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On the Record: Scott McNealy

michael posted more than 10 years ago | from the don't-want-to-go-on-the-cart dept.

Sun Microsystems 335

Sequoia writes "There's a worthwhile interview with Sun CEO Scott McNealy at sfgate. I've always had a hard time seeing how Sun has any long-term staying power. I'm still skeptical, but I was able read why Scott thinks he can be successful, 'execution.' He sounds like a hitman! Like any good hitman, Scott seems uncomfortable with his feelings, or at least he doesn't want to talk about them. 'First of all, I don't get paid to feel.' Sure you do, dude. The best decisions come from the integration of feeling and thought. If feelings don't matter, you can by replaced by a computer. He does a beautiful job putting Dell in his place. 'Michael Dell is the greatest spare parts distributor out there. He'll get you a piston ring or a carburetor or a crank shaft at a really low cost.' But, uhhh, isn't that execution? Scott's international perspective is a breath of fresh air. 'Yes. So global companies grow globally. Shouldn't India be a little upset that we have most of their software programmers here?' Heh."

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335 comments

What the hell... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958411)

What's the deal with this article summary? Some random person comments on his comments? Only slightly better than an editor doing it.

Parent is not a troll (3, Insightful)

Spunk (83964) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958474)

Seriously, this is a horrible trainwreck of a "story".

Re:What the hell... (1, Interesting)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958518)

What's the deal with this article summary? Some random person comments on his comments? Only slightly better than an editor doing it.

Nobody said Slashdot had quality editorials : /. is a bunch of random dudes selecting articles from thousands such articles submitted by thousands of other random anonymous dudes. What do you expect? If you want impartial news, listen to Fox.

This said, I agree: this particular article is exceedingly painful to read.

Re:What the hell... (2, Funny)

Doomdark (136619) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958600)

If you want impartial news, listen to Fox.

Man, that IS funny. :-)

Re:What the hell... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958650)

Go suck the dick of mainstream CNN.

Yuppie scum.

PLEASE METAMOD!! MOD WAS A FAG. (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958583)

  • mod liken men

sun (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958414)

do we like or hate sun this week?

Re:sun (0, Offtopic)

michaeltoe (651785) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958475)

Sun sucks because their stupid java utilities keep crashing my computer. They call it bytecode but I can think of some better names for it!

Re:sun (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958564)

Silly question. It's Sun Day today. So we hate them obviously. Why should they get their own day?

Re:sun (4, Funny)

kennyj449 (151268) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958584)

The sun is outside; it's all bright and stuff. Geeks stay indoors for a reason. So yah, I'd say we hate sun this week.

FP! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958415)

yeah

YOU FAIL IT! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958495)

YOU FAIL! LiNuX roX0rs Hizz0W

Sun is as evil as Microsoft (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958416)

Since they require you to pay for their OS, Solaris, it's not free as in beer. And since they don't give you the source, it's not free as in freedom either. I say we boycott Sun.

Re:Sun is as evil as Microsoft (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958455)

At least they aren't a monopoly, and do support open source to some extent (wheras Microsoft actively tries to disparage and destroy it)

So, no, they aren't as bad as MS. Far from it.

klk (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958420)

fp!
wheeee.....

First post. (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958421)

SUN FUCKED UP GNOME! Use KDE INSTEAD! 1T#S N0T KASTRAT3D!

SP (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958422)

2nd post! w00t! all your base baby

Uh (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958430)

"Shouldn't India be a little upset that we have most of their software programmers here?'"

OH, you meant US losing OUR jobs when they get shipped over THERE?

Re:Uh (1, Flamebait)

kevin lyda (4803) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958515)

aw, poor baby. maybe you should sign up for the army and invade india. that's the current us policy for solving problems, yes?

Re:Uh (1)

The AtomicPunk (450829) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958635)

Please, no suggestions, I'm already not looking forward to paying for the perpetual occupation of iraq for the rest of my life.

(and Japan, Europe, and 100+ other countries we have troops in for no goddamn reason)

Re:Uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958749)

and Japan, Europe, and 100+ other countries we have troops in for no goddamn reason

What's it like to live in ignorance?

Here's some truth for you: the fact that you are unaware of it does not mean it doesn't exist.

