×

Announcing: Slashdot Deals - Explore geek apps, games, gadgets and more. (what is this?)

Thank you!

We are sorry to see you leave - Beta is different and we value the time you took to try it out. Before you decide to go, please take a look at some value-adds for Beta and learn more about it. Thank you for reading Slashdot, and for making the site better!

Interviews: Ask Larry Augustin What You Will

samzenpus posted about 9 months ago | from the go-ahead-and-ask dept.

Businesses 48

Former chairman of VA Software and venture capitalist, Larry Augustin, co-founded VA Research in 1993 and was one of the driving forces behind the creation of Sourceforge. VA bought Andover.net in 2000, acquiring a number of media sites, including Slashdot. He serves on the board of several companies and is currently the CEO of SugarCRM. Larry has agreed to take some time and answer your questions about the world of venture capital, open source software, and surviving the dotcom bubble. As usual, ask as many as you'd like, but please, one question per post

Sorry! There are no comments related to the filter you selected.

Who are you? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46455425)

You! You! You! Who are you? You! You! You! Who the fuck are you?

Re:Who are you? (1)

MightyMartian (840721) | about 9 months ago | (#46455487)

Amen. I have no idea who this guy is, so I can't imagine any other question to ask him.

Larry was... (1)

Slartibartfast (3395) | about 9 months ago | (#46455581)

one of the names that we all felt some sort of kinship with back in the early Linux commercialization days. He started VA Reasearch -- which had the biggest one-day spike on IPO, ever, managing a front-page story in the WSJ, and an incredibly sanctimonious public letter from ESR -- and forever popularized blue LEDs on servers (you can thank or blame him as you see fit). Since then, he's gone off to do some venture capital stuff, and help out with Sugar CRM. While I've never met him, I certainly owe him for both his contribution to the community as a whole, as well as more explicitly for opening up the IPO to common folks like me.

By all accounts, he's a good guy, and someone I was glad was in our corner during those heady-but-tumultuous times.

Dear Larry, (5, Insightful)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 9 months ago | (#46455429)

Do you agree with the Slashdot Beta program ?

Re:Dear Larry, (1)

OzPeter (195038) | about 9 months ago | (#46456071)

Do you agree with the Slashdot Beta program ?

MOD PARENT UP

This isn't a troll question. Its something valid to ask someone who once owned slashdot.

And really, do any of you think that someone with a mid range 4 digit id would stoop to trolling on slashdot?

Re:Dear Larry, (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46456327)

MOD PARENT UP

This isn't a troll question. Its something valid to ask someone who once owned slashdot.

And really, do any of you think that someone with a mid range 4 digit id would stoop to trolling on slashdot?

Yes. That would be the optimal troll. Troll indeed. Optimal.

So... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46455439)

Was VA Linux the most successful pump and dump of all time? Or was there a bigger one lost to history?

Really? (1)

Slartibartfast (3395) | about 9 months ago | (#46455661)

Dude -- EVERYONE believed in Linux at the time, as well as The Internet. Bright-eyed investors who jumped at a Linux-associated hardware company made that happen, not Larry. Larry just happened to be the best-known Linux-associated hardware vendor at the time. I'd say his timing was awesome for the spike, but I think Larry would have been happier than just about anyone to see the stock price stay up where it started.

If you bought in at $320/share, and have sour grapes... well, that's your fault. "Caveat Emptor." See: "dot bomb [wikipedia.org] ".

What a ride... (4, Interesting)

Slartibartfast (3395) | about 9 months ago | (#46455443)

Hey, Larry -- you don't know me (shocker), but I've been a fan since back in the day -- indeed, VA's IPO helped buy me my first LCD monitor. (Go, SGI 1600SW.) Anyway, Linux, open source, the web, and technology itself has certainly seen lots of change since the "olden" days of the mid-90's; which parts do you reflect on most fondly, which parts have surprised you the most, and, of course, the proverbial: "If you could do it over again, what would you do differently?" (I realize that technically, that's three questions, but I think it's really three questions in search of one answer.)

why would anyone from the site you ruined want to (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46455501)

you suck.

