Wednesday, October 10, 2007


Sun's Silliness Continues - Stock & Storage

I've laid off making comments about Sun for a while, but with the recent 2 announcements I just had to add my two pennies worth.

First Jonathan Schwartz decides to change the stock ticker symbol for Sun from SUNW to JAVA. Boy, you wonder how many MBA classes he studied to come up with that idea to save Sun and turn it back into a growing profitable company?

By his own admission, this change has no bearing or impact on the value of Sun as a company or of how people will decide on whether to purchase shares of Sun or not. So why bother? What kind of argument is he trying to put forward here? On the one hand this will have no net impact at all, but on the other hand ... nothing. So lets change our stock symbol anyway, at great cost (it cannot be free to do this), confuse everybody who knew our old symbol, and provide no benefit to anyone as a result. Must have been a quiet quarter there at Sun, Jonathan.

But the really amazing thing to me, is that Jonathan clearly does not understand what Sun is as a company, and how it makes profit and so a return for shareholders. It does this through being a computer hardware company. Sun gets revenue from selling computer hardware, and not from selling computer software. Yes, it has lots of software, but these don't make money for it.

Sun has open sourced and given away almost all of the software it has, and certainly all of the key ones. Sun's recent history includes a long list of software companies it has bought, not known what to do, failed to be able to make money from the software, and then given it away for free and tried to wash its hands of it. StarOffice, N1, and now Solaris and its Java Application Server (GlassFish). It has even given away the software it got from hardware companies it bought, such as Cobalt.

Sun also has bought many different software companies all doing the same thing. At one time it had 3 different Java Application Servers (NetDynamics, Netscape and Forte). It has bought several File System companies, only to do ZFS to replace all of them. And several Cluster related companies. So Sun has had a lot of software products over the years.

So, in spite of the fact that Sun only makes money from computer hardware and has pretty much given away for free all the software it has ever had, Jonathan thinks that the new stock symbol should be based on a piece of software. Solaris? No. Java.

Why pick on Java? In reality it is actually more of the odd one out. The one piece of new software that was successful, compared to all of the many, many others that have been quietly brushed aside and forgotten about. And Java is not even a product. It is a technology. Which was invented by engineers at Sun, but is now available within many different products from many different companies.

Jonathan has given this bizarre argument about how this new stock symbol will 'push the brand of Java', but Java isn't a brand it is a technology. It stands for a very specific piece of technology. And when he goes on about people using Java, the majority of them are not using it on Sun hardware - whether computers or mobile phones or anything else. So Sun is really a small part of the Java story now, and Java doesn't make any money for Sun but does for a lot of other companies. By using Java he is actually watering down and distracting from everything else that Sun does well, such as the new multi-threaded SPARC chips.

If I didn't know more about Sun, I would presume that this change in stock symbol was heralding its exit from computer hardware and signifying a move into pure software. Which couldn't be further from the truth. Sun only makes money from the computer hardware it sells, and nothing from the software it makes. The only money it makes from software is from selling support services for that software, which is really turning it into a subscription service rather than a product.

Second, Sun merges its Storage division with its Server division. So having paid $4 billion for StorageTek about 2 years ago, which presumably had good products and knew how to sell them, Sun has managed to destroy whatever added value was present in there and now has nothing it can do with it other than just throw it in with the Server division and lump them all together. Haven't we seen all of this before with other hardware companies such as Cobalt? So just why did you buy StorageTek in the first place then?

Personally I have always said that Sun has failed miserably in the storage marketplace, and it should just keep it simple and stop trying to play with the big boys. It tried to get into storage too late, after everyone else had made the move; tried to catch up but couldn't; and tried to make people believe it had truly open storage products when it didn't. It seems to have fooled itself into believing that if it told everyone often enough that Sun was good at storage, then eventually everyone would believe them and start buying their storage products. But it has never happened, and never will.

