The Internet vs. Stone Tablets

This past week, an American chief executive admitted to having posted over 1,000 comments under an assumed name in a stock market chat room. The chat room focused on a competitor he’s seeking to acquire.


The aforementioned CEO has a blog. Which one reporter saw as linking us when she left me a voicemail, “As another CEO who writes a blog, I was wondering if you could comment on the situation.”


What? I bet he wears shoes, too, but that doesn’t mean I have any more insight in to his actions than those who go barefoot.


We all have choices in how we communicate – I use this format because it works for me, allows me to talk to a diversity of constituents (the open source community is vastly larger than the investment community – even numerically, a stock market chat room would be a relatively inefficient forum to engage the market), and a blog is more affordable than the daily global townhalls it supplants.


But I’d love it if we one day eliminated the term “blogging” from the web lexicon (and that we stopped pursuing “CEO’s who blog.”). CEO’s who have cell phones aren’t “cell-phoners,” those who have email accounts arent “emailers,” those who give interviews on television aren’t “TV’ers” – they’re all leaders using technology to communicate. Communication is central to leadership – using words, written or spoken, to articulate strategy, guide organizations, engage in dialog, and… lead. Leading two or 200,000, you can’t do it without communicating. Using technology just leaves more time for everything else (I’m not saying stone tablets can’t be effective, they just take way longer to distribute).


So how do I feel about what the other CEO did?


Authenticity is core to leadership, and the currency of our industry. So I doubt he advanced his agenda.

49 Comments

Filed under General

49 responses to “The Internet vs. Stone Tablets

  1. Jonathan:
    I’m sure all the reporter was looking for was the standard, “As the strategic leader and visionary of our respective organizations, CEO’s have a level of corporate responsibility which requires careful public discretion and commitment to acting with the highest level of integrity”…which you summed up nicely in the last statement of your blog post. You’re right, he did not advance his agenda. He’s now being investigated by the SEC.
    I wouldn’t be surprised if he’s asked to step down within the next month or so. If that happens, he’ll lose on all fronts. His company probably won’t acquire Wild Oats Markets, and he’ll be out of a job. Hey, at least he’s a billionaire. Thanks for the post.

  2. Sebastian Lewis

    No they’re not “TV’ers” they are either Interviewers or Interviewees.😉
    But you’re right, we do need to drop the term Bloggers and more importantly, we need to drop the term Blogosphere.
    Sebastian

  3. Frank Peters

    Very well said, Jonathan. It’s important to notice that for a great part of the society, and particularly for some professions – notably “classical” journalists, attorneys, and politicians – modern communication means are still an exotic mystery.
    A remarkable comment came from the German ministre for economics and technoloy(!) stating that “he feels lucky that there is someone operating the internet for him” – not to mention Ted Stevens’ infamous tube analogy.
    We must not forget that we in the IT industry are the spearhead of modern technology with a large part of the society following behind. The kids today grow up with this technology and use it just as naturally as we baby-boomers used technology like pocket calculators, landline phones, or TV. But many 40+ outside of our industry seem to have a hard time catching up.

  4. Houman Shekarchi

    While authenticity should be central to leadership, leaders often times simulate its
    qualities while disregarding that bona fide ingredient. Leaders in the world of content, television/film/music/art, are using technology to disengage the public, because they don’t understand the technology.
    It’s the same old guys, trying to do the same old thing in a world they don’t understand. Authenticity has escaped many of these big content companies. Not because they haven’t hired “authentic” individuals, but rather because they forgot to admit, that part of being authentic means not knowing all of the answers. It also means allowing oneself to be scared every so often. Fear is a necessary facet of life, fear initiates change, change sparcs innovation, innovation revolutionizes the world – one bit at a time.
    Since you get to speak with these upper echelon individuals, please continue to help change their ways Jonathan. I enjoy reading your views and perspectives. While SUN’s stock hasn’t seen much sunshine, it definitely grasps the authentic element. SUN has a huge opportunity at it’s feet in this new(er) content heavy world.
    I never understood why we didn’t refer to “blogs” as views. Why blog? When someone posts a weblog, they are simply presenting their view on a given subject.
    View always seemed more elegant to me, it also followed in theme with the MVC paradigm.

