Thursday, August 17, 2006

A Tale of Three CEOs

ack in May, I wrote a post that summarized a CRN Magazine comparison of the usability of the Digipede Network and Sun Grid (you may recall, CRN found that the "difference in ease of use in Sun Grid vs. Digipede was enormous."). I jokingly titled that post "John vs. Jonathan? Digipede outshines Sun," setting up a fictional rivalry between the two blogging CEOs (Digipede's John Powers and Sun's Jonathan Schwarz).

Apparently I'm not the only person who wants to compare John to a Sun CEO.

This week Grid Today published a story about the Digipede Network's one-year-anniversary. From the column that was published alongside the article, Grid Today's Derrick Harris must have had a great time interviewing our outspoken leader.

Titled "Digipede's Powers: The Next McNealy?", the column details what an experience it is to sit in a room with John for an hour and talk about his favorite subject--distributed computing. John is smart, he's opinionated, and he's talkative: combine those three, let him have the floor, and you're in for a ride. He'll give anyone an earful. Derrick recognized that trait and noted the similarities with Sun's old CEO, Scott McNealy (with whom I once sat at a wedding, by the way).

Is the comparison apt? I think so.

You can say a lot of things about Scott McNealy, but he took Sun on an amazing ride. And as Derrick (and a lot of other journalists) knows--he was always good for a soundbite. That's definitely a trait that Scott and John have in common. Why do they both exhibit this trait? Is it just a huge ego? No. It's because they both believe so strongly in what they do.

And that's what I like about working with John (which I've done, by the way, across three different companies for the last 16 years): he's a visionary. He has an incredible amount of conviction. And yes, Derrick, he's not afraid to speak his mind.

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