It is not even the beginning of the end. But it is, perhaps, the end of the beginning.
Oh, I love this kind of phrases, I have to include it in a speech soon (I always loved Groucho, or it was a politician who said that? In any case, a very clever man in a difficult situation).
So, first round is over, it seems that IBM quited their offer, so, now what?
First things first: the board met, and we decided not to comment on rumors, and to stand and support our CEO. Well, you know what it means when a basket of football team publicly expresses support for the coach of the team: they are asking all other coaches to send their resumes in... In this case is my resume the only one they are reviewing, of course.
Some people think that the best option for Sun is to be sold, and that this is just a game to force IBM to offer a higher offer, or an IBM move to offer a cheaper one, and that in any case Jonathan should plea the Original Borg to come back to negotiate again (a sample of suggested Jonathan's pose is in the picture: this was taken from one of his ceremonies in the Scientology church, when he pleads his God saying "you approved the IBM deal, God, why have you abandoned me? Is this a test of my faith?").
Those that say so, that we should take the money and run away, are many so-called "analysts", people that may have a MBA or something similar, and that only think about money, and usually in the wrong way. Even more, they only think as if they owned a stack of shares of Sun, and just think of minimizing damages, not knowing the real status of the company, if it is viable or not, and don't think at all about the people that have worked so hard to build Sun. Those analysts think of people as numbers, so they believe that selling Sun by $10 a share is great business as it was valued at 4.50 before this story begun (at this very moment it is 6.25, so we have even earned some value in the meantime). They don't realize, or don't want to realize, that selling Sun by $10 a share would only report a few profits to a few investors, that most investors are going to loose more than halve what they invested, and more than this, Sun would disappear forever (once bought, a company like Sun cannot live in IBM, this is stupid: is like saying that little fishes live a longer life once inside the shark that ate them), and what is worse: no less than 10,000 workers would be fired. Do you think this is a boost for the global economy? I don't think so, I'll tell my new friend Obama what against open-source this is.
In summary, if Schwartz thinks that he cannot turn Sun to profitability, and that the solution is selling the company, and he is not even able to do a decent sale (for God's sake, not IBM, you could have searched for a company with synergies!!!), we must let him go, by saying him "may the Schwartz be with you". We are in the middle of a RIF process, so saving the $11 million you used to earn will save many valuable engineers we need to gain profitability again.
While I love Spaceballs, I like most "The McNealy Strikes Back" or "Return of The Jedi-McNealy". I'll only be paid one dollar per year, and my real pay will come in the way of stock-options only if I manage to turn the company to profitability.
Second thing to do: Removing that ugly "Tech Company For Sale. Nice Prices. Ask the Board" banner placed at the entrance of our Menlo Park facilities. We must state crystal clear that Sun is not for sale, or our customers will have serious concerns about where are they spending their money on. We must give them confidence on what we do, on what we sell. We can do it, just stop playing in the boards meetings, and keep focused in profitability.
Third thing to do: Just go out and sell Sun stuff to our beloved customers. We have a lot of cash we should spend just in advertising. We are running right now a deep restructuring process to simplify the company, save money, rationalize resources and be more effective reaching our customers. Just keep focused on that.
We have the right products at the right moment, only that customers do not know it.
As soon as we give a couple of quarters of constant growth and revenues, you'll see all those analysts that today say we have to accept any offer to sell Sun, saying that they had foreseen the recovery of the most innovative company of the Valley. That happened back in the 90's when they all said we should embrace Window$ NT, and a few months later they said that they had foreseen the growth of Solaris as the key for the success of Sun.
Fourth thing to do: Read my blog. In the related entry of my blog I already suggested a few measures that have been implemented in this latest reorganization of the company. There are a few others pending (like stopping the layoffs), but I know they are the key to turn the company and to save the Sun we all love.
Hmmm, feels so good to be back on business!!
Say NO to IBM.
Say NO to Schwartz.