Friday, January 29, 2010

The End of an Icon - revisited

Sun is now history and it's a new day at the combined "Sun-Oracle". Thankfully, I have a position in the new organization and look forward to contributing to the combined company for at least the foreseeable future. My heart goes out to all those who were not so lucky.

Back in April of 2009, when the proposed acquisition was first announced, I had this to say:

"Having worked for the Corporate Development group at Sun for the past 3 1/2 years, I've had to be very careful about what I posted on a public blog. I felt it was better to be safe than sorry, so I've left it to the many other prolific bloggers at Sun to tell our story.

But with the recent announcement that Sun will become part of Oracle, I feel able for the first time to talk about how we got here. Not about the Oracle acquisition itself, but rather how we as a company came to the point where seeking an acquirer was the best way forward. Granted, 2009 is one of the most challenging years in decades and many companies are struggling, but when I joined Sun in 1997, we had the technology world by the tail and were poised to become as influential and lucrative as our more famous rivals (Microsoft, IBM, Intel, HP and even Oracle). So as excited as I am about becoming part of Oracle (there were many far worse options in my opinion), it still feels a little anti-climatic.

So as a sort of "post mortem" on the company, I'd like to examine where I think Sun really missed its opportunities. Some things are only obvious in hind sight, but many of these things are things I've spent my career at Sun advocating and attempting to drive forward. Maybe this is a bit of sour grapes on my part, but mostly this is just an attempt to say externally some of what I've been saying internally at Sun for most of my tenure, now that our future as a Corporation is moving out of our hands.

I will call this my "Top 10 Reasons Sun is Setting". In typical Top 10 fashion, I will start with the #10 Reason Sun is Setting and work my way up to the #1 reason. I know there is a lot of opinion on this topic out there, so feel free to comment as you see fit. I think we may all find this cathartic."

In the course of outlining these "top 10 reasons", I responded to several comments that had been made on what I posted. It was some of those responses to comments that contained what might have been considered "forward looking statements" and I was advised by Sun management to delete my responses to comments. Not wanting to put myself or the company at risk, I voluntarily removed all of my "top 10" posts, promising myself to re-post them once the acquisition closed (not knowing that would be 9 long months later).

What I didn't anticipate was that the deletion of my posts would garner more attention than my posts themselves. So with the added attention, I decided that when I did repost reasons #8 through #10, I would do so on my private blog so as not to garner more attention than is warranted.

So I will now repost those original 3 reasons here and continue to add the other 7 reasons as time allows. As before, please feel free to comment and I will respond freely now that the acquisition is closed and I can do so without fear of overstepping my bounds.


  1. Really glad to hear you landed, Dan. I'll be interested to hear what kind of role Oracle has in store for you; they're lucky to have you.

    Turns out they're lucky to have me, too (or so my mom thinks). Got my offer this morning, and we'll see how the ISV org adapts to our new world.

    Congrats, Dan!

  2. Cool George! Let's get back to kicking butt and having fun! (or was it kicking fun and having butt - I can't remember :)