So, being a Java guy I’m fairly religious to Sun as a company.Â I invested in their stock a while back (for good or bad) and thus I always kind of keep an eye on the company.Â Recently I came across a series of video blogs by Jonathan Schwartz, the CEO of Sun.Â The one I want to share with you is his second video blog.Â The blog talks about the Sun view of the technological market place, and how giving brands away for free (like Java and MySQL and others) drives adoption, which in turn can drive revenue. Now, I’m no corporate financial officer, just a code monkey, but I found the blog well thought out and I thought I would share it with you.
My own company is currently working on a new project with the goal of productizing it.Â We’re still in the early development of this product and haven’t had the discussion about how to sell it to consumers yet.Â However, as I go about building the User Interface for this site I cannot help but keep thinking to myself (even prior to reading Jonathan’s blog) that the value of the site can only be realized by driving users to the site (or as Schwartz put it: building adoption).Â In order to achieve this, the site would need to be largely free to the masses and make its revenue either through some ancillary stream or by charging only for some specific “higher role” usage.Â As I designed the front end and go about coding it, I keep telling myself that the site is meant to be used by millions of people freely and must scale accordingly.
Like I said, I’m not the business guy, just a code monkey, but I really can see this notion of giving something away and finding revenue beyond just usage.Â I like to think of it as the Field of Dreams model… In the movie Ray, the main character, is told to “Build it and they will come” which is much like the philosophy Schwartz is espousing.Â The existence of the Field of Dreams brings the people, and there is surely revenue to be made after the fact: selling popcorn or something; the method is not as important as getting the people, driving adoption.Â If you have the people, selling them something they want beyond what you are offering should be easy.
Anyway, if you’d like to read/watch the video blog I am talking about, you can find it here: http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/date/20090306
If you’d like to read/watch the entire video blog series (there are four of them), you canÂ find it here: http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/date/20090302
If you’d like to follow Jonathan Schwartz’s blog, you can find it here: http://blogs.sun.com/jonathan/