  5. anonymous

    No one is anonymous on the Internet, people. CEO or custodian, you had better understand that. I’m not placing a name on this posting, but my IP address is logged and I could be tracked down if someone really wanted to know my identity.
    Fortunately, I’m not making any disparaging comments about rivals, so that would be unlikely, I hope.

  6. So this reporter’s question is an evidence that it’s still unusual – even in the USA – for CEO’s to write blogs. That somehow calms me down cause I think in Germany there is not just one single CEO (of a company with more than like 500 employees) writing a weblog.
    So you are ahead of your time – and that fits perfectly for your job.

  7. Lets see who might this CEO be?
    http://news.google.com/news?q=ceo%20blog
    And Presto: http://online.wsj.com/article/SB118454129429667079.html
    gives this on the first sentence: Whole Foods CEO John Mackey
    I love the power of Internet. Don’t you?

  8. Dan P

    Will someone please tell me, the odds are if you are doing something devious, from an environment that is insecure by way of verification on user id… It was most likely on a MS Windows OS?

  9. lmf

    No excuses for the reporter, it was a dumb message, but blogging is definitely different. It is a way for CEO’s to communicate with the general public. That makes it unique. You always stress the fact that blogging is more efficient (and it is) but please keep in mind that it also opens direct communication with the public.

  10. Jonathan, I completely agree. I also feel that the term Web 2.0 is used similarly for everything-under-the-sun interactive web technologies. My post on it is at: http://blogs.sun.com/intern/category/Sun

  11. Joe Pallas

    Oh, come on, Jonathan. How soon after your posting on the novelty of being the only Fortune 500 CEO who blogs do you expect the media to stop treating “CEOs who blog” as an interesting group in itself?
    You’re not just a “leader using technology to communicate,” you are a leader in using technology to communicate. So, it’s natural for the media to turn to you when something unusual comes up in the world of leaders using technology to communicate.

    Yes, it’ll be nice when we can focus more on the message than the medium. But for now, the medium is still pretty new, and that makes it a subject in its own right.

  12. Jonathan, your blog is always worth reading.
    I don’t think it matters what we call a blog. (It has that name because it’s a shortened form of what the original developers of the technology called it — “weblog.”
    I’m beginning to think we may need to differentiate between people who blog to share their opinions with the world — like you do — and people who blog to share their opinions with a few friends, which is what the vast majority of blogs are used for.
    In any case, having a CEO who blogs candidly is a great asset and I urge you to keep going. A company’s wise presence in the blogosphere has become a measure of its understanding of current communications tools and how to use them.

  13. Gumby

    JOn
    You dont blog enough on why we should be using Solaris or Sun hardware over the Windows or IBM unix or whatever. What set Sun goods apart from the rest? I am no IT dude, but I own shares of Sun and I am wondering what the hell I am doing holding Sun shares….

  14. Gumby

    Jon
    I think I have a tad little problem with you…
    I dont know who you are blogging to … geeks, idiots, sharehlders, IT guys, lurkers or …
    I get the feeling that you are simply waiting for another dot.com boom to coma along and sell all you can and make money then go back into hibernation??
    HP, Dell, others sells servers and workstations and dont use your Solaris… I understant that only financial businesses like your wares and nobody else. Ditto for Sybase. Do you consider merging with Sybase??

  15. Gumby

    JOn
    Do you know that gamers literally keep the computer industry humming along?? why arent you developing games that runs on Solaris?? Why aren’t you looking at home computer markets?? I dont see any Sun products on my desk at all.. IBM and MIcrosoft got in game consoles. Why dont you?? You can name yours “SolarFlare” or “SolarWind” . We will see upfront how good your wares are… Do you make chips for cellphones? Embedded hardwares?? Why arent you looking at programmable chips like made by Altera or Xilinx??

  16. GrammarPolice

    It’s not “email”. Its written as “e-mail”

  17. Ummm, Jonathan? As a CEO who breathes… can you comment on the smoke that some of these reporters (and comment-writers) must be inhaling?!? 🙂🙂🙂

  18. I got into an argument with my father the other day.
    Not to single him out, but like many modern telephone conversations we found ourselves distracted by not being able to hear each other, and the topic quickly degenerated into one about communication medium itself. He explained that when he leans back, his cordless handset works, but when he leans forward it’s a crap shoot. I asked him to remember the telephones of his youth and he mentioned one that had no dial. You had to call the operator and ask her (please excuse the gender assumption) to connect you. So I asked my father, “But once you were connected, you could actually hear the other party, right?” Of course, he could. I then stated my conclusion, that telephones back then were better than telephones today. We both laughed and I said, “You know that I’m right.” He replied, “No, you just never quit.”
    For someone as technologically innovative in the microprocessor arena as I am, consumer electronics don’t always do it for me. Give me back my stone tablets.