Simply put, Sun's storage products have never been truly open. They have never really worked in a truly multi-platform environment, and have mainly been made to work against Sun servers running Solaris. Any support of other platforms has always been very restrictive. And as a result, in spite of buying many companies and doing OEM deals, and launching product after product, Sun has never been successful in storage. Many of the comments on Jonathan's blog entry reflect this, and also the Register says it too.

And Sun continues to lay off people. And so it will go on.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007


Call Of The Wild - Guy Grieve

I read this book some months ago, having bought it after seeing a television documentary on Channel 4 in the UK about it (see a previous blog post). Overall I liked the book and enjoyed reading about Guy's 9 months in Alaska, trying to build a log cabin himself, and the arrangements to make it all happen. The book is really just a chronological telling of all that happened to Guy since deciding he had to do something different and get out of the 9 to 5 of corporate life in a big city. No big insights as to why he had to do this - other than being sick of the 9 to 5 work in an office - nor any deep meditations on the lessons he learnt. Just a straightforward telling of what happened during the 9+ months of it all.

Generally this format worked well - a very direct telling of what happened, and often some nice details about the people and places he went. He doesn't skimp on the details of what happened - the book is over 350 pages - and he writes well, at least I thought so. The plain telling also seemed to lend a touch of honesty to it all - Guy did not seem like the kind of person who would want to dress anything up more than it was. You felt that this indeed was really what happened.

My main reason for buying the book, apart from the inspiration of such an adventure, was to find out more of the details left out of the very brief and sometimes vague television documentary. The documentary annoyed me because it left more questions unanswered than answered. Whole series of events were skipped over in the documentary. In the book Guy covers everything, so that it is very clear what happened.

The main question in my mind was "How does one inexperienced person build a proper log cabin on their own within a month, and in Alaska?". And as I expected the answer is - they get a lot of help from other people who know how to do it. Obviously the television documentary people had their own agenda, and could not leave gaps. So they painted the picture that Guy built the cabin himself. Guy is more honest in the book. He chopped down the trees to make the logs that the base would sit on. These were put in place and the floor laid by his Alaska friends, within 2 days. Then they left Guy to chop down the rest of the trees, and remove the bark from them. When they returned, the Alaskans built all the walls of the log cabin, and just left Guy to top off the roof. This entailed fitting some end posts as gables, a ridge pole, and then laying sheets of tin on top as the roof material. So the speedy build of the log cabin was down to Guy's new friends, and not his own abilities.

In many respects he was a lucky man, and this comes through in the book. It was the combinations of good luck that got Guy to Alaska, got him a log cabin, food, and even a dog team.

My only complaints about the book are that I did not get any feeling for how this changed Guy, and that Guy can be quite negative about himself at times. In the middle of reading these different descriptions of all the things that Guy has achieved in such a short period of time, he will often throw in a comment about how useless he felt and belittling himself. I was always amazed at these comments, especially in a book that I had bought to be inspired by. To be inspired by the place that is Alaska, and the man that had given up his job and left his family for 9 months just to achieve some 'dream' he had. But even when Guy seems to be achieving all that he set out to do, he cannot help putting himself down. I found this annoying, as it just did not sit with the rest of the story. If he really did not believe in himself, he would never have left his job nor gone to Alaska. I can only presume that he has some complex or other, and needed to keep putting himself down in various ways in the book.

So, a good book, well written, telling one man's story of his 9 month stay in Alaska, only marred by the author's own negative self comments.


Thursday, September 28, 2006


Escape to Alaska - Channel 4 TV

I managed to watch "Escape to Alaska" on video the other night, which I had taped from Channel 4 the other week. It is an hour long documentary, about Guy Grieve who works in Edinburgh, Scotland, and who wants to experience Alaska.
I was looking forward to it for two reasons: I am interested in the idea of escaping from the modern slave labour of the 9 to 5 corporate work job to reconnect with the natural world; and in Alaska as a remote, unmodernised place which still has many open, wild spaces in it. Overall I found it a weird programme to watch.