Re:Uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958636)

911 was just a "problem"?

Re:Uh (1)

kevin lyda (4803) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958700)

look muppet, iraq didn't have anything to do with 911. get a fucking clue. when bush wins the next election - and he will - then maybe blair will catch up with the rest of europe and realise that gwb is not the only dangerous american.

Re:Uh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958737)

It really depends how you define "anything." Much of Osama Bin Laden's anger with the United States was, in fact, a result of the first Gulf War. They didn't like the fact we ended up with bases in Saudi Arabia and Kuwait.

Re:Uh (1)

Roberto (1777) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958701)

Your comment only makes sense ift the US only has invaded countries recently because of 9/11.

Since the US has invaded Iraq, that would mean that you believe Iraq was somehow behind or supported 9/11.

If you believe that, you should be able to show why you believe such a strange thing.

Also, you would be calling the US administration liars, since that was not the stated reason for the invasion. Or if it was, it was one of many.

Re:Uh (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958594)

I think he meant to say, "Shouldn't India be upset that we have most of their convenience store operators and taxi drivers over here?"

Bah (-1, Troll)

Eric Destiny (255168) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958445)

This isn't even a story. It's a typical Slashdot post that made its way to the front page.

Re:Bah (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958453)

No shit, how did this get posted. Nothing past the first sentence belongs on the front page. But Michael posted it, so I guess anything goes.

Sun's staying power (2, Funny)

The AtomicPunk (450829) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958452)

While I personally have my doubts, I still run into plenty of people out there that NEED to hear that you run on Sun, Solaris, Oracle, EMC, etc. in order to take you seriously.

With that in mind, I've been eyeing their newest dual Xeons. Best of both worlds. :)

Wesley Clark '04 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958461)

This guy is a West Point grad and a Rhodes Scholar in economics, politics and philosophy. He is also a Vietnam Vet, 4-star general and former NATO commander. He is also not a Repuglican, war-mongering nut.

It would be stupid not to get him in.

http://www.draftclark2004.com/biography.asp

Re:Wesley Clark '04 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958514)

All of these could also probably be said for Scott McNealy, but would you want him as President?

Now if Bill Joy was running, that'd be a different matter.

Re:Wesley Clark '04 (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958581)

Hello? He has a masters in economics from Oxford. Who else do you need to fix the economy - an oil man from Texas?

Re:Wesley Clark '04 (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958675)

He's also a war criminal for killing over 10,000 civilians in Kosovo and Serbia.

Guy's a FUCKING SCUM! I, as a registered democrat, will not vote for that scumbag!

scott mcnealy (4, Insightful)

corz (409850) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958466)

What a strange guy... Every time he is interviewed he immediately goes into some super-defensive mode. They weren't attacking him, but he is quick to interrupt and apparently likes the "high school debate team" type situation:
"
A: To what kind?

Q: Industry standards.

A: What does industry standard mean? Define industry standard.
"
No wonder the other three founders are all gone.

Re:scott mcnealy (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958574)

Personally, I thought that particular question was vague and insulting. So I would also like to know, what the hell is an industry standard. Especially concerning enterprise solutions, where Sun, IBM, and HP are the biggest players. I would hardly call x86 an industry standard in that field. He should have asked that question to someone other than McNealy.

Sure, he was a bit defensive in the interview, but then again, which CEO wouldn't be? Did you expect him to say "Sorry, I realize we're fucked in the post-bubble economy"?

$5.7 billion in reserves is a good buffe, for them to change their strategy and get out of the funk.

Re:scott mcnealy (1)

sacrilicious (316896) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958696)

I thought the following exchange was pure gold:
Q: You talked about the beauty of the Darwinian marketplace and right now the market is beating you up. So we're trying to figure out the disconnect between how great you're saying your company is and the negative view of the market. (Editor's note: Like many technology companies, Sun's stock has been hammered in the past three years. Its shares closed down a penny at $3.92 on Friday, compared with a high of $63.47 in August 2000).

A: Nine years ago, I got married and the stock was a buck and my wife was very happy. It's at 4 bucks. She's happy. (So it) depends on when you get in.

Q: What about the people who bought (Sun stock) in 2000?

