I'm worth 2,5M USD! ...or not?
So I worked with MySQL for a full 2 days, basically one day on an airplane and another day in the new employee introduction we had in the Orlando meeting. Then I wake up the next morning, Mårten Mickos stands up on the podium with a shaky voice and tells the audience that Sun has bought MySQL. Then there is that 5 seconds of quiet when people realise that it was not a joke, it's for real. Or like me, it was 5 seconds when I realised that, hey, MySQL, that's us.
Many people commented that they had never seen Mårten that nervous. But it all turned out well, Jonathan Schwartz (CEO of Sun) made a satellite link appearance which went well. The loose informal pony-tail approach of him seemed to resonate well with the MySQL audience. Many seem to still digest the fact they will now be working for a large company, but many also feel that if it had to be, at least Sun is clearly the best option. Jonathan also announced that internally at Sun they will be putting Oracle on a ditching plan and roll over to MySQL: "We are a startup growth company, we can't afford the Oracle licenses :-)" (And there was much rejoicing and applause.)
It all ended well with a schnaps and a Swedish drinking song (see Kaj's blog in the above link).
A friend of mine congratulated and did the math: dividing 1 billion dollars by 400 employees means I'm now worth 2,5 million USD to Sun! Unfortunately it is not so, Jonathan Schwartz said he would pay 1 billion just to get MÃ¥rten, so I guess the rest of us are not worth that much?
Kaj Arnö also taught us what Free Software really means: Later in the day the IRC channels noted that Sun's stock rose 10% after the announcement, so basically owners of Sun got MySQL for free!
I subscribe to the idea that if it had to be done, clearly Sun is by far the best option. I knew from before Sun has a policy to be able to work from home, they've done great in truly becoming an Open Source company, not to mention becoming also profitable. Apart from the culture, working in the telecom team, everybody thinks we'll get a great boost out of Sun, they are quite strong in that market.
I admire Mårtens dedication to always thinking about what's best for the employees, is this something that will be good, will it fit with what we believe in. (Mårten got applause for this.) I think this attitude is what makes him a great CEO.
When I came to MySQL I was in awe of being able to work with so many great people, and I mean great on a global scale. Some of the best database guys in the world are my collagues (and hey, the managers are good too). Heck, even my closest collagues Massimo and Prem are such great guys.
But once the Sun announcement was done, in came the team of Sun people they had sent to be with us for these 2 days. So later yesterday I was assembling a bike with Ian Murdock (the Ian in Debian) and I took the opportunity to shake hands with James Gosling, creator of Java. I mean, this is the guy whose book we read in university.
My role probably won't change that much, MySQL will continue to be a product inside Sun and I will work on that. But we'll see.
Update: And I forgot an obvious one, I'm hoping that as part of Sun MySQL will be able to move away from the tiptoeing with Open Source vs making money that has been happening in recent years. I'm thinking similar to how Novell Open Sourced yast after buying Suse, I'm optimistic that when we become Sun the various stuff that's now being reserved for MySQL Enterprise only, might be released Open Source just with anything else.