I enjoyed the early part where Guy Grieve described why the 9 to 5 in a large city was so soulless, and why he wanted a more direct connection with the world itself, and how he was attracted to and fascinated by Alaska.

Then, of course, he travels to Alaska, and sets about getting established with somewhere to live before the winter sets in, which he wants to experience. And that is when things got really weird, and I ended up questioning whether what I was seeing was really what happened.

First, he arrives in Alaska in late August / early September, with between 4 and 6 weeks before the snows arrive. In this period he has to build his own log cabin, from scratch. This is just too late to turn up and expect to get it all done before the cold spell hits. He should have turned up in July, and become acclimatised and accustomed to Alaska. Why did he leave it so late? Why did he not go out one month earlier? It just does not make any sense at all to go out that late in the season, and that close to the snows arriving.

Then, he meets up with Alaskan people that he has already been in contact with, and who will be helping him out, one way or another. This smacks of quite some prearranging on his part, to contact these people, make these agreements, and arrange access to the land where he is to build a cabin and stay the winter. How these arrangements were made is not explained. Very mysterious. If he had really been in contact with locals, he should have known to come out earlier in the year, as mentioned.

Guy then goes out to the remote area, sets up a tent, and begins cutting down trees in preparation for building his cabin within 4 to 6 weeks. Or rather he doesn't. He cuts down one tree, which falls onto his tent, and has to repair this mess. Instead of getting back to the tree cutting after this, he spends the next 2 weeks simply wandering around the area, with no sense of urgency at all, looking for food supplies, and not cutting down a single tree. This is bizarre behaviour. He knows he has less than 6 weeks before the snows, and just wastes 2 weeks wandering around on his own, without a care in the world.

He is saved when his local contact, Dave if I remember correctly (but I could be wrong), turns up to check on his progress. Within one day Dave has a number of trees cut down, properly, and is showing Guy the correct way to do everything.

At this point, the camera crew that has been with him these past 2 weeks leave. They come back 8 weeks later, after the snows have arrived, and the land is snow covered and the rivers and lakes frozen. Guy is now living in the log cabin, that he has built himself. And it looks impressive too. A well built, single room cabin. But hang on. How did Guy manage to build this to such a high standard when he couldn't even chop down a tree? We are shown early on that Guy is an office worker, who uses a telephone and computer keyboard each day. There is no mention of him having any wood working skills at all. Where did all this ability come from?

I can only conclude that Guy did not build the cabin himself, but instead his local contacts came in and did it for him. Otherwise he would have frozen to death in his tent. The log cabin looked exactly how it should be, with no skewed or leaning walls. All the logs were true and straight, and laid on top of each other, and striped of bark. And all this done by someone who couldn't even chop down a single tree on his own? I don't think so.

I know from reading a few books on Alaska, such as "One Man's Wilderness" by Sam Keith, that an important part of a cabin in Alaska is making it free of air leaks. If there are any major holes, then the heat will leak out and the cold come in - very quickly. And key to minimising the holes is preparing the logs, so that they are straight and true, with flat, even sides that will sit square on each other. There is no way that someone such as Guy, with no previous wood working or cabin building experience, could have built a log cabin like that in 4 weeks, and have made it well insulated enough to withstand an Alaskan winter.

Then someone loans Guy a dog sled team. This is not something done lightly in Alaska, as it takes time and money to feed and train a dog team, and they can be very valuable. No way is someone just going to loan a good dog team to a complete stranger with no prior experience, who wants to look after the dogs many miles away. Again, more signs of behind the scenes work and preparations.

Furthermore, Guy is over 50 miles away from the nearest village. So he is going to have to look after these dogs, and feed them every day. Again, this is a massive risk, letting a working dog team go with a complete stranger, who has to feed them every day to keep them alive. If he gets anything wrong, so far away from help, the dogs will just die. And where does the food for the dogs come from? Clearly a team of six or eight dogs is going to eat a lot more than one man. So where is Guy getting all of this food from, to feed himself and these dogs, each and every day? At various points it is made clear that Guy is not a natural hunter, and has almost no success in shooting or catching anything.