Holy flock. (2)

Slartibartfast (3395) | about 9 months ago | (#46455685)

WTF did Larry do to "ruin" Slashdot? I'm pretty sure Rob loved working for Larry. Or with your UID of four bajillion, do you remember stuff I seem to have forgotten?

Re:why would anyone from the site you ruined want (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46456183)

Facepalm.

... including Slashdot. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46455619)

As someone who was "involved" with Slashdot, How much influence do you currently have to make slashdot beta burn a fiery death as to never see the light of day again?

As a venture capitalist (1)

ArcadeMan (2766669) | about 9 months ago | (#46455629)

What's your opinion on crypto-currencies? Do you think SHA-256 currencies have no future because only the big guys can afford mining rigs? Do you think there's way too many Scrypt currencies?

Advertising: The Next Bubble Burst? (3, Insightful)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 9 months ago | (#46455649)

Currently, advertising pays for the web as we know it. From my perspective as a non-marketer, it is very much ineffective and yet a lot of money is changing hands over it. We live in an age where someone can make $50,000\day on a free mobile game that display ads that most people do not even tap on, and avoid directing their attention to. The web doesn't seem much different, and that strikes me as unsustainable. Do you foresee a future bubble burst based on an industry-wide, sudden realization that current advertising models do not work anywhere near as well as the powers that be currently believe the do? What would be the consequences of an advertising bubble burst and what might support the web afterwards?

Re:Advertising: The Next Bubble Burst? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46455861)

I think the advertising model shifted quite some time ago to tracking.
Sure, nobody buys anything based on the ads, but it seems companies really can make money on knowing what you do, where, and when.

Re:Advertising: The Next Bubble Burst? (1)

CohibaVancouver (864662) | about 9 months ago | (#46457113)

From my perspective as a non-marketer, it is very much ineffective

How, as a 'non-marketer' are you qualified to comment on how effective web marketing is?

Unlike many other marketing mediums, online advertising is usually very measurable in terms of rate-of-return on advertising dollars spent.

In many companies (like the one I work for) marketing dollars are very tight and are only spent in areas where we see a return. Online ads are a prime example.

Re:Advertising: The Next Bubble Burst? (1)

wjcofkc (964165) | about 9 months ago | (#46457885)

How, as a 'non-marketer' are you qualified to comment on how effective web marketing is?

Simple: I am a consumer. It is very rare I click on on ad out of interest. Typically I mis-click because the go away button is too small or ambiguous. Mostly when I click on ads, it's to support a website I like in hopes that it's set up as a simple click through. Then I close the page.

Re:Advertising: The Next Bubble Burst? (1)

david_thornley (598059) | about 9 months ago | (#46465057)

I assure you, if the typical consumer were like you or me, the media would look a whole lot different. The ads are going after people who will click on things that interest them, and perhaps buy them.

Re:Advertising: The Next Bubble Burst? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46476711)

It's not that simple. A very important part of marketing is brand presence. You might not convince people to buy your product based on an ad, but you remind them that you're there. When they need a product like yours, the higher your brand presence the higher the chance that they will choose your product. That is so, so, so, crucial.

Why can't I get relationship tables? (1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46455683)

I recently ran into a problem with SugarCRM where I need the relationship between a lead and an account (ideally through REST), but apparently I cannot get access to that information.

After speaking with a few engineering and our developer support there is currently no way for an On-demand customer to have direct access to the relationship tables.

I have attached this case to Enhancement Request

Why can't I get that data, and can I get a timeframe/priority for the enhancement request?

Thanks.

Re:Why can't I get relationship tables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46457801)

1:M Relationships aren't directly exposed through API on the module itself. If you're using the old API, check out this:
http://support.sugarcrm.com/02_Documentation/04_Sugar_Developer/Sugar_Developer_Guide_6.7/02_Application_Framework/Web_Services/05_Method_Calls/get_relationships

If you're using the new REST api (7.x+) check out the //:record/link/:link_name endpoint.

