly like the way you take such “award”, with irony and humor. I like the way you share your vision on this blog, keeping simple while at the top of such a big company. Keep up your good work, and make them lie about you 🙂

  5. ss

    i found ur blog after reading the 10 don’t matter :p

    good luck!! 🙂
    gather developers attention -> let them try -> teach them java -> open source java -> kill .net :p

  6. Do you think your employees will “buy” you after that 30 days, or are they going to return Cool Executive Offiver 2.0? 🙂

  7. Michael van der Westhuizen

    I’d be interested in finding out if there are plans afoot to benchmark that reservation system on a Niagara. It would be enlightening to find out if that would improve their response times under the same load, and what it would do to total cost of ownership.

  8. Sun Screens! Still missing it!
    IMHO – Windows has succeeded partially (largely) b/c of its “name” (marketing). No one has figured this out yet – and it still amazes me.
    I started posting a similar rant on the apple board at yahoo last year. In this case – I proposed that apple should intro the “apple cor” – ( I thought it was going to be an AMD platform and that apple would use the AMD multi-core etc.). Alass – intel does the core thing!
    So – “windows” – does the “multiplying” thing …
    it suggests to users “what it is” – loading programs into windows, and it “is” (marketing) to the consumer – “what it is”. Lets contrast this to Java Desktop – ok – it “is” a desktop something or other – we get that … and the Java thing (to the regular consumer?) … right – it leaves you wondering.
    So – the solution – and I’ve been posting this for years Jonathan (on yahoo boards) …
    … Sun Screens …
    Why – for the same reasons that “windows” has been successfull “Screens” would be equally powerful (from a markeing perspective). Of course – it might be java/ubuntu or what ever (from a tech standpoint) – but there it is … “SCREENS” … ready to download – from an “advertiser supported” web site no doubt! (With Office Screens of course!).
    Jonathan – you can pay me in Sun stock – i’ll take that bet!

  9. That B2.0 award get it all wrong. It is simply silly to see a bunch of dotcom kids popping up, while real folks who determine the future of the network computing are missing from the list.

  10. Jonathan – A friend invited 30 of his closest to watch his most recent appearance on Jeopardy on a local bar’s big screen, only to lose the round. Of course it was taped a week earlier and he knew the outcome before inviting us out. A good sense of humility and humor goes a long way. There is no killer app. No ultimate single solution. Only the ideal of a healthier approach and a healthier character to make it happen. You’ve shown the character to make controversial decisions and implement change. If this gets you on the “don’t matter” list, then what really doesn’t matter here?

  11. IMO, Business 2.0 is what getting irrelevant. They’re just trying to drum up some inbound links with controversy — gotta get clicks on the advertising, after all!

  12. w4u

    No matter how fancy you blog is and how eloquent you can claim your vision will be. How do you revive the stock price. As a share holder for the past 5 years, I don’t see a way out of woods in the short term (2-3 years). I do have some idea to make you become #1 in the top 50 – please charge yearly fee for every use of Java, (for example, charge distribution (license) fee for every application servers running Java) Come on, you have to do it, otherwise, my stock return is -60% under Scott & your watch

  13. Anantha

    Jonathan, it is one thing to say that ‘.. it is an honor..’ but when one looks at the reasons for placing people on the list then suddenly it becomes obvious. I’ve worked at NetFlix (BTW, Reed shared the honors with you on the list) and Sun and am an avid fan of both. However, Reed got on the list because of the belief, of the authors, that he doesn’t have a beachhead in the VoD marketplace. You got on the list because you’ve generated NO tangible results from your ‘free/open source’ business model yet. I’m not only an ex-employee of Sun from the yesteryears but also a current investor. All I can say is that “I ain’t impressed” so far.
    Like you said, I’m not ready to count you (or Reed) out yet. You must demonstrate tangible results from your approach before I’ll remove you from the list, so it is for Steve Ballmer too. It has been 6 months since the introduction of T1/T2000 and one year for the x64 product lines; it is high time the results from these products show up in the top/bottom lines of Sun.
    Good luck, I’m cheerin’ for you to dig yourself out of “Don’t matter list”. BTW, I’m no big fan of the Business 2.0 magazine, so to agree with their observations is that much more painful for me.

  14. TSVenkat

    Do you ever get to read these comments..Honestly..?

  15. I guess there’s “catching the wave” (the important guys) and “being ahead of the wave” (the apparently unimportant guys). I really hope that Sun is able to apply all that $2bn/year R&D to catch the wave and generate a profit. I’ve often thought that Sun could use some internal hypercompetition – Sun Linux versus Sun Solaris, SME sales force versus large customer Sales force, JavaScript versus Java, Java Desktop versus Sun Gnome, etc. Historically it seems Sun has said “take the Sun way or the highway”, so in your spirit of transparency, how about heading down this path to evolve the very best inside Sun?

  16. Not that I’m pushing this point of view, but given that you’re relatively new, have a ponytail and a popular blog, wouldn’t some folks be tempted to underestimate you?

  17. vruz

    Congratulations for the award, regardless of the ironic situation, it’s always good to get some recognition. (no furniture puns on Ballmer)
    Any chance we get an update on the direction you’re *really* taking about open source AND free software ?
    Simon Phipps seems to have an opinion about Free Software trying hard to dismiss the importance of freedom, in favour of producing more -ethically neutral- open source code.
    Last time I checked the Linux distros that joined the DLJ were 99% based on idealistic Free Software.
    So is the very much acclaimed Shuttleworth’s Ubuntu.
    Where do you really want to go today ?

  18. Who cares of these award ?
    Goal is big and hurdles will always come ! Just carry on your innovative journey !

  19. Ok…Business 2.0 is on drugs … bad drugs. I personally think it is fascinating and significant that many of the “big player” companies that had well known leaders are now moving on the second generation of leadership. I think that is much more of a story. And I think writing off you, or Sun, at this point is likely to be looking for some shoe leather stew.

  20. Never underestimate the poer of the blog and johnathan.
    and johnathans blog.
    Sam @ MindSmack.com

  21. Bern

    Talking of the future.

    With virtual semantic matrices (think web 3.0) allowing a holistic view of business information that has been copied out of many processes into a single non-process entity. It is practical to allow someone to find information from what is known rather than searching for “something” that is assumed to be wanted – all independently of the current status of the original information source.

    It is also practical to make the next generation of applications smaller, more nimble and more easily relocatable as the long term retention of business information is now outside of process.

    These smaller, more nimble and more easily relocatable next generation applications would be highly compatible with a utility computing model.

    The single non-process entity holding business information beside these next generation applications would be highly compatible with Sarbanes-Oxley.

    As Sun has the storage assets to hold the business information, the utility capability to run the next generation of business applications and a new management team to move Sun “forward” – why is Sun not moving beyond the current (past?) electronic data processing culture to change its fortunes?

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