A: At 10 times revenues? Do the math. Do the math at 10 times revenues. There is no way to justify anything. Two times revenues implies 15 percent compound annual growth rate forever. Jack Welch did that for 20 years and went down in the hall of fame as the greatest CEO ever. So what does 10 times require? Do the math. We can compare to where stocks were at the peak of the bubble but we have generated cash. I think we've got a really solid business.

Q: Are you happy?

A: What does happy have to do with anything?

Q: Well, you said your wife was happy.

A: Am I happy with what?

Q: Your stock price?

Worst. Story. Ever. (1, Insightful)

Imperial Tacohead (216035) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958468)

Who's with me that that level of commentary is really unnecessary in posting a story like this? Couldn't the "editors" have cut that down a bit?

It's Called "Slashdot Warlording" (1)

swb (14022) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958632)

...it doesn't matter what you submit, the goal is having the longest and most provocative comment on the Slashdot main page. Extra credit is given for extended rants on continuations the story page, but at a lesser rate than for comments on the main page.

Slashdot Warlording would be an amusing thesis paper subject for someone trying to kill some sociology credits.

Re:Worst. Story. Ever. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958678)

Worst. Commentary. Ever.

"Who's with me that that level of commentary is really unnecessary in posting a story like this? Couldn't the "editors" have cut that down a bit?"

Who's the poster anyway? (5, Insightful)

Rosco P. Coltrane (209368) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958469)

'm still skeptical, but I was able read why Scott thinks he can be successful, 'execution.' He sounds like a hitman! Like any good hitman, Scott seems uncomfortable with his feelings,

Executing on a business plan is called execution. It's a standard business expression, although a tad dot-commish. No need for retarded hitmen analogies ...

Why is 'execution' a dot-com expression? (5, Insightful)

lushmore (41101) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958573)

Executing on a business plan is called execution. It's a standard business expression, although a tad dot-commish.

'Execution' is a word executives use to divert blame from themselves. If a company or team is unsuccessful, "poor execution" is the reason, even though a bad or unrealistic business plan may have been at fault.

When an executive says from the beginning that execution is the key, it means the business plan is shaky. If he actually had a good business plan, he would have said something that sounds like "we can't lose."

Re:Why is 'execution' a dot-com expression? (2, Informative)

nightgeometry (661444) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958711)

Executive... Execute...

Hmmm... they sound kind of similar don't they. Maybe there is a reason for that. May be an executive executes things.

Execute -- To put into effect
Executive -- Of, relating to, capable of, or suited for carrying out or executing

Not a hit-man, a football coach (5, Interesting)

The Monster (227884) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958470)

I care more about execution than I did in the old days. In the old days, vision was really important. Today, you've got to have execution with vision.
This is the same thing you hear from football coaches when people talk about the plays the call. Instead of admitting they called the wrong play, they want to talk about how the play was executed. Far more important to me was this:
Obviously, Microsoft is not operating on market discipline or they couldn't raise their prices with declining unit volumes in the face of post-bubble. They couldn't bundle the houseboat with the sport utility vehicle like they do with Windows and Office.

That's the only thing we need to worry about. All the rest is simple -- everybody trying to make their own case.

He's saying that Microsoft isn't evil because they write crappy software; they're evil because they aren't being punished by the market for it.

Re:Not a hit-man, a football coach (1)

rizawbone (577492) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958721)

This is the same thing you hear from football coaches when people talk about the plays the call. Instead of admitting they called the wrong play, they want to talk about how the play was executed.

That makes no sense. Coming up with a solution to a problem is only half of resolving it. If you have problems implimenting your solution then you fail the entire task. If you are hungry and you end up burning your dinner, you failed the execution. If you prepare for a job interview, but mumble and stutter through it, you fail the execution.

He's saying that Microsoft isn't evil because they write crappy software; they're evil because they aren't being punished by the market for it.

That's not what he is saying at all. It has nothing to do with the quality of the software, but with practices like bundling and competing unfairly.

Re:Not a hit-man, a football coach (3, Interesting)

bfinuc (162950) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958765)

His remarks about libertarianism don't fit his remarks about MS not being punished by the market. Obviously, in his view, the markets have failed in Microsoft's case. So how can he believe in them? It doesn't make sense.

