Liquid Media's Apps

MySQL Acquisition

I wrote the following comment on this Tim Bray article. I think it stands alone nicely, so I'm reposting it in its entirety below:

I think Sun's acquisition of MySQL makes sense. They're buying developer mindshare, and it's working really well. I think they may have overpaid (possibly 13x revenue), but I think it will work out for them. An anecdote which explains why I feel as I do:

Sun was a platinum (??) sponsor at the recent RailsConf Europe in Berlin. Generally you don't expect much from the platinum sponsors. They paid a lot of money for the privilege of addressing the full crowd for 15 minutes. Most of the paid-for keynotes fade into obscurity in my memory, but Sun's Craig McClanahan was different. He approached the crowd humbly and with respect. He gave a tech talk that made sense, was interesting and relevant. He plugged Sun, of course, but in the most inoffensive way possible. Pure class.

Platinum sponsors also got a room where they could host their own sessions. It was a small room, tucked away in a corner. I never went to any of the other platinum sponsors, but I made a major point of going to the Sun presentation. It was packed. Every bit of floor space was taken up. People were in awe. Everyone walked away happily because they'd been to a really worthwhile session.

In a single conference, my opinion on Sun changed to this: they are my friend. They support me as a developer. They spend money investing in the tools that I need. Why? Because they want to move more server equipment. I was so convinced by them that I would happily recommend Sun equipment, and if I were going to purchase, I would purchase Sun.

I think the MySQL acquisition fits the same goals. Sun is saying to the developer community (and MySQL is a BIG one): "We support you. We want you to be successful and we want to be successful with you." Sun is gathering the credibility in tech to actually mean what they say. They've open-sourced their crown jewels (Java, Solaris, UltraSparc) and they're hoping that we'll trust, recommend and buy them.

Sun has had several profitable quarters in a row now after many bleak years. Their strategy is working. MySQL will add to it in a big way.

Tagged mcclanahan, mysql, rails, railsconf europe, and sun.
blog comments powered by Disqus