Later on we learn sometime during January / February that Guy has not eaten meat for over a month, and is trying to capture come beaver in a nearby lake. So what has he been living on then? Clearly he has a massive cache of supplies of dried and preserved goods by the cabin, to live on during the winter. And this is what he is living on. During the whole programme we only see him get one grouse like bird and one beaver. So, he was never in desparate circumstances during this self imposed exile. And how did he afford all of these supplies, bought in advance? I know from reading on the web that he was sponsered by a Scottish whisky company. Clearly some of their money was used on these supplies he bought.

It would seem that neither the television company or the whisky sponsor wanted Guy to be seen to fail, so behind the scenes they made sure that everything he needed was provided for.

The television programme came over very much as telling a story of a family man, troubled by the modern world, who needed to reconnect with nature in some way. And off Guy went to Alaska, built his own log cabin, survived all on his own, and came back home a better person for it. Which I do believe to be true.

But I think they left a lot out, such as the sponsorship money, the vast supplies of food stored in a cache by the log cabin, who really built the log cabin, and what else he did during the six month long winter? He didn't seem to achieve anything at all other than staying alive. All in all it felt like someone had promised a meal full of special tastes, but instead delivered something very bland that left you wanting more and wondering what was left out that could have made it much more interesting.

I've bought the book he's written about his adventure - Call of the Wild - so I'll see what other details he gives about what really happened.

Wednesday, September 27, 2006


August Update

During August we were lucky enough to have two holidays away.
While both were very enjoyable in their own way, they could not have been more different in style and experience.

The first was to the Oceania Club in Greece.
This is an all inclusive hotel resort on the Halkidiki pensinsula, in the north east part of the mainland.
The hotel was very new and very good, and the service and food was excellent.
It is a family oriented hotel, and so was full of families with children.
The hotel runs its own kids clubs, to keep the children entertained during the day.
And the weather was hot, which is to be expected.
So the family had a really good, enjoyable holiday.

Although we did not do much - just lie around on sun loungers in the hot sunshine each day, by the pool or beach - it was a very good and relaxing holiday.
As said, the hotel was very good, and the food and service were excellent.
The attitude of all of the hotel staff was excellent - always helpful, asking if there was anything they could do for you, and nothing was too much trouble.
In many respects, it would be difficult to pick real faults with the hotel.
Although not perfect, it lived up to expectations, and generally exceeded them.
Little details, like a sun umbrella for every pair of sun loungers.
This is important when you have children and want to ensure they do not
get too much sun exposure.

The second holiday was to the highlands of Scotland, staying at the Crieff Hydro Hotel, which is just west of Perth.
The hotel advertises itself very much as a family oriented hotel with child friendly facilities.
Initially we were impressed on arrival by the substantial main, old building of the hotel itself. But then things went downhill quickly.

The room we were allocated was essentially in the basement, at the extreme edge of the hotel. We had to walk down flights of stairs and along long corridors, including going past the leisure facilities, to get to our room. It was one of only three at this end of the hotel. Yes, we did have normal windows and an outside view, due to the hotel being sited on a hill. But it didn't stop the feeling of being in the basement and isolated as you negotiated the stairs each and every day.

The room itself was very old and tired, with a very small bathroom (I could reach out and touch both side walls at the same time). And they called this an 'executive family room'. I suppose this was because the main bedroom area was large. But then we discovered dust in the corner, dead flies under the windows, crumbs under the beds, and worst of all - someone else's clothes in one of the drawers! Needless to say we complained like mad to the hotel duty manager.
Although he apologised profusely, all he did was arrange for the room to be cleaned again. "Why wasn't it cleaned properly in the first place?"
He couldn't offer any explanation at all.
He claimed rooms were always cleaned, so this should not have happened.
But the point was it did happen, and they had not cleaned the room properly before giving it to us.

