Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Databases Programming Software Sun Microsystems IT

MySQL Co-Founder Monty Widenius Quits Sun 140

Posted by timothy
from the good-luck-with-the-next-thing-monty dept.
BobB-nw writes "Michael 'Monty' Widenius, the original developer of the open-source MySQL database, has left Sun Microsystems and is starting his own company, Monty Program Ab, he said in a blog post Thursday. Widenius and Sun had a slightly rocky relationship since the vendor bought MySQL last year for $1 billion. In a much-discussed November blog post, he trashed Sun's decision to give MySQL 5.1 a 'generally available' designation, saying it was riddled with serious bugs. Meanwhile, Monty Program Ab will be 'a true open-source company,' with only a small number of employees who 'strive to have fun together and share the profit we create.' The company will work on the Maria project, a storage engine Widenius and others developed, he wrote.'"
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

MySQL Co-Founder Monty Widenius Quits Sun

Comments Filter:
  • What about Drizzle? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Wee (17189) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @05:18PM (#26744029)
    I'm curious as to why he didn't hitch up with the Drizzle guys. It sounds like he's intending to do exactly what Drizzle is doing. Surely he could have leveraged their efforts and they almost certainly would benefit from having Monty and his team around...

    -B
  • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @05:26PM (#26744173)

    Monty Program Ab will be 'a true open-source company,' with only a small number of employees who 'strive to have fun together and share the profit we create.'

    Startup: Check
    1 out of 10 companies last the first year.

    No dependable revenue stream: Check
    You don't make money making Open Source Software, you make money supporting it / consulting services, packaging and distribution. Making software is expensive. Being a 'a true open-source company,' leads to little teeth to get a good competitive advantage.

    Focus on Employee Happiness not productiveness: Check
    Yea a productive employee is a Happy Employee, But a Happy Employee doesn't make them productive. Unfortunatly with work there are always the stinker jobs thar are not fun. You can't expect work to always be fun and to have fun at work.

    Profit Sharing: Check
    If you work harder then everyone else you should deserve more. But how to you fairly determine who is worth what. Bob program may make a lot of money. But bill spends his time helping out Bob in his product.

    Small Size: Check
    A Small company against the big guys. It will take a while to gain trust. If you start out big(ish) then you can actually get some automatic cred.

    Starting in a bad economy: Check
    Where is funding going to start how will you get a loan. If he does get one the banks are stupider then I thought.

  • by Cutting_Crew (708624) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @05:27PM (#26744179)
    Seems to me as CO-founder he would have had to approve such a move and even if he did perhaps to make some stipulations on future development instead of constantly being in that 'rocky road' development.
  • Re:Thank you, Monty. (Score:4, Interesting)

    by tcopeland (32225) <tom.thomasleecopeland@com> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @05:32PM (#26744257) Homepage

    > Yeah, I use Postgresql a lot these days, but I also still use MySQL.

    I'm a big fan of PostgreSQL; I recently upgraded RubyForge to PostgreSQL 8.3 [blogs.com] and have been quite happy with the performance.

    That said, I kind of feel like MySQL still has an edge on PostgreSQL in terms of replication - I know Slony is out there, but my perception of it is that it doesn't handle schema changes easily, and MySQL replication via binary log shipping is pretty straightforward. I hear the PostgreSQL guys are working on something for out of the box replication though, so we'll see....

  • A Honorable Step (Score:0, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05, 2009 @05:34PM (#26744305)

    Independently how 'Monty Program' will get along, or perform, this is a honorable step (and may even be beneficial for MySQL - Sun is not in the best shape today). Big Corporations tend to eat your soul, no matter how hard you try to avoid this.

    Congratulations, Monty.

  • Re:A Monty Utopia? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @06:18PM (#26744999)

    This is all good until real money starts pouring in and someone wants/needs more money or claims they are more deserving than another or something along those lines. Then the "fun" arrangement becomes less fun and more bitter.

    And then Monty sells the company and IP to some big firm that likes the big money that's pouring in, and after a suitable transition period quits and goes on starts some other venture with like-minded folks for fun.

    And I doubt Monty is going to be hurting for money, himself, if he keeps succesfully doing that. Where the fun ends is if too much time and money are poured into a venture but money never starts pouring in.

  • by larien (5608) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @06:47PM (#26745353) Homepage Journal
    This is something I wondered at the time. Sun paid a lot of money (~$1B) for a free database, even after they'd been bundling Postgres on Solaris 10 (you now get both Postgres & MySQL on the latest release of Solaris 10, FWIW).

    Having chatted to some people at work, the concensus seems to be that it was primarily to piss off Oracle; "look, we can do databases too, we don't need you". So, Oracle have gotten into bed with HP & linux, just to spite Sun after having largely given Sun "favoured OS" status for a number of years.

    All seems to be one big corporate soap opera/bitchfest...

  • Startups (Score:5, Interesting)

    by sjbe (173966) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @07:31PM (#26745877)

    I've started a number of companies and you're saying a bunch of stuff that isn't really accurate.

    You don't make money making Open Source Software, you make money supporting it / consulting services, packaging and distribution. Making software is expensive.

    Actually making software can be pretty cheap, relatively speaking. Engineering costs for any pure software company are 10%-25% of total costs. Most of the cost is actually in sales, marketing, and administration. Don't take my word for it - look up the income statement of any publicly traded software company from Microsoft on down.

    Being a 'a true open-source company,' leads to little teeth to get a good competitive advantage.

    That doesn't necessarily have to be true at all. If you are the developer of a given piece of software and if companies will pay for services relating to that software, the primary developer is in the best position to provide those services since no one knows the software better. Furthermore it is impossible to undercut open source software on price so deep pockets don't help the big guy like they might if the company depended on revenue via a traditional software business model. Once the software is installed companies find it expensive to switch platforms which can mean recurring revenue and barriers to entry. That's certainly the basis for competitive advantage though not any assurance of such advantage.

