Following are my real-time notes of a discussion between Kevin Werbach and Jonathan Schwartz, which opened the Supernova conference.
Jonathan says everybody is looking to connect to their communities of interest. Sun has to make choices about which markets/communities to target. So there will be two types of IT: those that view it as a cost center, and those looking for communities of interest. Plenty of growth out there for R&D, rather than just aiming to lower IT costs.
Kevin asks what J thinks of Web 2.0? What resonates for J is that the Internet is not only read-only now... it's moving toward participative - the read/write web. All client devices will become functionally identical - apps and services will be identical across devices. So innovation will be built on top of that. Kevin asks if this means you have to be open. J says really engaging the marketplace is important, to create a broader market.
Kevin asks about CEOs blogging. J says CEO jobs is to communicate and blogs one method of doing that - but also cellphones, newsletter in a newspaper etc. J says there are two main audiences for Sun - CIOs and developers. While CIOs are making less and less decisions each day, the developer community (which hangs out on digg, blogs, etc) is easier to reach via blogging.
Kevin asks what companies Sun most concerned about. J says "we have such incredible demand in front of us", so his focus on how to communicate that.
Qst re market research. What's the role of industry analysts going forward. J says it depends on their quality. The info is definitely out there - e.g. 3 guys who live in the Ukraine and have written about it for a few years. J says Sun wants to ensure they're not being arbitrary in making decisions.
Talks about OS innovation and how many OS' each person carries around (says that Dan Farber has 4). Network innovation going forward - incl R&D - will be key.
K asks what would J do if he was starting a company right now? J says barriers to entry in high tech are incredibly high. Barriers to consumer network services though is low. If he was a startup, he'd be figuring out what consumer internet services have the best opportunities.
What's core investment area for Sun? J says custom hardware/infrastructure is out. Sun will rebuild itself out of its components. On consumer side, they'll focus on services that interact with the network - executable. Not just on desktops though - on phones, cameras, etc. Network-connected devices are key.
Pic: Dan Farber