Poor Lei-lani, Pretty HULA Dancer
By laurar on Nov 29, 2006
When Patrick forwarded the news that the Hula Project is in jeopardy, I felt sad, and alittle outraged. It only took a couple of weeks since the now famous Auction for Novell's soul for them to halt development on what could have been a competitive alternative to M$ exchange. There are shoes falling all over the place.
And Hey, I'm entitled to a little outrage here. As a former Novell employee, I still have the vivid memories of the packed Javits center for NetWorld (before the disasterous merger with Interop...) and the fond memories of Ray Noorda's "Really Red" Rallies that he would hold once a month. This was in the (er...) mid '80s (I was a child marketing prodigy) long before webcasts, or global telecons with hundreds of lines...
Ray would start in Provo--he'd hold a rally at 8:30 AM there, jump on the company jet (not his personal jet, but a shuttle he bought to run between sites in Provo, Austin and San Jose daily) and do one in Austin at 12:00, and then end in San Jose at 4:00. It must have been a long day, but he did it all the time.
And at nearly every rally, he'd remind the employees that Microsoft was \*The Competition\*. That we cooperated with other industry leaders (like 3com and Banyan and IBM) but he did not take calls from Microsoft.
Things change. (I'm still a child marketing prodigy...) But if your company has solid leadership and integrity, your company's founding principles should not change. Like take this one...near and dear to our hearts:
The Network is the Computer
It's a tagline. But really, it's a founding principle. And even under the greatest pressure of focus groups, brand recognition studies, hip consultants and the technology Fad of the year (read: The dot in dot com) Sun's leadership has stuck. We're on terra firma. Done. It ain't changing. Move on. The Network is the Computer.
So, where is Novell's founding principle? Where's their rudder?
Or better yet...a paddle?