Friday, January 26, 1996 by Dave Winer.
Aretha's on the box. Think! That's what she's saying.
Freedom. Ohhhh freedom. Uhhh huh!
Think about it. You think about it! Yeah.
She's humming. She wails. It's good.
It gets me in the mood.
The best reamer in the business is Bill Gates. Sit down with Bill as he plays Twenty Questions. When he's done you feel clean. You know you've disclosed everything. And the man heard you. Glad to get that off my chest! Yeah.
I was in a meeting last week at a major software company, not Microsoft. Executives sitting around a table. Demo. Lots of questions. Inquiring minds. I was getting reamed. I liked it. Everything I know about this software is being discovered. Loopholes discovered. Some of the truth comes out.
Midway into the meeting, the sysop of the company's website enters the room. You can spot a web person easily. I experience it as a connection to truth. An honest smile. The truth shining in their eyes. Great Hair. We share the fun we're having. It's a great big undefined world we're playing in. It's a fun life! You get to meet such coooool people. Thanks!
I've been lucky to be present at the birth of four platforms: Apple II, IBM PC, Macintosh and now Java. What makes a platform happen? It's web energy! Yes. Thanks again!
Today we experience the rush of a new platform in the form of web energy. We've tapped into that energy flow before, but we've never before had the communications tools to talk about it. The Internet boom is being covered like no other new platform ever has. We can learn about the process, and share what we've learned.
Like all new platforms, Java was born from the efforts of a very small group of people working in relative obscurity. Their isolation challenged them. They had something to prove, to the corporation, to the world, and to themselves. I imagine this happens a lot inside large corporations, and often either the people aren't good enough, the time isn't right, or the corporation interferes with the process. In normal times big corporations are not good places to take over the world from. Only when the planets line up perfectly does something as magical as a new platform happen. Everything has to be right.
Once the platform takes root, creative people have to leave. It's always that way. The corporate energy flows in and organizes things. You need lots of good people to support developers, develop related technology, port the software, to manage huge developer's conferences, to keep it all working.
When the system works, creative people spin off from the mother ship. The focus shifts. That's how the platform gets some of its best timed and positioned application products. That's how niches get served. It's the yin and yang of the process. Platform happens, new companies form. The platform vendor digs in. The intrapreneurs become entrepreneurs. If everything's coool, everyone gets what they need.
It's a win-win, but sometimes it takes a big heart to see it that way.
Java is happening, lifting the value of Sun's stock. Huge volumes of positive geek energy (web energy!) flow thru the small office on Hamilton Avenue in Palo Alto. The phone rings off the hook. It grows. The original spark of energy inside Sun that created Java is consumed by the load. Managers are hired. Meetings! Life changes.
They want to make great software. It's time to move on. So they move on.
The news is out. Suck got the scoop.
Check out http://www.suck.com/dynasuck/96/01/26/. Great lead! Great art. Irreverent as usual. The young web energy at suck wins again! I admire the suck guys. They must hate that!
The news: Kim Polese, Arthur van Hoff and Sami Shaio, are leaving Sun, and Jonathan Payne is leaving StarWave, to form what I believe will be one of the hottest startups that Silicon Valley has ever seen.
Polese, firstname.lastname@example.org, is the CEO of the new unnamed company. They're still at Sun, cleaning up and passing off.
It's a great time to be Sun. The biological process of platform formation is happening. Opportunities for growth everywhere.
As with yesterday's piece I have a message for the top people at Sun.
Be generous, be positive. These are hugely creative people who are totally committed to the success of Java. They're going to move fast.
Help them and we all win.
PS: 7/22/96: the new company has a website. http://www.marimba.com/.