Sun’s Strategy In Action

Yesterday I attended the CSIA DEMOgala in Denver and I had the opportunity to see our strategy around open-source and building community in action.   I was talking with the development team at BrightKite – they have a pretty interesting take on social networking – a Twitter-like service that is focused on your physical location, helping you meet new people “in the real world”.

At one point one of the developers looked at my name tag and said “Hey, you’re with Sun?!  We’re using your Startup Essentials and Try and Buy programs!”   We had a great conversation about how Sun is helping them get up and going and how we can continue to help them grow in the future.  Being a group of young entrepreneurs, they are long on talent and ideas but short on cash, so Sun’s programs make it possible for them to do things they couldn’t otherwise do without VC cash.  It was really fun and rewarding to see our strategy in action.  The developers were really excited about it and about Sun – so cool to see it working!  

I also had the chance to talk to Hal Stern, one of the keynote presenters – Hal told me about a $2M per quarter (read recurring revenue) deal that we just closed – he said it took us 2 years to bring the deal to fruition and that it all started with a try and buy.  Awesome!  At the end of the conversation he told me “get out there and SELL!”  🙂   He’s right, we all have a part to play in helping Sun grow.

Downloads lead to registrations.  Registrations lead to sales calls.  Calls lead to sales.  Sales lead to long term customers.  The funnel narrows from millions to thousands to hundreds but at each point we have an opportunity to make a lasting impression, to build a relationship, and to help someone realize their own dreams using Sun’s technology.  Maybe 1 in 1,000,000 becomes a huge account – that’s not a bad thing, that’s a GOOD thing!  Without capturing that customer way back when they were starting out, we’d have missed out on the next Google, Facebook, or SalesForce.com.

I, like many at Sun, understand that strategy and believe it can work, but seeing it in action – seeing the eyes of a developer light up when talks about Sun – makes it real.  There’s nothing like a personal connection to turn theory into reality.  

Volume Drives Value!

 

In the mean time, I’m gonna go play with BriteKite and see if I can become an early drop in the rainstorm they hope will come!   Good luck you guys!

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~ by brianherman on October 4, 2008.

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