Friday, May 1, 2009

The top 10 reasons due to which Sun failed

Sun Microsystems - once upon a time a $200 billion company and the owners of Java was bought out by Oracle for $7.4 billion a few days back.

Dan Baigent, was a senior director at Sun microsystems when the company got acquired. He started out to write the top ten reasons why Sun failed. Unfortunately he could write only 3. The company cracked down on it and took the posts off. However, the good (?) google is here to help us.
It has stored a cache of those pages.

The top 10 reasons why Sun failed to leverage its market potential. (Only #10, 9 and 8 are there, Dan never got to write more than that.)

The #10 Reason that Sun is Setting: We failed to understand the x86 Market - "We approached the market in the only way we knew how - as an extension of our high-end, low-volume, high-value approach to network computing. And not just in terms of product features and capabilities, but in terms of sales, partnerships, channel programs and supply chain management."

The #9 Reason that Sun is Setting: Messing with the Java Brand - "numerous attempts by well-meaning marketing folks at Sun to try exploit the value of the Java brand itself and how that ultimately reduced the very value they tried to exploit. To some degree, this is as much about the lack of value in the Sun brand (at least outside our loyal customer base) as it is about Java" ".... and the changing of our stock symbol to JAVA . (It) was a sad attempt to make Sun's stock more recognizable on Wall Street, as if that's what we created the Java brand for."

The #8 Reason that Sun is Setting: Fumbling Jini - "The real problem was that the engineers had built this technology using the latest Java platform...When launched, Jini could not run in anything smaller than a device with 64MB of memory and a Pentium-class processor.... Meanwhile, Marketing and PR were off describing uses of the technology that were all about small devices (cameras, printers, cell phones, etc.) that were completely unable to run RMI, nonetheless the Jini on which it was built. Jini should have been first-and-foremost about distributed computing. ... worse still, we left the door so wide open on distributed computing that Microsoft and others were able to walk through it."

Probably Sun does not believe in learning from mistakes or worse, thinks that letting the mistakes out in the open could mean lower respect for the brand image. The only way that is possible is when while knowing your mistakes, you still go on commiting them.

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