But he is right about Dell being a distributor, not a manufacturer. I love when business mags publish stuff about what a great manufacturer Dell is. They manufacture _nothing_ except maybe Powerpoints and advertising material. Chances are, your Dell equipment was never even seen by a Dell employee.

This will eventually catch up to Dell because the company adds so little value. But that won't kill the Wintel standard. Only the death of MS can do that, and the hardware side would survive anyway. The death of Sun will kill Sun's stuff though. So comparing Dell's demise with Sun'S doesn't make a lot of sense.

Nealy is right about execution. Make a profit this quarter. Repeat. That is more important than "vision".

ANDERSON COOPER SUCKS (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958473)

He is Taco's secret New York lover.

SUCK IT TREBECK!

well, I read the whole article (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958478)

and got done and there were still no +1 comments.

He sounds a little defensive, but that's understandable. He's been beat up over the last couple of years. Everyone's saying no-one needs Sun and it's a dinosaur. "All the talented people are leaving the company".

But they have over $5 billion in the bank and their line-up is really second to none. Dell can't match their highly tailored line-up. They've got a killer community in java and tons of other stuff coming out.

Sun's still useful for some things, and they got cash to burn. They have a marketplace and they have a line-up. What more do you want?

What the hell was that? (-1, Flamebait)

Valar (167606) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958479)

Please tell me /. got cracked again, because I don't want to think this actually made it through the editorial process. I'm not trying to troll, but this write up is a rant, not any kind of summary or other form of useful information. Since when do we have an op-ed section? Give me the links, tell me what's happening, don't tell me how I ought to feel about it, ok?

Re:What the hell was that? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958619)

You're new to /., aren't you?

ON THE RECORD? MORE LIKE ON TEH SPOKE!!!111 (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958492)

who? (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958496)

Cowboy McNealy?

So, he's a hit man... (1)

inertia@yahoo.com (156602) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958499)

Why can he do something about those stock prices? Lashing out at Dell and offering "amnesty" to IBM users to switch is all well and good, but none of this fixes what's broken at Sun. Where's the plan of action, man?

More Information [66.199.135.127]

What Sun forgets (1, Insightful)

codepunk (167897) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958501)

If Dell is smart they do not have to own a web services stack. Dell just has to load Redhat and Jboss, no development cost, no r&d cost and a better solution. Sun forgets that packaged software is quickly being extincted by open source tools. Packaged software is a quickly dying business. The only hope for their survival is embrace and consult.

Dell and computers (5, Interesting)

Otter (3800) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958512)

Michael Dell is the greatest spare parts distributor out there. He'll get you a piston ring or a carburetor or a crank shaft at a really low cost.

Steve Jobs made a similar crack when someone asked him to compare Apple to other computer makers like Dell and Compaq. He said something to the effect of, "Dell and Compaq are part of the distribution chain for Intel and Microsoft, like CompUSA is. They're not computer manufacturers like Apple or Sun."

What's a product? What's a solution? (4, Interesting)

mec (14700) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958598)

This is an age old marketing issue in the computer industry. Here's my take on it.

A "solution" is, well, something that actually satisifies all the customer's needs. Also known as a "system".

A "product" is something that a customer buys with a defined feature set and just does what the seller says that it does. Also known as a "box".

In McNealy's view of Sun's market, there are two ways to set up a data center or a big web site or whatever he's calling his market these days:

(1) Buy a "solution" from Sun which comes with hardware, software, service agreements, and a damn big price tag. Single-vendor integration all the way.

(2) Buy a bunch of "products" like x86 hardware + a Linux distro + a database and then hire some people to put it all together with in-house support. For example, Google.

What McNealy does not get about open source is that it lets us work on the "products" (kernel, gcc, apache, et cetera) and still let companies sell the integrated "solutions" (like IBM and Red Hat enterprise support). Sun's competition is not Dell; it is other complete "solution providers".

This whole argument is obscured by the fact that most people's experience with computers (including mine) is with personal computers; and for personal computers, Dell, Compaq, et al, do sell complete solutions.

Re:What's a product? What's a solution? (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958773)

Well reasoned arguments, but the premises, like the terminology used, are vague and nebulous. Put another way, I don't buy your arguments.

