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Inspiring CEO's

I have been very quiet lately. It's not due to a lack of interest or not being able to think, it's been a mix of feeling that I didn't have anything interesting to share with everyone and spending too much of my thinking time on work issues. 2007 is a different year, time has passed and maybe, what I thought wasn't interesting to others, might actually be interesting. We shall see.

Over the past few months, I have been reading the writings of a Fortune 500 CEO. Why is this relevant? Apart from the fact that you don't usually find many CEO's that blog, you will probably not find many that are young and understand that innovation doesn't happen in isolation, or through closed source developments. I believe that transparency and collaboration are fundamental, not just to use as key principles to run your life but as business principles as well. I don't have an MBA so I won't be able to translate this into nice business-buzzwords-and-fancy-charts but that is how we have been running our business, and it makes for a much saner and sustainable work environment.

Anyway, getting back to Jonathan Schwartz. Someone in charge of a very large corporation, finding time to write, share his views with honesty (it's not every day that you find public apologies over messes that were done within his corporation), deserves a credit. In addition, under his leadership, Sun Microsystems went on to Open Source Solaris, their multi-billion dollar operating system, Java and even Sparc. This shouldn't be overlooked.

Since I am an advocate of free and open source software (I deliberately want to avoid the Open Source vs Free Software debate here, freedom of choice!), this has had an impact on me! I am not sure how many companies started with a closed-source model and changed their license model on their flagship product (anyone care to tell me which other ones?).

BTW Solaris is an amazing operating system with great features (DTrace and ZFS being some of the most evident), being able to learn from years of R&D and production deployments is invaluable.

Posted on January 20, 2007 - 20:34

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