    If you work harder then everyone else you should deserve more.

    Deserve? Maybe, but maybe not. The party that takes the most financial risk is who deserves and will get the most reward or take the biggest losses. Hard work is a factor but not even close to the biggest one. You don't make the biggest bucks unless you have the most skin in the game.

    A Small company against the big guys. It will take a while to gain trust. If you start out big(ish) then you can actually get some automatic cred.

    A guy with a track record of starting successful organizations (like MySQL) often gets to skip this step. The hardest company to start is usually the first one because no investor knows who the hell you are and they certainly don't trust you. Plus pretty much no one starts off big. Only guys with a track record are able to raise the large dollar amounts necessary to start "big".

    Where is funding going to start how will you get a loan. If he does get one the banks are stupider then I thought.

    Very, very few startups get funding from a bank. Banks want tangible assets as collateral for the money they loan and startups rarely have such assets. Usually funding comes from friends, family, angels [wikipedia.org], private equity, venture capital, government small business loans and various other sources. Banks, not so much.

  • Hypocrite? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nurb432 (527695) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @07:45PM (#26746027) Homepage Journal

    Isn't this the guy who moved MySQL towards a commercial end before SUN stepped in and bought them?

    Sounds to me like its all good and well, unless its someone else that is getting most of the cash.

    If he wasn't the driving force behind it, then forget what i just said.

  • by DavonZ (13344) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @07:52PM (#26746101) Homepage

    I have to admit that I am glad to see him leave Sun. I am developing an Open Source POS system and originally I was using MySQL as the database. I sent an email to MySQL about distribution questions and was then contacted by different sales people trying to talk me out of Open Sourcing my project. "Do you really want you competitors to have your POS code"... "How are you going make money off of Open Source". I felt bullied.

    Understand that MySQL is only GPL (Free) if everything touching it is also GPL (or internal use only). If we distribute it with MySQL and make it commercial, we need to pay yearly for MySQL ($$$). That is understood when dealing with GPL software. Just don't try and talk me out of GPL'ing my code to line your pockets. Business models like this hurt the Open Source community and don't promote Open Source software!

  • Re:Thank you, Monty. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by palegray.net (1195047) <philip...paradis@@@palegray...net> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @08:08PM (#26746289) Homepage Journal
    I like the replication features for some tasks, and a lot of common "off the shelf" open source apps are intended for use with MySQL as the backend. Yeah, in a lot of cases you *could* use something else, but I'm already got a few MySQL servers running in virtual machines. It's really just a matter of convenience.

    For anything that's going to be really compute-intensive, I don't usually use "any of the above," as I prefer to use a relational database only as a data warehouse, with large chunks of data being loaded into processing programs as big hash tables. In many cases, I'm able to process information many orders of magnitude faster by keeping it all in local memory under the umbrella of the program that's doing the calculations. These are special use cases, however, and don't apply to general database tasks.
  • by Antony T Curtis (89990) on Friday February 06, 2009 @02:12AM (#26748735) Homepage Journal

    I have to admit that I am glad to see him leave Sun. I am developing an Open Source POS system and originally I was using MySQL as the database. I sent an email to MySQL about distribution questions and was then contacted by different sales people trying to talk me out of Open Sourcing my project. "Do you really want you competitors to have your POS code"... "How are you going make money off of Open Source". I felt bullied.

    Understand that MySQL is only GPL (Free) if everything touching it is also GPL (or internal use only). If we distribute it with MySQL and make it commercial, we need to pay yearly for MySQL ($$$). That is understood when dealing with GPL software. Just don't try and talk me out of GPL'ing my code to line your pockets. Business models like this hurt the Open Source community and don't promote Open Source software!

    You should be chatting to the MySQL developers and the community... A lot of them are quite passionate about open source.

    Most inquiries tend to go direct to the sales staff who (understandably) are tying to maximize the revenue. Remember that MySQL AB was a profitable company, despite having to pay the salary of >150 full time developers.

  • by Antony T Curtis (89990) on Friday February 06, 2009 @02:20AM (#26748775) Homepage Journal

    This is something I wondered at the time. Sun paid a lot of money (~$1B) for a free database, even after they'd been bundling Postgres on Solaris 10 (you now get both Postgres & MySQL on the latest release of Solaris 10, FWIW).

    Having chatted to some people at work, the concensus seems to be that it was primarily to piss off Oracle; "look, we can do databases too, we don't need you". So, Oracle have gotten into bed with HP & linux, just to spite Sun after having largely given Sun "favoured OS" status for a number of years.

    All seems to be one big corporate soap opera/bitchfest...

    Sun didn't pay $1bn for just some free software. If that was all they wanted, they could have simply downloaded it for free.

    Sun purchased the MySQL (r) registered trademark and full rights to the source (including the ability to relicense as desired).

    Don't forget, also the couple hundred staff who they don't need to pay any headhunters to find.

    And, of course, the most important asset they purchased was "goodwill"... Which is hard to build but quite invaluable.

  • by OneSmartFellow (716217) on Friday February 06, 2009 @04:53AM (#26749433)
    Sure, but $1 Billion is one hell of a lot of goodwill. Besides, they'll only keep the staff as long as they treat them right (and the economy is in the shitter). That's doesn't mean just money. These are superior quality developers who need to be working on innovative, challenging projects. I suppose they got some infrastructure guys, and perhaps even a Marketing guy or two, I don't know what MySQL had in terms of labour, but the majority of it would have been very technical.

"Never give in. Never give in. Never. Never. Never." -- Winston Churchill

Working...