I wrote earlier about the kinder, gentler open source CEO. Now we are seeing that nice guys like MySQL's CEO Marten Mickos can finish first. The Sun acquisition of MySQL (also here in the WSJ)is not just an endorsement of the open source business model, it is also an endorsement of the MySQL culture.
I first got to know Marten several years ago when we were both trying to pull a soured business relationship between MySQL and a former business partner out of the ditch. That salvage effort proved unsuccessful, but I was struck by Marten's maturity and ethics, two character traits not always common among Silicon Valley CEOs.
In Jonathan Schwartz' announcement of the Sun acquisition in his blog, he adopted (no doubt unintentionally) the Stanford motto "die Luft der Freiheit weht" (the winds of freedom blow). The freedom offered by MySQL extends well beyond their database to the vibrant add-on community that surrounds MySQL.
As my wife likes to say when she reads about yet another messed up tech company (not infrequently one run by her husband), "the fish rots from the head down." The converse of course is also true. Companies run by people with a clear vision can see that vision reach far beyond the boundaries of their organization.
Sun can greatly accelerate MySQL's push into the enterprise. This of course is good news for WaveMaker, as we are already partnering with MySQL to provide a visual development platform for enterprise developers to replace their existing client/server tools, be they Oracle Forms, Lotus Notes, PowerBuilder or MS Access.