Friday, August 25, 2006

Sun is Setting

Jonathan Schwartz, Sun's recently-named CEO suceeding Scott McNealy, purchased a life-sized art rendering of Hewlett and Packard, founders of HP. Schwartz, who somehow believes Sun is actually a competitor of HP (laughable...even with HP's stumbles with Carly), purchased the artwork for $6,000 to declare "...a rebirth of fun at Sun"

Sun has plumeted so far from valuable or useful, I can't believe I'm even giving this non-event writing time. But I must...

First off, this "owning" Hewlett and Packard and taking photos with them is not funny. It is lame. It is uncreative. It is unproductive. It's certainly not funny. What would be funny is if H&P were somehow resurrected, came back and beat the life out of Sun's senior management team using an old HP 9810A. Now that's funny!

If I were a Sun stockholder, I might like to carry out a bit of my own bashing. A 52-week high of $5.20/share with a whopping P/E of -19 (yes, that's a negative sign). How funny is that Sun? Maybe that $6,000 would have been better spent improving your image...or gosh, maybe, oh, innovating. There's an idea. I'll bet your employees with options find $5/share funny...but not in a good way.

Let me offer a bit of advice: stop expending energy placating your competitors and start focusing on leveraging the talent and brilliance of your engineers. You wasted away a fortune tangling with Microsoft. Learn from your mistakes. Let HP do it's thing. You're not even a threat to them. Focus on innovation. Come out from underneath the comfort blanket of your outrageous annual maintenance contracts. Show us you have meaning and can actually provide value to the technology and business communities. If IBM did it, Sun can do it. Create a new Sun rising.

Update
This got /.'ed Sunday. A cursory review of comments seems to side heavily with my position. I particularly liked this comment from "Rotten168":
Wouldn't it be funny if Steve Jobs painted a Groucho Marx face on Pascal and Von Neumann's cardboard cutout likenesses? Oh wait, no it wouldn't. Sun just shows how utterly childish they are with this stunt.
My thoughts exactly.

Update
Rich Karlgaard writes a related post on Sun.


2 comments:

Anonymous said...

You are a humorless little man. I thought what they did was hilarious, and showed a company with a renewed confidence to take on a big competitor.

Jeff Hunsaker said...

Nice ad homeniem argument. You take the same approach as Sun: instead of self-improvement, assail your competition.

I write disparagingly of Sun but I would be pleased if they succeeded. What causes my distain is their constant sqandering of talent and capabilities.

Jeff...