Wednesday, October 04, 2006

Sun Microsystems CEC--Globalizing Knowledge in Practice

Control does not equal success. Oracle and HP are struggling with this problem. HP lost their way recently because they wanted more control. So I am here at CEC one of the best engineering conferences on the planet. Why? Because it is all about Sharing. Sun brings its most talented customer engineering staff together to share, learn, share, teach, build relationships and did I say Share. This is done with one purpose in mind to convert implicit knowledge to tacit knowledge for the benfit of our customers. Sharing makes Sun Smarter.

We are waiting for Jonathon at the moment to give us the end of conference speech to all of us and they are giving awards for the best conference video. What a great company to be surronded by such talented people. You got to check out the videos which I will send you a link to in an edited version of this conference later tonight. Sun gets that knowlede is power not only by the tag line of the conference which is "Share" remember it comes before success in the dictionary. Anyone who has read Tanaka's works on knowledge management gets the process of moving tacit knowledge into implicit knowleddge (that is moving knowledge inside someone's head into knowledge that everyone can use for the benefit of customers, the world, your nation or more importantly your family and your community).

Technology is good at making us faster, safer and better at killing each other, but rarely about fun (Michael Hawley, explaining the MIT media lab, 1986). Sun helps make technology FUN. The one-minute Participation Age (pervasive computing, enabled by large scale networks, with plenty of storage). "Social software has to be more software than social." Jimmy Wales, Wikimedia Foundation at the Sun WWERC. At the end of the day social computing, web 2.0, mobile phones, etc. are all about Software. Would you recommend that your son or daughter get into the software industry? is all about Software.

What Sun does best?
What are the challenges today? Privacy, Security, Trust, Scale and standards. In a participation age where everyone is moving from different viral video, content sites, to different devices they need to be able to trust that these sites take security and privacy seriously. This is what we do best at Sun. Compare Solaris to Linux in security (Solaris has Trusted Extensions, the Cryptographic Framework, etc.) Sun has the number one identity product (,

Why is FUBU important? is important because it is a great example of a company that incorporates it's brand in everything that they do. This is the reason why you will see Jonathon and all of us at Sun blogging and SHARING as we believe in the power of knowledge and innovation.

One of the early forms of knowledge transference in early societies was storytelling. Great storytellers in societies were reverred for their ability to transfer information. Sun needs to get better at storytelling. This is a powerful way for us to SHARE Sun's story about Solaris, Security, Storage, lot's of great things start with S. If you want a great way of doing this in a team check out the following blog

Other examples of knowledge creation in the 21st Century of knoweledge creation and innovation is the mashup camp. Yahoo gots lots of local press on this last weekend when they did this to emphasize their new Web 2.0 products.

Sun's Vision
Jonathon is on stage now and he is giving us insight and reminders about Sun's vision. Hmmmm we may have heard this before but there is no better truism.

The network is the computer. Everyone and everything participates on the network. Check out how many blogs, photos, etc. that provide content to the network. Now you can buy devices to track kids in Disneyland. Scott said that is not "big brother" but "dad". BP has drill bits that have sensors that allow them to be steered more efficiently. Tankers have sensors, FedEX has RFID. Network clients are proliferating which is good for Sun. Volume drives value for Sun. The more people who have clients that access the network means more Solaris implementations, more servers, more storage. How are you going to make money when IT is becoming a commodity? Didn't BP make more profit then Sun made revenue. They sell a commodity. Commodity companies make money by differentiating and innovation. Sun knows how to innovate because we will never stop spending on R&D.

Traditional approaches at companies create silos. Sun's strategy is to use the knoweldge in the company, whether it lives in Storage, Software, Server's, to benefit the customer. One good example of this is that our servers will run Linux, Windows, and btw Solaris. Sun must be multi-platform this allows our customers to get access to all of the value at Sun. We have no value for our customers if we do not work with competitors. Btw...this aligns with Share. Jonathon was very clear......We will run Solaris on Dell.

Solaris is Sun's # 1 Competitive Asset. We won WSJ's Technology Innovation award in Software for D-Trace a feature in Solaris. Solaris is also one of the security rich operating systems on the market by default. You don't need to purchase add on packages to get access to containers, ZFS, the cryptographic framework. And btw in case you missed it runs on Dell.

Homework is Boring!

I was recently perusing the Sun blog site and found a link to a fellow parent that was wondering if Homework is boring so I sent him a comment on his article.

Homework especially the kind given to most kindergarden and first grade students is worthless busy work which reinforces two things: one, that school is tedious and boring; two, very seldomly the lessons learned during the day. The publishers have a very vested interest in pushing this message because they sell more books. You can even see this in the number of testing publishers, and that are promoting earlier and earlier testing. Some of this is driven by the US falling test scores internationally and that some nations, UK start agressive education at age 4. My son would have been attending full day school at age 4-5 in UK and expected to read a whole year earlier than in the US. The system there as well still targets the best and brightest and syphons them off into narrow one subject centered education programs by age 16. There university participation rates still fall well behind the US in that they only send 16% to University when only a decade ago it was 8%. The numbers increase is mainly driven by the older members of their society realizing what they missed going back to school at a poly technic or to get that degree they missed

Having said all that……I am not sure you have your daughter boycott the homework. Just welcome her to the machine and find ways to stimulate the creative thinking necessary to be successful in the participation age.

Good luck……
The Eduwonk