  19. Daniel Connor

    Gumby, you haven’t been doing your homework. A lot of the focus for gaming for Sun has been in Java. Have a look at these links
    http://www.java.com/en/
    http://www.java.com/en/levelup/index.jsp
    http://www.javagaming.org/forums/index.php
    http://www.projectdarkstar.com/
    And as far as cellphones, check out this link.
    http://www.sun.com/software/javafx/mobile/
    These all point to the fact that Sun hasn’t forgot about gamers. Just ask Chris Melissinos, our Chief Gaming officer how serious Sun is about gaming.
    http://blogs.sun.com/ChrisM/

  20. Beryl Fan

    Dan, I would have to agree with Gumby on this topic. Sun moves way too slow in this arena. Not only does gaming drive technology, but it is also estimated to be a 37 billion-dollar market. So many times I have seen the Sun attitude that software is for someone else. I think it was a late 80’s Computer Chronicles interview with Bill Joy where he said that Solaris would need a killer business application when asked about the future of the UNIX desktop. Then, more recently, on “Level-Up” Chris Melissinos agreed with Scott McNealy that the client side was “already done”. Nice “just-wait-for-somebody-else-to-do-it” attitude Sun. I think Chris Melissinos and Ian Murdock need to work on wooing a couple of big game houses into developing for the Solaris OS. Does anyone else here smell “Gaming Run Level”? Of course that’s after Ian fixes the Solaris installation and distribution mechanism. I’m still waiting for my SunRay@home package.

  21. Alan F.:
    I want my stone tablet, too. And a land line, without call waiting, without call display. We’re so obsessed these days with the _act_ of communicating, we’ve lost interest in the _quality_ of the communication.
    We’ve become slaves to our devices, and to the companies that proliferate them.
    I shudder thinking of the time wasted pressing little buttons, reading poorly composed drivel, and listening to low quality music (don’t get me going on the musicianship side, either…). The next horror is of course the time people are going to spend entranced by ridiculously tiny, fuzzy, choppy movies, interlaced with ads and other unasked-for goodies.
    IMHO, consumer technology is very nearly an utter waste of time. Sun, please stick to technical computing, and leave the masses to the media (and perhaps Apple).

  22. LOLing

    Gumby, sell all of your shares and move on. Your constant cries for attention on this blog are tiresome. Sun ($un) is rising ever higher.
    Signed,
    A Happy Shareholder

  23. Jonathan: Apparently CEO ( or executive in general ) transparency is such a novelty that reporters still find it shiney and new😉 I saw that Harvard is opening communication facilitation with its medical patients and that nearly half a dozen states are posting meaningfully open budgets online ( not xbrl yet, but progress ). It is strange that the “interoperancy” ( the number crunchable result of authenticity thru out the org ) which the distributed, digital enterprise has promised for so long is still often blocked by the C-Suite door — and our culture reacts when it sees anomolies.