People don't buy solutions. They're marketed solutions. Which is nicer and very modern way of saying "they're sold a sales pitch."

I've never bought anything from Dell or Compaq, but if I did, I would know that, unlike the vast majority of their customers, I would be buying a Wintel machine assembled by that company. And to the extent that Wintel machine included any proprietary components, I would know they're as authentic as my local supermarket brand of razor blades.

It's sort of like produce. You see and hear "Vons is value" and the salad on your dinner table may have been marketed to you as a "solution," but it's really just lettuce grown nearby and picked by migrant workers.

Re:Dell and computers (2)

bob670 (645306) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958739)

That's just funny stuff, since neither guy can put his company in the same financial condition as Dell and both continue losing floor space both in the data center and the workstation space to Dell. Michael Dell has to just sit back and laugh at these guys, if he's not in the same league why are they obsessed with him and his parts distributorship.

I bet Scott sees penguins in his nightmares...

this is why... (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958513)

i don't read slashdot

The Indian Brain Drain. (5, Insightful)

GillBates0 (664202) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958522)

So global companies grow globally. Shouldn't India be a little upset that we have most of their software programmers here?' Heh."

The Indian government has been concerned about the "brain drain" since 1990 or so. Atleast that's around the time they started acknowledging the fact that it was a serious problem.

The government puts in a lot of money into the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Regional Engineering Colleges. Tuition fees and on-campus living expenses are greatly subsidized for students who are admitted to these colleges based on national-level exams (like the IIT-JEE believed to be the toughest [educationtimes.com] exam at it's level in the world).

A large percentage of graduates from these colleges look for higher salaries and better jobs outside of India: in the US and Europe or Asia, and given the huge amount of resources that the government (and tax payers) pumped into their education, it naturally gets the jitters when students choose to work abroad.

The Indian government has lately taken to giving pep talks in colleges, in addition to distributing booklets explaning the effect of brain drain on the local economy.

I think brain-drain is essentially an outcome of globalization. Technology, irrespective of where it is developed benefits the world as a whole.

:wq

Re:The Indian Brain Drain. (2, Funny)

ameoba (173803) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958569)

Personally, I think a compromise is reachable; We can stop taking their best engineers if they stop taking our development jobs.

And just what are those "best engineers" gonna do? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958641)


We can stop taking their best engineers if they stop taking our development jobs.

And just what are those "best engineers" supposed to do with all that free time on their hands? Work on non-development jobs?

Re:The Indian Brain Drain. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958611)

The government puts in a lot of money into the Indian Institutes of Technology and the Regional Engineering Colleges. Tuition fees and on-campus living expenses are greatly subsidized for students who are admitted to these colleges based on national-level exams (like the IIT-JEE believed to be the toughest exam at it's level in the world).

And they still didn't win the 2003 ICFP Programming Contest [slashdot.org]... :-)

Re:The Indian Brain Drain. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958631)

Oh no! The Indians are taking our jobs!! So what if all of their education is paid for by their taxpayers, and we (i.e. US and the West) get them just as they become productive members of society, without investing a dime (or lira or a pence or whatever) in their education? They are taking our jobs, dammit!

H1-Bs unecessary. (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958637)

Cheap labor flows into the US because the rich and powerful want cheap labor. There is little to prevent capital outflows from the United States to address an disequilibrium. Regardless, American companies, since Reagan and Nixon, have subverted the American immigration laws in order to crush unions and discipline labor. Capital is essentially squeezing workers. Real purchasing power for the Average American family is down since 1973, growth rate is down, savings rate is down. The winners are the millionaires. If American companies want to outsource, that's one thing. We should tax that. But to deliberatly target American workers for special competition from guest workers is wrong.

Here's the problem. Programmer makes 80K a year. Boss thinks, "gee, I can hire a guest worker for 50K a year instead". So. Boss gets 30K more a year, guest workter gets $50K a year. And American
looses his job. Yes. World is technicly better off. But American workers are NOT better off. What's worse, the American worker paid for the road that that the foreign worker now drives to work and pays for the school that the foreign workers kids now go to. By the way, we're cutting back on Advanced Placement classes for more spending on English as a second language.