They would not offer us another room, as they said they were full during the main holiday period. They did give us a free bottle of wine with our meal that evening, but that was all. Considering the price I was paying for this executive room, they were making a lot of money off me, and couldn't be bothered to offer a better level of customer service beyond just a verbal apology and fixing something that should never have happened in the first place.

The rest of the hotel was okay, but being family oriented meant lots of screaming children running around the place.
Which is fine to a point, as we were there with our children too. But in an old hotel building with narrow corridors, it did seem crowded some of the time.
And the indoor swimming pool was full of children most of the day too.
Although the facilities offered make quite a long list, the actual quality of them is only just 'okay', and some of them are so far away from the hotel as to not be worth bothering with.

Evening meals were 'interesting'. There are two restaurants. One is more formal, which they try and attract outside customers to, and the other is informal, casual. Children were allowed in both restaurants, which was good.
Perversely the informal restaurant had a worse choice of food on offer for children than the formal restaurant. Yes, we have a 'modern' child who is quite happy eating things like 'chicken nuggets', but not pizza or anything with cheese on it. The only thing he could eat on the informal menu was a baked potato. And the children's menu was fixed, and never changed in this restaurant. As a result we ate in the formal restaurant each night, which did offer a different children's menu each night.

Overall the hotel came out barely okay - I'd give it 5 out of 10, but only because of the number of facilities offered. But the quality of everything is very dubious, there is no concept of customer service at all, the prices are a rip off (read very expensive), and they are spending more money on more child specific facilities in order to charge you even more in the future. If only they could run it like a real hotel, and have a proper house cleaning operation where rooms were checked for cleanliness. Then things might be quite different. But really it felt more like some kind of production line, where they wheel guests in, don't treat them in any special way or care about their experience, and take as much money off them as they can for the right to be there.

I certainly won't be going back there. There is no way I would consider staying at a hotel that fundamentally did not know how to clean its rooms properly (something I consider to be a 'basic' aspect of a hotel), did not check that rooms were cleaned properly before new guests arrived, and had a level of customer service that amounted to "We are sorry, but we aren't going to actually do anything to make up for a wholly inadequate level of service to you".

In spite of all that, we did have a nice holiday. Scotland is a wonderful place, which is why we went there. And that rescued the holiday for us.
Next time we go back to the highlands we shall simply stay in another hotel,
save a lot of money, and have a far better and more pleasant experience.

Now of course, we are all back to the normal work routine again, and the children are back at school. Life carries on ...

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


July Update and Longleat

I've not posted anything for some time as I've not had any spare time to write up a blog entry. Not that I've been flat out busy, but just that there has never been any free time between all the other things that I needed to do. I do want to write more blog entries on interesting topics to me, so I'll struggle to find the time from somewhere. I also want to lay off the Sun knocking, as I have said most of the things that I wanted to say, and I think things will play themselves out over the course of time. Though I do keep wondering when those new joint Sun / Fujitsu systems are going to see the light of day? If ever.

I've read quite a few blogs from other people about Peak Oil recently, and it all seems to make sense to me. I've always felt that humans were bleeding the earth dry, and that something would go wrong somewhere at sometime. And now it seems like it might be the oil running out sooner rather than later, instead of global warming, which causes a major change in the way people actually live their lives.

I spent the last weekend visiting Longleat, which is a safari park in England set in the grounds of a large stately home (a massive house, with even larger grounds around it). The park has various animals in it such as lions, tigers, giraffes, rhinos and monkeys, and you drive around in your car through the large fields to see the animals. The whole thing reinforced my knowledge that the whole of humanity is stupid, and must go down the drain sooner or later, and drove home the fact that humanity was just way too stupid to try and save itself.

Longleat is notorious for the monkey enclosure. In this field you drive through in your car, the monkeys are free to roam, and often climb onto the cars as they slowly drive through. The monkeys are well known for pulling anything they can get hold of off your car - such as windscreen wipers, aerials, bumpers, or any rubber trimmings. They have put up signs warning you of this, and saying you enter at your own risk.

