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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.'"
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MySQL Co-Founder Monty Widenius Quits Sun

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  • Thank you, Monty. (Score:5, Insightful)

    by palegray.net (1195047) <philip.paradis@p ... t ['ay.' in gap]> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:00PM (#26743717) Homepage Journal
    I've been a fan of MySQL for several years, using it alongside other database platforms for a huge variety of tasks. I appreciate the hard work that has gone into MySQL, regardless of the never-ending flamewars on this-platform-or-that-is-superior. Yeah, I use Postgresql a lot these days, but I also still use MySQL.

    I wish him all the best with his new venture, and look forward to seeing what sort of stuff he comes up with next.
  • Sounds like a plan (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:00PM (#26743721)

    The same has happened to the Blogger founders after they were bought by Google. If you're a startup guy working for a 20,000 employee company is not going to cut it. And to make things worse you won't have control over the product you created anymore.

    I'm surprised it took him so long to quit.

    --
    Can you say, piece of shit [mailto]?

  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:06PM (#26743807)

    This may sound dumb, but who is Tom Dillon and why is he hated on?

  • A Monty Utopia? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by erroneus (253617) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:16PM (#26743995) Homepage

    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.'

    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. Other things that can spoil the fun are if someone decides to wear only black turtlenecks or attempts to make himself into a god of some sort.

  • by jd (1658) <imipak@nOSPam.yahoo.com> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:18PM (#26744035) Homepage Journal

    Most open source databases have a niche for which they are unquestionably "the best". I believe MySQL's niche has changed over the years, but there is no question in my mind that it is superior to any other database at those specific tasks.

    Likewise, Postgres, Ingres, Firebird, SQLite, QDBM, etc, are all good at their own thing. I really can't imagine anyone running a website from Ingres, but then I can't imagine anyone running a high-end scientific database through MySQL, trying to do relational work through QDBM, or running a single table database on Postgres.

    Different horses for different courses. (NB: The expression does NOT originate in France.)

  • by milamber3 (173273) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:36PM (#26744325)

    Yeah, if I had to pick anyone to fail it would be the guy who cofounded MySQl and sold it for a billion dollars. You nailed it, I'm sure nothing his startup does will be successful or be worth money.

  • by PylonHead (61401) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:41PM (#26744415) Homepage Journal

    Maybe it was the one billion dollars they offered?

  • by Frosty Piss (770223) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:42PM (#26744451)

    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.'

    Until his product becomes HUGE and he sells his company to Sun again...

  • by jellomizer (103300) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:49PM (#26744547)

    He filled a Gap in the market at the time. It is like getting stuck by lightning, Chances of filling that gap again is slim. MySQL success was that it wasn't a Full Open Source company. It had a closed Source branch too, which actually made the money (a business model).
    Secondly it was made in a good economy, Dot Com boom period, where there was a need to get a good but affordable Rational Database system, Most of the guys at the time were very expensive, and not suited for lightweight databases needed for the web.
    Third Linux, Apache, PHP success in the web market, putting MySQl in the middle of it.

    Past success doesn't guarantee future success. And if you did make a lot of money you may get a big head and not focus clearly. Like most companies 2 parts luck to 1 part strategy.

  • by tjstork (137384) <todd...bandrowsky@@@gmail...com> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @04:59PM (#26744687) Homepage Journal

    I'm sorry, as I really like MySQL, but, Monty's just taking his billion dollars and trashing Sun as a cover. The bugs that he talks about, that he complains about, all have dates back to 2001... so, he could have fixed that stuff before Sun even bought him out. The bottom line is, Monty's pointing the finger at Sun when the reality is, he's probably doesn't want to work for anyone other than himself, and is just looking for an excuse to cash out. If he would just say that, I think everyone would get it, but, when you can look at the defects he's blogged about and see how old these bugs are, one has to ask, come on dude, why didn't you fix it, like, years ago?

  • by PietjeJantje (917584) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @05:14PM (#26744957)

    If you're a startup guy working for a 20,000 employee company is not going to cut it. And to make things worse you won't have control over the product you created anymore.

    I'm surprised it took him so long to quit.

    You don't get it. When your start-up is acquired by big corp, it is usually their demand you stick for at least a year, instead of dumping your crap and taking a run with the money, which I'm sure he would have preferred. He did the year, finished his obligations, and leaves. Nothing to see, please move along.

  • by htnmmo (1454573) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @05:30PM (#26745147) Homepage

    I'm not an insider on either camp and I've been mostly using postgresql on my own projects.

    But my sense is that Sun kept wanting to go opensource but MySQL wanted to directly monetize the product and not just be a free add on to sell hardware and other services.

    This seemed to happen early on when MySQL announced some new features would not be opensourced shortly after acquisition, then Schwartz came back and spanked them into place.

  • by Lonewolf666 (259450) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @05:41PM (#26745289)

    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.

    Why should he need a loan? He got 1 billion from selling his last company. He can use some of that as venture capital for his new project

  • by idontgno (624372) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @05:45PM (#26745315) Journal

    You need to read your prospectuses: "Past performance is no indicator of future success."

    Monty's not the golden goose; he will not lay golden eggs each time he squats. He is not the child of destiny, the master of The Street, the database Messiah. He's just a very naughty boy. Ok, maybe not. But he is a guy who created a good product, sold it to desperate overcapitalized suckers, and jumped ship just before the balloon collapsed and sent the economy screaming "Oh the Humanity" into the ground.

    I wouldn't even credit him with a good sense of timing, if he thinks this is the time for a startup like he's proposing.

    We shall see.

  • by mabhatter654 (561290) on Thursday February 05, 2009 @10:16PM (#26747745)

    It's an excellent time for a startup if you have cash... he sold MySQL for a billion dollars!

    Even Steve Jobs said "cash is king" just last week. Monty will be able to get whatever he needs cheaper than last year. Remember, that it takes 2-5 years to be an "overnight" success like the first MySql had. Recession is the perfect time to build a company if you can float the start up capital.

  • by Anthony (4077) * <adavid@adavid.com.au> on Thursday February 05, 2009 @10:17PM (#26747749) Homepage Journal
    Good pint, and Paul Graham seems to think that starting in a bad economy [paulgraham.com] has benefits. Apple and Microsoft started the the 70s.

The use of anthropomorphic terminology when dealing with computing systems is a symptom of professional immaturity. -- Edsger Dijkstra

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