Few would say we need to cut out immigration all together; but the growth of immigration is out of control. Some people should be allowed in. But to massively expand the H1-B program just because the richest people in American want to pay less in wages in crazy. The few who do come in should have full rights as workers, including the right to change jobs easily, be on a citizship track and not be forced to pay lawyers lots of money to fill out complex paperwork.

You mention the Indian government's relationship to it's students. Yup, most are subsidized by the
government. Most Americans have student debt up to their eyeballs. It costs a lot of money to live in Silicon Valley. American workers deserve fair compenstation and not be targeted by special laws like the H1-B program.

Re:H1-Bs unecessary. (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958722)

Okay, so what happens if the United States government makes laws that you can't hire cheaper labor elsewhere? Well, the price of US goods/services goes up compared to the costs of goods/services overseas. The US goods/services can no longer compete, so no one buys them. That's hardly good for the economy.

Re:H1-Bs unecessary. (2, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958763)

I modded you insightful because I believe most of what you have to say is dead-on. But I had to log out and come back as an AC to make one point -

I disagree that the number of people coming in with decent paying jobs already guaranteed should be limited. I believe we should put no limit at all on the numbers, if they have minimum incomes that are higher than say, 80% of the population in the region of employment. That reduces downward pressure on wages and make sure that the immigrants are paying a good chunk in taxes for local services. I also want them to have mandatory citizenship -- in order to take one of these jobs they *must* be on the citizenship track and it must be short, only 2-3 years max and if they don't take citizenship, they get booted. None of this H1B stuff where after 6 years they get sent home because that is a reverse brain-drain that takes our jobs coming in and then exports the work back to the now very experienced people living offshore.

America the beautiful, "Send us your best and your brightest and we'll keep them." Because, long-term, intellectual imperialism is the only way we as a country can effectively stay top-dog. Unfortunately, immigration policies, like H1B, for the last 20-30 years have done enough to undermine our lead in brain-power that we probably won't recover. We are arguably still 1st, but the trend is definitely downward.

Re:The Indian Brain Drain. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958692)

No one from India is "taking" your jobs. If you're unemployed because you were replaced by someone from India willing to work for less then maybe you need to evaluate your true worth and how competitive your skill set really is.

Then again, you could always go take the jobs in India that these guys passed up if you can't compete...

nice and fuzzy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958694)

> Technology, irrespective of where it is >developed benefits the world as a whole.

How nice and fuzzy that sounds.
Sure its decimates critical industries in poorer countries especially smaller ones but Hey! its for the good of humanity.

You should write copy for McDonalds, Nike or the WTO.

Im sick of this whats good for the richer country is good for the whole planet bullshit.

spend a day with Nike PR flacks and youd think their mother theresa.

zeke

Brain Drain is indeed the result of globalisation (4, Interesting)

abhikhurana (325468) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958735)

The result of this growing disparity between the haves and have nots. I mean everyone acknowledges that brain drain happens because the conditions in some other country are much better than conditions in one's home country, which used to be the case in India up until 90s, but now I think the process has slowed. I know that there are a lot of slashdotters who oppose Indians taking their jobs, but the point is that this is the only area where Indians were able to compete with US, in the face of such a huge disparity. Did you know that US pays a 3 Billion dollars subsidy to its cotton farmers every year. And do you know the number of cotton farmers in US? 25000. Which means a subsidy of 120,000 USD per farmer per year, enough to hire two software engineers. These farmers then compete with farmers of countries like India in the international market whose per capita income is 500 USD per year . That is the irony of the situation that these poaching practices killed almost all the industries of the developing countries, and now the only capital they are left with is their people. (India used to be the biggest producer of cotton once upon a time btw). So now we are seeing them fighting back with the only resource they have. How come slashdotters can make societies to ban H1Bs but can't make societies to ask their sentors to cut down the subsidies being given to already rich farmers and maybe invest this money to make education cheaper or start some other development activity? That is the tragedy of US, that every economist says these policies are bad, every senator knows that as well, but majority of the people are not aware because it doesn't affect them directly. All I am saying is don't fight what you see in front. Spare some thought for the causes behind the problem as well.

I CAN'T BELIEVE YOU PEOPLE! (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958523)

It's only about 2 years and one weeks since the September 11 terrorist attacks and you are posting stories about....

shit.. I can't tell what this one is about.

