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Summary:

Sun Microsystems’ co-founder sounds off on clueless CIOs and manages to get in a few digs in at CA and (gasp) Apple. But not Oracle or Sparc.

scottmcnealy feature
photo: Yuichi.Sakuraba

How’d I miss this? Earlier this summer, Sun Microsystems co-founder Scott McNealy trotted out an old chestnut — a top ten list — on how you can tell your CIO is clueless about the modern web.

A quick sampler from his talk at ForgeRock Open Identity Stack Summit: Your CIO is web-dopey if he thinks Big Data is a rapper; that COBOL programming is prerequisite for all new hires; and considers Computer Associates an open-source software company.

There is also a major Apple diss. But no Sparc jokes. Check it out.

  1. I cherish fond memories of working for SMCC in its late-90s heyday. Peddling Sun’s big, powerful, pricey (profitable!) multiprocessing machines. That functioned without fail. Thank you, Scott & Co. But sharp as he was — and a visionary to boot — Scott never really struck me as being terribly *funny* in those days. Not in the original sense, that is. (Top ten again? Forsooth!) Others would disagree with this sacrilegious assessment of Scott’s sense of humor, of course. Anyhow, it’s far too easy (my envious motives reveal themselves …) for a past beneficiary of Scott’s drive and acumen to play the petty critic. Therefore, I withdraw my unworthy remark concerning his market sector-spanning funniness. Even so, more than a decade later, I simply can’t forget Scott’s one-time penchant for the “creative rendering” on SPARCstation screens nationwide of words in the common lexicon. (As evidenced by his frequent emails addressed to “all hands” at Sun.) Bottom line? The company chief executive was a flat-out careless speller. You read it here first, folks. :)

    Thanks for the fun piece, Barb!
    John Fox

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    1. i agree that he thought he was funnier than he was, still…. but the one line i remember fromway too long ago — i think at Gartner ITExpo was a cack about how free software was one thing, but you’ll never be able to download a Sparcstation. Ironically, that’s just what cloud computing has enabled! He was right about many things, just notthat.

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  2. Scott got off some pretty good jabs and gave a great overall presentation. This particular session was pretty funny in person.

    That is my big head in the front row. ;-)

    I particularly enjoyed his retrospective when he stepped down as CEO. When asked what he would do differently he said he should have hired a COO, rather than a CEO. This is a direct comparison of the value that Safra Catz brings to Larry Ellision and Oracle as opposed to what Jonathan Schwartz brought to Sun.

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    1. @ibmdude i didn’t see that part — was it on youtube too?

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      1. Not sure if it is on YouTube or not, but I believe that ForgeRock has all of the videos from the Summit online. I will look for it and post.

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        1. i’ll keep my eye peeled.

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