Re:Why can't I get relationship tables? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46457827)

sorry thats /module/:record/link/:link_name

Wow, man, ESR and now VA Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46455701)

Slashdot really is determined to dig up and remind us about every embarrassing moment in Linux history!

Heh... not sure I entirely agree. (1)

Slartibartfast (3395) | about 9 months ago | (#46456087)

I don't think VA was *embarrassing*, so much as, maybe, unfortunate.

And ESR being an embarrassment hasn't really been relegated to history. Fortunately, most of his involvement with OSS has.

Re: Wow, man, ESR and now VA Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46456109)

In other words, remind us about every moment?

Re: Wow, man, ESR and now VA Linux! (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46456393)

ugh, don't remind me, bro.

Revolution OS (1)

i.r.id10t (595143) | about 9 months ago | (#46455709)

You were prominently featured in the documentary Revolution OS.

Do you think it is time for a similar documentary to be made, this time avoiding or minimizing the financial aspects?

What is the appeal of becoming a business man? (4, Interesting)

CQDX (2720013) | about 9 months ago | (#46455725)

Hello Larry, Since you are an EE and started out hacking systems together, I assume you loved working with technology and the open source down at the nuts and bolts level. Now you are a suit, a very successful business man running companies that serve business (CRM!). What's the appeal of sitting in Board meetings, wheeling and dealing on the phone or in teleconferences and all that? It seems to me, if you still had a passion for tech, you would have taken your riches and either started a new company on something cool. Or just retire and use your free time to play with tech.

Re:What is the appeal of becoming a business man? (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 9 months ago | (#46458927)

I ain't as famous as Larry but I can tell you this one thing -

As a geek, I equate my time spent on sitting through a board meeting as worse than hell.

Regarding the "wheeling and dealing on the phone", I do not do that.

I still go down to the face-to-face level.

No matter if the other fella happens to be a big shot like that Larry fella or a wide-eyed young entrepreneur-in-training looking for a seed funding, a face to face session can gain me a lot of valuable info (mostly subliminal / body language) that I can't get from either teleconference (or worse, over the phone).

Why didn't you kill yourself? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46455727)

Given the total #fail, I'm honestly surprised you didn't do the right thing and kill yourself. So why didn't you? (Maybe you tried and failed at that, too?) Do you have any advice for suicidal people?

Damn. (1)

Slartibartfast (3395) | about 9 months ago | (#46455759)

He kill your dog, break your guitar, and steal your woman and truck? WTF?

Re:Damn. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46455969)

Only people who are still here are the trolls dude. You missed the boat.

Easy old timer... (1)

Dareth (47614) | about 9 months ago | (#46456983)

Easy old timer...just go back to sleep. We won't party like its 1999 until next year, promise.

Yeah... no. (1)

Slartibartfast (3395) | about 9 months ago | (#46457431)

My "party" in '99 was sitting in a room with two other engineers, eating Chinese food, playing video games, and seeing if the internal Cisco infrastructure suddenly up and died.

It didn't.

That being said, your UID is perilously close to mine; might wanna watch who you hit with the "old timer" stick. ;-)

YAOT (Yet another old timer) chimes in ... (1)

Taco Cowboy (5327) | about 9 months ago | (#46458839)

Damn !

A guy with a low 5-digit and a guy with a lower than mine 4-digit UID were having their parties back in '99 and I was working my ass off pulling cables trying to fulfill Al Gore's "Information Superhiway" prophecy.

Man, I totally missed the damn boat !!

Says who I didn't pull cables? (1)

Slartibartfast (3395) | about 9 months ago | (#46459805)

I just wasn't pulling them on 12/31/99, which is the date I think of when I think of "Party like it's 1999." 'Cause everyone *else* (except a few closet survivalists) that I knew was out having fun. I got to work until roughly 4:00 a.m. (1:00 a.m. PST, but I was east coast) to make sure that Cisco wasn't experiencing systemic Y2K issues. And... it didn't. The rest of the time, I was Joe Sysadmin, pulling cables, bitching about Windows, and trying (successfully, as it turned out) to get Cisco to accept Linux.

