An Individual’s Agenda

It’s a lot harder writing a blog as an individual than as a Chief Executive.

As a CEO, you have an obvious and explicit agenda in nearly all communications – drive awareness for the company, its products and ideas. The same applies across internal and external audiences (the notion you can separate audiences is comically antiquated – ubiquitous social media renders listeners just as powerful as speakers).

As an individual, my agenda isn’t nearly so clear (at least one reason it’s taken me so long to post a first entry). On the one hand, I’d like to put context around some of the decisions I faced at Sun. There was almost always more going on behind the scenes than was obvious to the outside world, and some of that backdrop might be interesting.

In addition, I’d like to put my personal experiences in context. I’ve reconciled myself to the reality that such insights may only be of interest to my mother, but that seems like an acceptable downside – from which I’ll endeavor to protect you by liberal usage of the personal tag. If it’s interesting, have at it. If not, you’re in charge of ignoring it. (And for an interesting personal blog, may I recommend Mike Dillon’s – he was formerly Sun’s General Counsel (the top lawyer), and he’s decided to bicycle across the US to clear his head.)

As for those that read my blog in one of the eleven languages into which Sun translated it… I’m not sure I have an easy answer just yet. If you’ve got a suggestion or idea, feel free to leave it in the comment section.

More to come.


Filed under General

27 responses to “An Individual’s Agenda

  1. I think the only choice you have is to simply write about things you’re passionate about; everything else would just turn out to be fairly dull (I suspect even for your mother).

    I’d be interested in reading some of your insights not only on Suns past (and future?) but also on the technology industry as a whole. And since I’m personally affected by that topic at the moment, I’d be happy about every startup-related post that you find in your fingertips…

  2. Looking forward to both types of entries – subscribed!

  3. I’d like to take you back to the day when you did not have a blog, when you asked a prominent blogger to allow you to guest post, when the prominent blogger removed your name but published the request, when some one put part of your bio into google to figure out who you were!

    Ah nostalgy!

  4. Looking forward to hear your personal experiences at Sun! And your views on how Sun could have done better with their vast technologies and cool innovation

  5. Logan

    I’m just a consumer, and a fan of both Sun and the contributions the company made to the open source community, and you personally as a leader. I was consistently impressed with what I saw of you, your communication, what sense I could gather of your leadership style, and the way your employees spoke of you. I attended numerous conventions, mostly Linux World, and always made it a point to stop by the Sun booth and see what was going on. I’m just as, if not more so, looking forward to your reflection about your time with Sun, plans and feelings for the present, and insight on what’s ahead in both a general and personal sense. There will be at least 2 of us, now reading this blog.

    All my best to you.

    As per your translation suggestion, I’ve recently been quite impressed with Google Translate ( While it’s certainly not perfect, I feel it gets close enough for comprehension, and also accepts suggestions for better translations, so hopefully it can only get better!


  6. Good luck in finding your personal “agenda”. I am sure you will find your stories and style in telling them. The Sun behind the scenes stories are fun but I am sure other stories will be fun as well.

    Have fun.

  7. Dave

    Even just reading this makes me miss having you at the helm of Sun. Looking forward to more.

  8. Write the stuff down, don’t publish, then go “clear your head”, and then, after a good amount of time and some good wine and laughs with friends, go back to the writings and distill. Then post.

    We’ll wait.

  9. It is interesting to see the tag up the top of this blog “What I couldn’t say ..”. Yes we are interested in learning lessons from your experience at Sun but I am sure your readers are now more interested in “What you can now say ..”.

    Looking forward to reading into your insights.

  10. As kempton said, good luck in finding your personal agenda.
    It is nice you are blogging again, I’m longing to read your thoughts.
    Best regards.

  11. Just write. The more you write the greater perspective you’ll get on it all as you’re pushing it down the road from you. As a CEO you had to be careful because you were giving Sun’s take. Now you’re doing your own blog and I think we want to hear yours. Unvarnished, unvetted, and unashamed.

    I, for one, am looking forward to it!

  12. Andrew

    Nobody can truly separate personal context from business logic when making corporate decisions so I’m looking forward to hearing about the complete picture!

  13. Ray

    Hi Jonathan,

    Please enjoy some time off here. Life may not be just work, work and more work. You must have work too much.

    Mike Dillon seems to be a really cool guy. Wow, biking across the US, isn’t that special? That is something crazy and sure will help clear his head. I wish I can do the same one day.



  14. Butch

    Hoi Jonathon,

    I much like many others am looking forward to what you have to say. I followed your blog at sun, and will continue to do so here.

    Good luck in wherever life takes you (or you take life), we’ll be here watching the adventure.

  15. Ernesto


    though I followed your public steps as Sun’s CEO and I liked almost all the moves you did; I think it is time to something new, removing the past, looking for excuses or looking for bad or good past decisions is just a waste of time.

    I think that would be nicer meet Jonathan the person, the father, the husband, the “kid” that plays computer games or plays piano or the dreamer that plans some new personal huge project and so on… Sun is not already within us and though we all miss it and remember it and we will still working with its products, it is time to let it leave and stare ahead.

  16. (Sorry for my English from Spain …)

    About your blog: No matter how you start, You’ll end up arriving where you are expected.

    I hope at some point the birth of LunarOs, a fork of Sun open source to take the seed of innovation and spread. Why not?

    Good luck and I promise to read you.

  17. Don’t waste time, why don’t you guys get togeather and put up some thing new.

    get some rest, and then start things over. all the best.

  18. Why do you need an agenda?

  19. Hi Jonathan,

    I will look forward to reading the book about your experience as Sun’s CEO. It would be great to read in more depth about your perspective in key decisions such as opening Solaris and acquiring MySQL. Also, it would be really interesting to know more about your thoughts on Sun’s business model in a hypothetically different economic environment. Do you think in better economic conditions developers could influence the market enough to prefer Sun’s systems and software?

  20. KNR

    Please blog, Jonathan. Missing your perspectives on everything that’s going on, in and outside Sun. Yet, it would be interesting to hear those things that you couldn’t say.
    Good luck.

  21. Tom Prieto

    Thanks for the courage to share your views

  22. Jim Klimov

    Hello, Jonathan.

    Other commenters already gave some good advice on “how” and “what” to post, and I guess you know all that already. I just wanted to add that with your “insider position” of the technology business anything you write on the broad subject would be of interest to many more people than just your Mom.

    And I do also hope that writing interesting stuff will not become an obsessive goal per se – make some interesting new projects and companies, and get something to blog about in the future 🙂


  23. Ross Cameron

    😦 Jonathan come back!!!

    LoL Oracle just notified me of a VirtualBox update and the RPM doesn’t work,… oooooo woe betide the glory that was Sun 😦

  24. Ron

    Steve will have to retire from Apple at one point 😉 Apple can’t just target consumers forever, would be interesting to see a charge into the enterprise and perhaps bring along former sun engineers. Open Solaris would make a great replacement for the Darwin kernel!

  25. John

    I’m curious to know who made offers to buy Sun before Oracle?

    Did Apple make an offer, NOW that would have really been an interesting merger! Sun Engineering plus Apple Marketing & Design!

  26. Peter

    Good to have you back in the public environment!

  27. William

    Fantastic. As an old NeXT developer who met you back in the day, I’m looking forward to reading whatever you get the urge to spout off on. You’re off to a great start.

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