  24. Dear Jonathan,
    Yes, authenticity is core to leadership, and why would that CEO hide behind a mask ? Unlike him you are authentic, your blog makes you look visible, approachable and easy to trust. How would anyone get to have an insight about a CEO or a top level executive who prefers to appear beyond approach? Why is this tendency on the part of CEOs and top level executives to lock themselves up behind gatekeepers?
    A few years ago I wrote to a corporation through its webhosting division where i had been a customer since the division’s early years, which was an integral part of the corporation and happened to be housed in the same HQ building, saying I wanted to write to the corporation’s CEO, may I have his or his secretary’s email address ? There was something that I wanted to suggest and I did not think it was appropriate to write to anyone down the hierarchy. That corporation or that division was paranoid, it kept its CEO so completely out of reach that I got a response from the division with some sort of a legal disclaimer that the corporation does not entertain unsolicited ideas, that I should call a toll free number of the corporation to communicate ( to a voice mail system ??? )
    I wanted to suggest a hardware solution to a seemingly impossible problem that was only being tackled by software… I sought to write to him because I thought I could trust him and communicate my ideas without a Non Disclosure agreement or other safeguards, but then the entire corporation seemed so shrouded in legal paranoia that I dropped the idea. I dropped the idea of reaching that CEO as I had hesitations about trusting the corporation after this exposure to that corporate culture. ( I still do not know, may be I am completely wrong, that CEO could be someone who could be absolutely trusted on a personal level, but the gatekeepers kept the Gates closed ).
    It is rare for a CEO to have the luxury of not being surrounded by people who ‘protect’ and restrict him. It is even more rare to find a CEO who proactively reaches out. CEOs who appear to reach out with periodic executive email messages (to a select class of an audience who subcribe), send such communication without a reply to address. What is the point ?
    Your weblog reaches you out. I notice an aura of rustic simplicity around your blog rather than an aura of high-tech or techie bombast. In one of your earlier blogs you even talked about the hotel on your wedding night…
    What you write reflects your values and simplicity and I was telling a Sun Executive in Bangalore about you that you are people I could trust totally and completely. I made several positive remarks about you and Sun which was not based on any personal interaction with you. My remarks originated from what I sensed about you just by reading six or seven entries in your blog.
    Scott McNeally during a brief speech in Bangalore said he was not allowed to blog. He said Sun did not have enough lawyers to review what he writes. (He sounded sad, a little bit) He also talked about your blog, said you are articulate. Sun ALLOWED you to blog, has kept all doors in front of you open as a luxurious open office in the form of a weblog.
    In the era of stone tablets it was difficult to communicate and difficult to handle communication. It was not possible for a CEO (if a Flintstone Corporation were to exist) to cc stone tablets to his team. So a decentralized system was brought in, which became distorted as a system of bureaucratic gatekeepers. Today technology has made it possible to for a CEO to receive direct communication by gigabytes or terabytes and have it easily organized, processed and categorized or flagged by importance for personal attention, so why wouldn’t a CEO be accessible for communication by a Janitor in a sub-branch office from a small town so far away ? And vice versa ?
    Whether or not your internal systems allow a lower employee to send an email to jonathan.schwartz@sun.com, your weblog is a good start.
    Your weblog that makes you look easy to reach, easy to talk to and easy to trust. Please go on. Doesn’t really matter if it takes time for the world to invent a more dignified term than “blogger” or to do away with that word altogether, your weblog still makes you look very dignified.

  25. Moral fiber, in the modern world an old concept of doing what is right, generally prevails, moral fiber is sorely lacking across many of today’s CEO’s.

  26. Jim Baker

    I don’t mind him writing blogs. If only they would give future guidance to the investment community. I mean what is our sin? Why can’t we lower the expectations and over deliver?

  27. M Lapierre

    I agree that stone tablets take longer to distribute BUT they do not pollute the world.
    I think it’s time to put a tremendous and monstrous work and research on recycling of computer products.
    I may be worried about global warming but I am a lot more worried about waste of IT technology materials because they are made of plastics, they take several thousands of years to disintegrate.
    We must END the era of the dustbin and begin a new era of global recylcling. Anything inorganic can be worked again at infinitum.
    That worries me a lot that people prefer to live in garbage instead of improving their lives.

  28. Sun Fan

    Reading this is a complete waste of my time. (And yours!!) Why don’t you use this blog to help Sun sell more solutions rather than the rubbish above?

  29. Kevin

    Talking of other CEOs, if Linus doesn’t accept your dinner offer, maybe consider extending it to Ed Zander? A strategic partnership with Motorola might help get your new Java mobile stuff adopted by a major handset maker.

  30. A C.

    Dear Jonathan, I sincerely believe that from now on more time should be spent on the message than the media, the medium or the man who carries the message, no offense intended. There are many of your customers that still can’t really get what’s your strategy in the collection of good ideas, good intentions and punctual innovation Sun’s comes with…and that’s when the message gets to them.
    The product line up is still too crowded, complicated, the software business is not turning the results it should, Java doesn’t return to Sun what it should be, the SW portfolio has little brand recognition (compare to the intrinsic value it has), it is barely known and sought after naturally by the marketplace. Aduva and SeeBeyond, can you post the results before and after acquisition? The StorageTek portion of the portfolio is not growing as fast as the storage market. The server line up is getting better, but Rock and Victoria falls should arrives now or very very soon, not next year, take the market by surprise and shake it. The AMD and Intel line up is getting mature, always a bit late, but solid and relevant, Thumper is a great distinctive part of the portfolio, now Sun has to learn how to market these distinctive elements now and get them out while they are unique.
    Keep cleaning the Sun’s kitchen, don’t get distracted Jonathan, there’s many more who should have dire and profound respect for what Sun is doing. However, respect in the marketplace is earned by results not intentions, philosophical proselytism or naive (but sincere) generosity. It’s the time for Sun to be a bit more mean and aggressive, more efficient and focused.
    Regards,

