Thursday, December 27, 2007

Sun Microsystems Update

It has been a few days...

Ever been busy? Speaking of blogs that I read, Jonathan Schwartz is one. He is CEO of Sun. Well, it has been a few weeks since I took time to see what he was sharing. This post about the differences in customers is good. Very good. Maybe even profound.

They had two rooms full of customers. CTOs in one room. CIOs in another. He are a couple of observations from the CEO that are huge for Sun:
  • Not a single company in the CTO room paid for software. Many knew Sun exclusively from our work in the open source or academic arena - validating free communities as a vehicle to meet new opportunities, before they join the Fortune 100.

  • In contrast, not a single company in the CIO room allowed free software without a commercial support contract. Not one. Validating the notion that for more mature/diverse companies, the cost of downtime dwarfs the cost of a support contract.

What do you know about your customers? I would wager that regardless how much you know, there is a lot more that you do not know. Maybe even the 80/20 rule.

The best way to generate throughput in at least 80% of the businesses that I come in contact with, is to help them solve their customers' problems. "Find a need and fill it" is so much easier when you partner with your customer to address their real challenges.

As Schwartz correctly points out, "Which is both the challenge and the opportunity."

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