A great Sunday read (3, Interesting)

Tweakmeister (638831) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958528)

I thought it was a great article. You can read inbetween the lines a bit and see the humor in many of his comments.

He's a CEO, not a governor in-the-running. I think his answers were suprisingly candid...and made for a good over read.

Dell's Spare Parts (2, Insightful)

Xargle (165143) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958529)

Has he looked at his own product range recently? Dell and Sun use the same manufacturer for the v65x etc. Dell with a different bezel, same "spare parts".

Terrible interview! (1)

MisterP (156738) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958537)

WTF is this?

Q: Are you happy?

A: What does happy have to do with anything?

Q: Well, you said your wife was happy.

A: Am I happy with what?

Q: Your stock price?

A: I don't worry about it. I'm a long-term shareholder. I'm letting it all ride. A long time ago I stopped doing this to make myself super rich. I am in this to provide a great return for the long-term shareholders, to provide a great alternative to what I think is an incredibly important problem to solve.

It's like they sent in some intern(s) with a bunch of canned questions to do the interview and didn't tell the poor bastard that McNeally is a dick.

Sun won't die. (5, Insightful)

JusTyler (707210) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958538)

I don't believe Sun will die. Claiming they will would be like claiming "IBM is going to die" in 1990. It might have seemed like an intelligent thing to say, but too many background issues ensured it didn't happen.

In fact, Sun and IBM might become a whole lot more similar in the years to come.

Currently they're both companies that have a lot of proprietary mid/high-end server and mainframe equipment out in the field with specialized engineers ready to maintain them. They both have a very large internal focus on research and information management (Sun has its own 'SunLibrary', Google for more information), and both are renowned for developing new technologies which are then "stolen" or "borrowed" by other companies.

Sun and IBM also do a lot of research and provide a lot to disciplines that run alongside their product line. For example, Sun did a lot of work with usability (that's where Jakob Nielsen came from), whereas IBM has done a lot of work on information retrieval and search engines (Google for 'ibm web fountain' [google.com]).

Even if Sun's main market dries up, replaced by Apple XServes and Linux clusters, this will be no more devastating to them as IBM losing out in the x86 market in the late 80's and early 90's.

Sun has a lot of brainpower, a lot of money, and partnerships (Oracle is the latest) to ensure that they'll continue for many years as a research and technology company, if not as a "consumer facing" company.

Re:Sun won't die. (1, Insightful)

pirhana (577758) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958736)

>Claiming they will would be like claiming "IBM is going to die" in 1990.
Good point. But have you ever thought why IBM didnt die ? as one IBM Vice president(sorry cant point a link now) had put it "they had almost run out of business". But then they realised the problems and made revolutionary changes in their business strategy and revamped the company. Foremost being the adoption of linux and opensource. In other words, they could read the writings on the wall. On the contray, SUN couldnt not do that. They didnt realise the strength of open source movement and its flagship product, Linux. In fact , sun became success when they emraced first generation of "open source" movement , i.e TCP/IP, internet and other open standards(where IBM had failed) . But they failed miserably to do the follow up and embrace the second generation of open source movement, which is Linux and Free softwares. And IBM on the other hand jumped in and joined the band wagon. Untill and unless SUN makes radical changes again in their business strategy, they are going to be the next DEC. Everyone will have greate words about them but still dead.

What Linus said sometime ago (2, Informative)

rxed (634882) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958540)

Linus said some time ago that: "Quite frankly, Sun is doomed. And it has nothing to do with their engineering practices or their coding style." (URL: http://groups.yahoo.com/group/transhumantech/messa ge/9453)

I did take that with grain of salt till I read this interview. I wouldn't want this guy to wash my car, let alone be CEO of Sun.

EDA Transition from Sun to Linux (4, Informative)

dprice (74762) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958552)

Where I work, we just sold several Sun servers at a fraction of what we bought them for, and we used some of that money to buy a dual Xeon box for running Linux. We run Electonic Design Automation (EDA) applications, and we find that they run faster on Linux, and transitioning our design environments to Linux has been fairly painless. The system uptimes are comparable, and the total cost of ownership is lower with Linux. The faster runtime on Linux also lets us get more out of the EDA software licenses that we purchase. About 4 years ago, Microsoft tried to push its way into the EDA market, but that flopped because most of the existing applications ran on UNIX-type OSes, so the transition was too difficult. Now EDA vendors are flocking to Linux at the expense of Sun.