  31. edcjwea

    Whose CEO cheeks are you snuggling?
    CEO’s are snakes who deserve all the bad PR they receive.
    The one you describe was trying to trash a competitor. If that’s all he can do to improve his business, the stock holders should dump him.
    As Sun Fan said in a previous post. Stop wasting time on this trash. Aren’t you being just a tad too self important?
    No wonder American industry is in the toilet, too many goof-offs sitting around reading and writing blogs.
    Yes, I’m guilty too, but at least I know and I control it. Too many don’t.

  32. Kemp Watson

    Sun Fan: why don’t you just visit http://www.sun.com if you want sales info? This blog’s got a more personal twist, as it should. Not to say the Chief Blogger (oops, Communicator) isn’t occasionally personally interested in solutions and sales…

  33. Mark Buckingham

    Seems a little childish, but hey, I wouldn’t buy Rolling Oats, either;)

  34. DavidHalko

    (( Communication is central to leadership… I’m not saying stone tablets can’t be effective, they just take way longer to distribute … Authenticity is core to leadership, and the currency of our industry. So I doubt he advanced his agenda. ))

    If you want a reliable place which guarantees authenticity for information, stone tablets are excellent. Blogs can easily be edited and former information lost without anyone knowing.

    Stone Tablets withstand hot weather (computers must be cooled), tolerant of basic weather elements (don’t stick a computer in the rain), fire resistant (data centers burn down), ignore basic solar flares (interfere with data transmission and storage systems), sunlight (degrades paper copies, cables, and computer plastics), power outages (shuts down web server farms), and EMP bombs (stops all modern electronic equipment.)

    Does it surprise you the “Ten Commandments” were given on Stone Tablets thousands of years ago instead of today on a Blog? They acted as a reliable master plate for future generations of transmission technology (papyrus sheets, scrolls, printing press, electronic print, audio, video.)

    Sometimes the short-term distribution of a message is not as important as the reliability of the message designed to last for ages to come. Junk mail is a fine example – just look at the term! ha ha!

    BLOGS are a pretty unreliable source of information – an information source may delete your id and everything goes away.

    Stone tablets are far superior. If you are serious about BLOGS: gateway to an NNTP servers on SUN’s Thumper with a SUN’s Tape storage cabinets in underground bunkers on every continent where everyone can index and participate!😉

    Perhaps SUN should produce an open source connector and offer the service branded as “SUN Persistent Library”.

  35. [Trackback] One of my favorite blogs is that of Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz. But the author clearly doesn’t want to be known as a “CEO blogger”.
    His post “The Internet vs. Stone Tablets” was prompted by an enquiry from the …

  36. Gumby, sell all of your shares and move on. Your constant cries for attention on this blog are tiresome. Sun is rising ever higher. Signed, A Happy Shareholder

  37. Phlogistic

    CEOs of companies in the technology sector who blog should not be a novelty. Yet in 2007, eleven years since the word “internet” became part of our vocabulary, CEOs posting content on the internet are considered an oddity.
    What makes the news about the CEO of Whole Foods unique is not the fact that the CEO was behaving in a morally questionable fashion, but rather the method the CEO chose to do so.
    Correct me if I’m wrong, but I believe the point Jonathan makes is that its odd that communication technologies are not part of our social norm in 2007. I agree.

  38. joao gabriel

    Hi Jonathan! I just discovered your blog and I´m very excited!
    I´m a brazilian student and I´m doing a homework about CEO Blogs to my college. Here in Brazil we don´t have many CEO blogs as in the USA. So it´s difficult to get some information.
    I´d like to know how do you communicate your blog to people. Do you have advertising about it? How people know your blog exists and what kind of people do you aim?
    Thank You very much,
    Best regards and congratulations,
    Joao

  39. gil

    JS,
    It’s not always about the profits, the humanitarian website Sun donated equipment to was great and you’ll be rewarded 7 times over. I see the VP of software is talking open source Databases and cutting into Oracle’s pie, absolutely the best news this year and it should open up new customers in the Hotel and Airlines industries, 2 businesses that rely heavily on customer databases.

