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Learn about Sun and Jonathon Shwartz in this great Interview

Sun MicrosystemsA year and a half ago I happened to be sitting across a table from Jonathon Schwartz at the first Mashup Camp and actually didn’t know who he was.

My CMO, Chris Baggott, pointed him out to me and then we sat and watched him get interviewed by CNET for probably about 20 minutes. I was instantly impressed. The first thing he did was pull no punches and talk to the specific writers about some articles that CNET had written and how Sun was misrepresented. He was brutally up front with them and definitely pulled no punches. I’ve seen many leaders cater to the press, so this was cool to watch.

In this ScobleShow sit down with Robert Scoble, Jonathon talks about Sun, Java, iPhone, Mircrosoft and a host of other recent topics. He’s friendly, knowledgeable and incredibly open.

One of the great quotes in here is that Sun’s leading indicator of success is really the happiness of their employees. Jonathon takes great pride in ‘boomerangs’… that is, Sun employees who left but are now returning to the company. He also talks to many of the misnomers out there about Sun such as price of entry and licensing. Did you know Sun spends $2 billion on research and development each year? Or that Java is the most widely recognized tech logo?

As a ‘Microsoft-grown’ technologist… having always worked for large corporations built on Microsoft networks and servers, I guess my only feedback to Jonathon and Sun is that I frankly don’t know them well enough. I’m in Indiana… not in Silicon Valley. I don’t get to go to many industry events. We’re a fast-paced development company that is on the train tracks of Microsoft and won’t get off any time soon… if that’s even possible. Personally, I love LAMP but my experience with them is simply what I’ve done on my own with hosting, development, WordPress, and MAMP. I worked with Java web services a few years ago and it worked brilliantly, but we never implemented because we could also implement the web service with Microsoft technologies – that our applications were built on.

A comment from a developer on Jonathon’s site states something similar… he can’t experiment with Solaris because it’s simply not an option for him to begin ‘playing’ at home.

Here’s my big hairy audacious idea for Sun. I mean this with all due respect, why not put their money where their mouth is and openly and freely consult with Enterprise Microsoft customers on redeveloping their applications in Java on Solaris. It’s simply not an option for us to look elsewhere for a solution… even if the savings is at the end of the road, we don’t have time to drive down that road.

I have no doubt that our applications may perform better, scale easier, our costs may be reduced, and service may improve with Sun. But how do we make that move without crippling our company or delaying development that is needed to compete in our market? We have 5,000 clients, 15,000 users and billions of transactions every quarter. Do other companies make those transitions? Jonathon, next time you’re in Indianapolis… I’d love to have lunch and take you on a tour of our company.

One last note… Jonathon also discusses a near-death experience that changed his life. Thankfully, I’ve not been through that – but having children has had a similar impact on me. Also… did the video get chopped at the end?

2 Comments

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    Thanks for the kind comments. The video did get chopped right at the end. The tape had a massive failure right there so you missed a few seconds and the “thanks, goodbye” kind of thing. Sorry about that. Out of about 800 interviews I’ve done that’s only the third time a tape failure ruined something.

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