A while back I talked about my experience at Java One and mentioned Thomas Kurian’s all business Keynote. It was intermixed with technical depth on topics such as Contextual Dependency Injection in the latest release of Java EE and the 3D graphics now available in JavaFX.
Yes, it was a good Keynote. However, it made me think back to the greatest Keynotes I have ever seen at any technical conference. I have seen roughly forty KeyNotes at technical conferences. With out question, the top five were all delivered by Scott McNealy. So what so great about them?
When Scott gets on stage and starts talking, you get the impression that he would do his job for free. It appears he is thinking “I can’t believe I get paid to do this”. He is having fun, and so is everybody in the audience. Arriving in a leather jacket, sneakers and a smile that never stops, joke after joke intermixed with excellent insights about the IT industry. He came to work today to have fun. Or his own words “to kick butt and have fun”. You can count on everything that comes out of his mouth falling into one of three categories:
1) Very funny. “Microsoft Monopoly: Where every Bill has a Bill on it”.
2) Very insightful. “The Network is the Computer” Perhaps a phrase that is out of date in the early 90′s it was exactly where the industry needed to head and was heading.
3) Something many are thinking and nobody wants to say. “Greenspan is worrying about the economy growing to fast? And that is bad why?” OK, I had a better example but I just don’t have his gumption to repeat it.
The trade rags would be full of his quotes for weeks after he spoke. I don’t think PG West will be any exception. In the later years of Sun’s existence, his tone mellowed a bit (just a bit). However, now that he has been unburdened by being an officer at a company that was hurting and was for sale, I expect him to return to his old form and then some.
Scott was always somebody who believed that if you innovate properly everything else will take care of itself. For decades this formula worked and he built one great company where many of the world’s top engineers loved to work.
This is a very exciting time for PostgreSQL. I don’t think there is any doubt, given what has happened in the market recently, it will become the most widely used open source database. It is a pleasure to work with and it’s momentum is building. Again, it feels like the early days of Java where potential abounded. Having Scott speak at one of PostgreSQL’s most prominent events simply cements my opinion on the trajectory PostgreSQL is on.
For those of you who would like learn a little more about Scott, one of the greatest Silicon Valley entrepreneurs of all time, I recommend the book “High Noon: The Inside Story of Scott McNealy and the rise of Sun Microsystems”, http://tinyurl.com/327zb5b. Many fun stories about bold business moves.
Kudos to Karen Padir for bringing PostgreSQL and Scott together. Should be a great conference!Scott McNealy speaking at PG West