  40. w

    Jonathan,
    Pardon my off-topic posting but I was irritated enough to not wait for a post
    on the topic.
    When you look at the famous Sun venn diagram of the four silos (systems, storage,
    software, services) with Sun as the unifying factor offering solutions. When
    you look at virtualization, you basically look at systems, storage and software
    with Sun as the supposed unifying factor to address all these. However, that’s
    obviously not the case because Sun doesn’t provide a great management offering
    to manage a virtualized computing environment:
    Think about the virtualized datacenter for things Sun offesr or have certified
    on Sun systems:
    Systems:
    -Zones
    -LDoms
    -Xen
    -VMWare
    -Microsoft Virtual Server
    Storage:
    -Sun StorageTek Virtual Storage Manager (VSM) system
    -Sun StorageTek Virtual Tape Library (VTL)
    -Sun StorageTek Virtual Tape Library Plus (VTL Plus)
    -Sun StorageTek 9990/9985 System via Universal Volume Manager
    -ZFS
    Software:
    -SunMC (monitor and manage virtualized systems)
    -N1SM (provision and monitor some virtualized servers)
    -Sun Connection (patch virtualized Solaris/Linux instances.)
    -N1SPS (provision operating systems and applications)
    -N1 Grid Engine (if you consider a grid to be a form of virtualization)
    If you also factor in desktops, which serve the end users, you are now managing
    a virtualized computing environment and not just a virtualized data center.
    With a virtualized computing environment, you have to add in
    Desktop:
    -Secure Global Desktop
    So from a Sun standpoint, this is not just a one group issue that can be addressed
    by the groups run by John Fowler, Rich Green or whomever is the head of storage
    now. Their groups have to work together to provide a holistic approach. From
    just watching "Sun’s approach to virtualization" video ( http://www.sun.com/datacenter/consolidation/gallery/index.xml?p=1&s=3
    ), I’m not convinced that this is understood. Sun’s virtualization story is
    about how to virtualize using Sun technology, but doesn’t include anything about
    how to manage it. It’s like purchasing a Porsche without a steering wheel and
    having to either piece one together from tin foil or buy one from Ferrari.
    If you throw in third party systems/storage as will always be the case, you
    have a management nightmare. So am I wrong? Is Sun addressing this need?

  41. Peter

    In reply to Sivasubramanian Muthusamy above, your comments are right on the money, however, better netiquette is to not disclose someone’s email address, even if your not sure of its accuracy, spam bots and other nuisances will pick it up, it will no longer be an effective channel of communication for its owner.
    To Sun Fan and edcjwea, you’ve obviously read this blog and taken the time to Flame, so your actions confirm this is a good communication medium, even though you don’t appreciate the message. N.B. We all are, after all, human, its only perception, circumstance, intelligence and achievement that set us apart.

  42. Who doesn’t have a blog these days, right, Jonathan? As for expressing his opinion, the other CEO, I believe, has every right to do that, as guaranteed by the first ammendment. However, was what he did responsible to his shareholders, since some of the blogging occurred during business hours? Probably not.
    As for stone tablets, they sure have a certain degree of persistence. Maybe, we could get a SunTablet(TM), someday? That would be pretty cool, I think. And while you’re at it, maybe a SunPhone(TM) to go with my GSM SunTel(TM) service?
    As for games, I don’t really think using Sun servers for games is really a visionary use of Sun server technology. How about biotech, instead? Analyze some DNA, cure some cancer, wipe out some human virii? Just my thoughts and vision. Besides, if what you want is to play Java games, get a cell phone that runs Java, and be done with it(I’m a Tetris Mania-on-the-Java-platform addict).
    As for Jonathan, continuing his blog, another option is doing relay chat, irc.sun.com, channel #sun, or something, regularly scheduled, although it might get unwieldy. Of course, legal might want to filter it.
    ~Mark~

  43. Perhaps a better way for the reporter to phrase the question is as follows: “As a CEO who believes in transparency and isn’t afraid to bypass PR to have a direct conversation with customers, stakeholders, etc., what’s your opinion of how this other CEO conducted himself?”
    The reporter’s heart was in the right place, but you’re right about how they stated the question. Btw, your response at the end of the post is 100% accurate. The Whole Foods CEO really shot himself in the foot with his not-so-anonymous actions. I tend to think he dug an even deeper hole by then trying to justify it before he finally acknowledged his errors. As I mentioned on my own blog, it makes you wonder about what sort of advisers he’s surrounded himself with. There’s no doubt he’s to blame, but you’d think he’d have a direct report or two that could have prevented him from taking the justification step.

