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Celebrating the Contrary

Author: Mark Dixon
Wednesday, August 23, 2006
6:22 pm

Contrarian: “a person who takes a contrary [opposite] position or attitude”

Sun Microsystems celebrates the contrarian state of mind. If you want a good read about an intriguing collection of smart people, take a look at the Contrarian Minds Archive – The engineers, scientists, and dreamers of Sun Microsystems.

These aren’t new articles. Most have been around for some time. But they are new to me. I found this page yesterday while searching for a picture of Sara Gates for my last blog post. I found that the quotations of some of the people painted a colorful picture of the Sun culture:

Scott McNealy: “If your strategy isn’t controversial, you have zero chance of making money.”

Jonathan Schwartz: “Name a project we’re working on, and I’ll tell you why it’s contrarian to the market’s perspective.”

Whitfield Diffie: “Imagine code arriving over the Internet. It presents its credentials and says, ‘I can prove I don’t eat children for breakfast; I rarely eat children for lunch.’ You know: all these things you’d like to know about a program if you’re going to invite it into your home.”

Greg Papadopoulos: “We’re doing this sweeping simplification around software, operations, processors, and system design while our competitors believe that this stuff is inherently complex and you need to throw a lot of people at it.”

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