Re:EDA Transition from Sun to Linux (2, Interesting)

dprice (74762) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958596)

And I forgot to mention... when EDA vendors come to visit to show you their latest software, they bring a laptop running Linux, and they give you a demo right then and there. In the past, they could just show you some slides, and then they would have to convince you to load a trial copy of their software on your Sun server. One often doesn't have the time and resources to bother installing every new version of software from every vendor that visits. The flexibility of the Linux solution is unmatched by Sun.

Re:EDA Transition from Sun to Linux (2, Interesting)

Tekmage (17375) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958643)

Personally, now that the tools are on Linux I much prefer conducting workshops on a handful of Linux laptops over giving passive demos "at" customers. It's more hands-on and realistic. There's also no side-stepping new bugs; it helps exercise all the capabilities in context. :-)

Expect to see more of that "buy a car, not it's parts" metaphor that Scott used...

Huh? (1)

osgeek (239988) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958559)

If feelings don't matter, you can by replaced by a computer.

How is this in any real way true?

More articles, less whimsical opinionated fluff.

Sun sun sun... (1)

YllabianBitPipe (647462) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958565)

Seems like Sun is quite similar to Apple. I believe they almost merged at one time. Having used Solaris it sure would be sweet if Sun slapped OSX on their machines ... ah I guess that's just a fantasy. Seems like the ego of Mr. McNealy wouldn't allow it ...

Wrong. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958621)

"I believe they almost merged at one time."

Wrong.

Worst article summary ever. (4, Funny)

Doktor Memory (237313) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958570)

I so needed some 19-year-old, unemployed slashdotter telling me that good business decisions come from the heart.

Oh wait, no, I didn't.

Hey Michael... (4, Interesting)

anarkhos (209172) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958589)

I could have done without the editorial.

I'm surprised you didn't mention other thoughts in your head, like whether or not you like twinkies.

Re:Hey Michael... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 10 years ago | (#6958724)

Well at least he did not put 10 symlinks in the text. It was fairly easy to find the link that lead to the story.

Business Execution (1)

Tekmage (17375) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958593)

If you're interested in what "Execution" means in a business sense, a couple of interesting books to read are Good to Great: Why Some Companies Make the Leap... and Others Don't [amazon.com] and Execution: The Discipline of Getting Things Done [amazon.com].

The former is an interesting outside-looking-in study of what happened to turn an ok company into a really successful company with sustained growth.

The latter is inside-looking-back on what it takes to lead a company that can get things done.

Replaced by computer (2, Insightful)

antizeus (47491) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958629)

The best decisions come from the integration of feeling and thought. If feelings don't matter, you can by replaced by a computer.
While I agree to some extent on the value of emotion in decision making, I think the poster is neglecting the value of intuition. Many people do. As far as I know, computers lack this facility.

Leave the stinking rant out of the article (5, Insightful)

jensend (71114) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958677)

We really didn't need Sequoia's "editorial" cluttering up the news here. People should not be able to have their biased opinions posted as part of the story and thus circumvent the whole comment system and get prominent placement of their views without moderation.

Re:Leave the stinking rant out of the article (1)

Azghoul (25786) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958731)

Yeah, no doubt. "Oh, Feeeeeelings. Nothing more than feeeeeeeelings!" Gimme a break.

Re:Leave the stinking rant out of the article (1)

Hal-9001 (43188) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958745)

Agreed...I found all the editorializing within the story text to be quite distracting. Hopefully a more objective duplicate story will be posted soon... :-p

Can we mod down the topic? (1)

mikedaisey (413058) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958687)


The initial poster's comments are rather childish--while this is a good article to discuss, did we really need to hear Sequoia's inane opinions glommed on to the topic?

Sequoia... (1)

sofo (18554) | more than 10 years ago | (#6958690)

Do you have any idea how long Sun has already been around? Your comments come off like the final script for a great film that was hacked apart, glued together and then jammed into theatres.
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