  44. Well said, “Authenticity is core to leadership…” Thanks!

  45. Dear Jonathan,
    Peter, on July 20 2 18 am PDT, posted a comment on my comment on your weblog entry (“blog post” sounds less dignified) which said my comments were “right on the money” which I found out from a Google search to be an American phrase that means “hit the nail on the head”, I thought I should thank him for that comment as also respond to his suggestion of better netiquette. I hope it is not bad netiquette to comment on a comment, which distracts attention away from the main weblog entry.
    Jonathan.Schwartz@Sun.com is an address written down in the same format in Sun releases and Google pulls up a few entries with this string, so I chose to ‘disclose’ your email address, as it was known. I wrote it down as such instead of writing Jonathan dot Schwartz at Sun dot com, which at the moment should protect the address from Spam bots, until such time as they are programmed to sense the email addresses written with spaces and without the @ symbol.
    These excessive safeguards on the internet should go. Spam bots are more of an excuse not to disclose the email addresses, the tendency to withheld private information is borne more of out a misguided universal practice of a general inclination towards anonymity on the internet which does not make sense. Rather than be afraid of spam bots and be excessively concerned about privacy in general, had the Internet community INSISTED on being open, technology would have progressed forcefully enough to eliminate the problem of email harvesting by spam bots. We chose to hide from spam bots, so the spam bots won.
    Peter, thank you for saying something positive about what I wrote. I want to say that the netiquette needs to be reexamined. Conventions such as this set the internet apart as an entirely different plane altogether, way away from real life. The internet has somewhat become a world of anonymous people, anonymous out of paranoiac concern for privacy (not all the time paranoid), who log in anonymous, work anonymously and log off anonymously, unreasonably unwilling even to disclose basic, approximate information about their geographic location, sex or approximate age. More like the other American chief executive who posted 1000 comments in a stock market chat room.
    In real life, your neighbor knows where you work, your Health Club attendant knows your name, the shop keeper in the corner store knows you have a son or daughter, but why would you be an xyz on the internet ?
    It is time to reexamine the netiquette and further spam resistant technologies and mass mail filtering systems. It is time to say Jonathan.Schwartz@Sun.com in bold.

  46. Nice blog but evil smileys will take over the world🙂
    http://www.cafepress.com/rijeka

  47. Kevin

    Your sun feed room isn’t working today (from London, UK). I was going to watch the videos in your previous blog post but can’t. You seem to get quite a few service availability comments – not a great indicator for a systems and services provider. Of course, it could just be my ISP but everything else works just fine. (Stone tablets have excellent reliability and availability😉

  48. “a blog is more affordable”. You’re right. Talk is cheap and so is your stock price.
    With “profits” of -$186M, don’t you think that, as a well compensated CEO of a hemorrhaging company, that’s it’s time you walked the walk?
    I heard a nasty rumor that you have blogged under another name as well. Let’s hope that’s not true.

  49. Gumby

    Uh-huh?! Never mind.. I will keep on holding Sun shares until July 30 when next earnings will be announced.. I have a nagging feeling that it will be translating in Sun stock jumping 25% or so like Amazon did today… Heck it will mean only $1.25 jump in Sun stock from %5.25 to old high of 6.50 or so. Bravo , bravo!! Or maybe to $8, I hope.. Guess I will throw in another wad for another 100 shares for excitement!!! Or be bummed out as usual!! I had been reading nothing but self applause by Sun itself for past years and I figure it is about time Sun finally get the spotlight next July 30! Maybe $10 is on way… Hooray!! Sun is way ahead with multi processors as I understand… 8 core already, right?? 16 core on way?? When?? Jon sounds like Bezos of Amazon. Both always say watch me and wait and see..

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