Jef Spaleta (jspaleta) wrote,
Jef Spaleta
jspaleta

Rule #1 about being a CEO...talk about your own company's work.

When you are a CEO of a company.. make it a point to spend your time talking about the work your employees are doing.

I mean seriously, if your going to interviewed on video, why spend all your time talking about upstream projects where your employees aren't making a significant contribution, that's a little crass..talking about the work other people are doing..like your an expert on their work.
Virtualization, kernel development, Xserver, even higher-level components like the clutter project...when the immense bulk of the development work in these areas is being done by people outside your company, don't take it apon yourself to speak for those development communities. Shuttleworth didn't even mention the bbc totem plugin or his support of gnash in the video interview by name...and these are projects he helped fund to some extent.

When Red Hat's CEO talks about virtualization, it actually has some punch since Red Hat is deeply involved in actually developing the open tools.  Something like the Eucalyptus project would not exist in its current form as an academic project..funded by the NSF...if Red Hat wasn't already in the space helping to build things like libvirt for Eucalpyptus to use.  Does Red Hat's CEO spend a lot of time talking about all the community projects which leverage the work Red Hat is doing? No, he has more than enough to talk about just talking about Red Hat's contributions to the underlying technologies. libvirt matters, ovirt matters, virt-manager matters..the new open technologies derived from qumranet matter...and their all things Red Hat is doing to make it possible to build an open virtualization platform we can all share and build on.   When Shuttleworth talks about integrating virtualization, does he say anything with regard to exactly what sort of value Canonical employees are adding beyond the value that Red Hat's developers are already providing in the space? I don't hear anything.  Canonical is a consumer of the virtualization technology Red Hat is creating, in much the same way that Oracle is a consumer of the stablization work Red Hat does in building RHEL.  And while that is sort of the point of building an open platform it doesn't automatically make Shuttleworth or anyone at Canonical the expert in all things virtualization...no more than it makes Oracle an expert at providing a stable linux distribution.  It would be wisest if Shuttleworth focused more on talking about what his employees actually do. What do they do again? Or right..notification bubbles..thats cool...just stick to talking about that..focus on that in your messaging.


Rule #2: Back up what you say about your company with a published methodology.
I'll give adobe credit...even if the "99%" flash market penetration claim is absolutely crazy.. they've backed up their claim with a published methodology.
http://www.adobe.com/products/player_census/flashplayer/version_penetration.html
http://www.adobe.com/products/player_census/methodology/

We can dispute that claim, and we can dispute that methodology..but what matters is..they actually published how they got there and they give each of us a chance to judge for ourselves. That's very important...and I applaud the effort at transparency...even if the conclusion is pure crazy.

Has Shuttleworth ever backed up any sort of claim with published methodology? Ever? He's been using the same estimate for Ubuntu userbase size for years now to the press...and he still refuses to publish a methodology for how he gets those numbers. He's made claims that Ubuntu tops the charts in security response citing unnamed third party studies.without referencing a published methodology. Ubuntu makes no effort to even organize or report on its own vulnerability responses in the same way that Red Hat's Security Team does for RHEL on a periodic basis.

Shuttleworth's latest claim is that Canonical is proprotionately more engaged in open source development than Red Hat is when adjusting for size of the organization. So Red Hat is what about 10 times bigger than Canonical at the moment. Is Mark really saying that Red Hat employee contributions to open source (on paid company time) are somehow not more than 10 times larger than Canonical's in any measureable way? That's crazy, and he knows it.  Red Hat has its fingers in a metric boatload of upstream development projects. from gcc, to the kernel, up into the X display system, up into the GNOME stack, and pushing hard into new technology areas like virtualization and open identity management solutions (and that's not even counting the middleware JBoss stuff which they acquired and the work to get java opened.)  

Hell, Red Hat has more employees listed as maintaining packages in Fedora than Canonical has employees.  Last I saw, less than half of Canonical's employees are working on Ubuntu.  http://www.informit.com/articles/article.aspx?p=1186095&seqNum=6
And that little comparison doesn't even consider the dayjob RHEL code work that is going on inside the Red Hat fence line or the upstream development work that is ongoing doing.    If Mark is serious about the claim that Canonical employees are doing proportionately more open source development work than Red Hat..this is the put up or shut up moment. Either back it up, or back down.

-jef
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