I just read this excellent review by Matt Asay of an excellent interview by Guy Kawasaki (of garage.com and apple fame) of MySQL CEO Marten Mickos.
Now although I started my career in Oracle in the early 90s, I’m a fan of MySQL and open-source technology in general (see my support of DBD::Oracle for an example.) That being said, I’m not really a fan of Monty Widenius, who in an interview in Fortune in May of this year shocked me and totally turned me off by admitting that “[he has]a very low opinion of human nature, which is that people are both greedy and lazy,” and that “Of course you have noble people, but they are a small fraction.” I vehemently disagree. Note that he was saying this while describing his interactions with his teleworking team, which is particularly disrespectful. I painted MySQL CEO Marten Mickos with the same brush. He’s quoted in the same articles as counselling hiring managers to “[a]void young men without a wife or girlfriend or dog or parents.”
OK. So that’s what we’re dealing with here – great software, cynical executives. So all that background serves to introduce that I really enjoyed Guy Kawasaki’s new interview. Either this guy is actually more balanced and reasonable than that original interview displayed, or he is successfully polishing his own personal image quite nicely in this interview. He really seems to get it, which is great. I still think nowhere near 50,000 people are getting up every day and working on MySQL (that’s the headcount at Oracle) and as a result, Oracle and MySQL are not close to serving the same market, but the reality is that historically Oracle was shoehorned into a market that MySQL now serves better, so in that sense at least they are competitors. Pythian supports both platforms (Oracle since our inception in 1997, and MySQL since 2002) and our availability monitoring suite supports both platforms natively. So we’re in the fun position to be able to say: sometimes you need a hammer, sometimes you need a jackhammer. More interestingly, sometimes you can get the job done with 10 hammers and you still don’t need the jackhammer! Use the right tool and you’ll do a good job.
Interesting stuff, good reading.