Being a summer weekend, the park was packed full of cars, all moving slowly. Well, half way through the monkey enclosure, the monkeys get onto a couple of the cars in front of me. No problem I think. As long as the drivers keep on moving, the monkeys will get bored and get off for the cars following behind. But NO! The drivers of the cars about four in front of me decide to stop, and block everyone behind them. So now these monkeys are free to roam over all the cars stuck behind these two IDIOTS at the front, who have decided to stop for a full 5 minutes in one area where car damage is virtually guaranteed. At this point I just could not believe the STUPIDITY of these people. What were they thinking at that moment? Were their minds so totally blank that they were unaware of the monkeys climbing on all the cars behind them? Did they not realise that they were blocking ALL the traffic, so that NONE of the cars could move forward. Did they not see the long queue behind them extending all the way back to the entrance? And the open road in front of them?

Luckily my car did not get damaged significantly. They did pull on the back wiper and the washer jet where water comes out of, but nothing was damaged irreversibly. But other cars did have things pulled completely off them, while these IDIOTS at the front just sat there. For me this just drove home how completely stupid humans are, at all levels, and how unaware they are of everything going on around them. No matter what happens, humans just seem to ignore all they can see and the information around them, and carry on doing what they want to, regardless. And these idiots driving the cars at the front, so unaware of everything happening behind them and the other drivers having their cars attacked, are deemed legally fit to drive cars on our roads. That made me really worried. If these people cannot even drive around a one way system in a safari park properly, what are they going to be like on a public road with many other cars moving much faster, and in both directions? At that moment, as I said, I realised that there was no hope for humanity, and it was just full of stupid people messing things up for the small percentage of those who wanted to do the right thing.

The other thing that drove home the stupidity of humanity, was the conditions of the animals at Longleat. I am not on about the general conditions they are in - this is all very good, and much better than a zoo in my view, as the animals are not in cages, but in fields they can roam about. In many respects these animals are in more natural surroundings than those confined to much smaller enclosures and cages in zoos.

No, the key difference that I immediately realised is that the animals in their native habitat would be be breathing in the relatively clean air in Africa or India or wherever. But here in Longleat, they breathe in car exhaust fumes! ALL DAY LONG! This place is crying out to have electric buses put in place, to replace all of the individual cars driving around and spewing out pollutants directly in the faces of these animals. Instead of having thousands of cars drive through these fields every day of the summer, they could have the cars all park outside the park at the entrance, where all the people would board electric buses, and be transported around the park pollution free. And then there would be no traffic jams in the park, caused by IDIOT drivers! And they could supply a commentary on the bus, providing information about the animals and how they live, which I am sure would be much more interesting to the children, rather than being couped up in a car for 2 hours.

Yes, 2 hours to drive an internal combustion engine driven car around a few fields, polluting constantly for 2 hours, just to look at a few animals sitting in some fields. CRAZY! If Longleat REALLY cared about the health and well being of these animals they would have put in electic buses years agos. Clearly the people running Longleat are more concerned with their ability to generate money and stick it in the bank, than they are for their animals. Why else would they not invest in a fleet of electic or even hydrogen buses? Why do they continue to let these poor animals breath in car exhaust fumes day after day after day? And add more pollution to the planet in general? None of which is necessary for want of a few buses.

Anyway, that's all for now. I'm off on holiday for the next few weeks, so I'll try and post something interesting one way or another when I get back.

Sunday, June 04, 2006


Sun to layoff 5000 people!

Well, as I said in my previous post, Jonathan Schwartz would have to layoff a load of people at Sun to make it profitable again. The only question was would he strike quickly and take the penalty in Q4 of Sun's financial year, or wait it out a bit longer until the next financial year and blame things on the situation he inherited?