P.D. Se habla español?

making a living (2)

stigweard (3480781) | about 9 months ago | (#46456219)

I & my company are dedicated to open standards, open source software & open source hardware. We also need to make a living, which has been very difficult for too many years now. Where would you recommend I look for information with which I can educate myself on monetizing technology development while remaining true to my cypherpunk & libertarian philosophy? Regardless of what some (who presumably have never had to make payroll) may say, not all information wants to be free, as it will never be created if its creators know their reward for creating it will be continuing poverty. We also recognize that pure money, useful information & free energy (in the statistical mechanics sense) are equivalent, so it ought to be possible to convert some of the useful information we generate into money...

1 wOrD (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46456353)

prOn!

tied to proprietary for-windows player

riches man stinkin filthy riches

Or if you can find hoes that give it away like you do then maybe you can keep your little hobby going

Re:making a living (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46456691)

bro...are you for real?! lmao, you sound like a fatass neckbeard in your momma's basement.

Appreciation for the VA Research IPO (2)

dibos (129766) | about 9 months ago | (#46456699)

Larry, I just want to express my appreciation for the way you handled the IPO. I've never made much money from doing software. Your gift of VA shares to many open source developers paid off my student loans, got me out of debt, and there was enough left over to buy a bunch of O'Reilly books. Very classy. Hope you've done well in all your endeavors over the past years since then.

A dream without a Business Case (1)

martiniturbide (1203660) | about 9 months ago | (#46456947)

What is your recommendation if you have a dream that can not produce a decent business case for venture capitalist to join?

What if you project is something crazy that may not be consider usefull at first?

Any recommendations?

Re:A dream without a Business Case (1)

SteveFoerster (136027) | about 9 months ago | (#46457263)

That doesn't seem to be considered a huge drawback in some Silicon Valley circles....

Re:A dream without a Business Case (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 9 months ago | (#46457987)

...not everybody is located in Silicon Valley, in some other places is hard to get money to support for crazy ideas. :)

Just wanted to say thanks for SourceForge, Larry (1)

Paul Fernhout (109597) | about 9 months ago | (#46459187)

I've been a member since 2000-01-06 17:58:21: http://sourceforge.net/u/paulf... [sourceforge.net]

Even if I'm mostly using GitHub for new stuff... It was a real encouragement and inspiration back then. It is like when someone turns on a light bulb in the middle of the night in a kitchen desperate for a drink of water and the light bulb is so bright you can't even look at it but lets you find the sink, and then when the (open source) sun comes up in the morning, you almost forget the lightbulb is still on compared to the sun. Thanks for turning on that lightbulb when we needed it most.

And SourceForge is still a great site for putting up demos of FOSS code that need to run CGI.
http://sourceforge.net/apps/tr... [sourceforge.net]

I guess if I had a question it would be, what do you think about Rick Webb's (another venture capitalist) article suggesting we're in the nascent stages of transforming to a post-scarcity economy (expanding the gift, planned, and subsistence aspects instead of purely emphasizing exchange)?
http://entertainment.slashdot.... [slashdot.org]

Business model (1)

dac6000 (3574497) | about 9 months ago | (#46465159)

Hi Mr Augustin, What is your reaction to your users defecting from your proprietary version now that there's an open source version that does the same as SugarCRM Pro. Did you factor that into the business model of SugarCRM?

Open source (1)

dac6000 (3574497) | about 9 months ago | (#46465187)

Hi Mr Augustin. Can you tell me the reasons why SugarCRM has walked away from open source software?

Support for SugarCRM 6.5 (1)

dac6000 (3574497) | about 9 months ago | (#46465207)

Hi Mr Augustin. Can you tell me why the SugarCRM CE 6.5.x is slowly crippling with the introduction rather than fix bugs ( iCal integration broken on 6.5.16 for instance)?
Check for New Comments
Slashdot Login

Need an Account?

Forgot your password?