Well, he's decided to get on with it, and has
announced that between 4,000 and 5,000 people will be laid off.
This makes another layoff of over 10% of their employees, which I make to be at least the fourth such layoff of this size. There have of course been other smaller layoffs as well, such as the recent layoffs of 200 SPARC engineers.
So now Sun will have laid off at least 40% of its total workforce over the past 5 years. Way to go guys! I think I already blogged about the 'death by a thousand cuts' scenario playing out at Sun. And here it is again.

Bizarrely, Sun have announced this massive layoff as a growth plan. Another example of Sun's brilliant senior management reasoning abilities. Who else would try and position laying off 5,000 people as a growth in the company? Wierd!

In summary, I am not surprised at any of this, as I have seen it coming for some time now, and is exactly what I said would happen. I was just unsure of the precise timing.

And don't forget, this is not just 5,000 people from what was Sun in 2001 of 40,000. This is Sun which has since acquired a long list of other companies, including the likes of Cobalt, and more recently StorageTek, Seebeyond and Tarantella. The list is really quite long when you examine it. Sun may actually be laying off people from the very companies that it spent a lot of money to acquire in the first place. Talk about bad strategy and management!

PS. I've also had a chance to recently benchmark a T2000 system with an UltraSPARC T1 processor in it, and it is not fast! In reality a single 1.2 GHz T1 CPU is comparable to 32 * 250 MHz UltraSPARC-II CPUs. So, yes, a lot of total processing capacity, comparable to an E10000 system from 1997 or so. But in today's world when all other CPU cores work at 1 GHz or above, squeezing 4 threads onto one core just ends up with all 4 running quite slowly. An impressive engineering effort, but only really applicable to highly parallelised, scalable, multi-threaded applications, like web sites. But not really suited to back end database systems. The T2000 was out performed in all of my tests by a 2 * UltraSPARC-IV+ V490, which can be doubled in capacity to 4 CPUs. Something the T2000 cannot do. Don't believe everything Sun tell you!

Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Goodbye Scott McNealy

Scott McNealy has stepped down from the CEO position of Sun.
About time too.
This has been some time coming, but is clearly the right thing for Sun.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, it was getting so that all anyone else was talking about was how McNealy had mismanaged Sun after the dot-com bubble burst.
There were many ex-Sun executives who had said that it was McNealy that had made the wrong decisions, and not taken the right actions when the company revenues were slashed by a third overnight. And that was the primary reason they left Sun to go work somewhere else, where they stood a better chance of success than at Sun. Again, see my past blog entries for comments from past executives who have left Sun for greener pastures.

And with every other senior executive having left Sun, the only person Scott has left to hand over the reins to is Jonathan Schwartz.
Someone who I don't consider has proved himself to be a top class executive.
Literally, he just looks like the guy left over after everyone else had left Sun.

I'm glad I'm not working for Sun anymore.
This must be an incredibly nervous time for the people there.
They all know that Sun is still shrinking and losing money (see the latest quarterly results).
The general opinion is that Sun's revenues continue to underperform from where they should be.
And the expectation is that they will have to lay yet more people off to reduce costs in order to ever get back to a profit.
The question then becomes one of when, not if.

So will Jonathan Schwartz strike quickly and announce massive layoffs to reduce costs, and take the penalty of the cost of the layoffs in Sun's fourth quarter? That way he can start a new financial year on 1 July 2006 in a new position, having put his stamp on the company. And the next financial year's performance will all be his responsibility.
He might even make a profit for Sun, at last.
But to do that, he would have to layoff a lot of people at Sun. Well over 10%, maybe 15% or 20%. Who knows.

Or will he hedge his bets, and delay it until the first or second quarter of Sun's next financial year? That way he can blame the situation he inherited for any bad results, before he has to deliver a fully profitable year at Sun in 2007/2008.

Either way, the consensus among the analysts is that there will be more cost cutting at Sun. So all the employees at Sun can do is continue to wait for the day when the 'big announcement' happens.

This page is powered by Blogger. Isn't yours?