Like the protagonist says at the beginning of Trainspotting, you can…
Choose a career path, choose a cubicle, choose endless code review meetings, choose an IDE, choose to be good to authority and hope authority will be good to you, choose a thought leader, choose a license, choose an architecture, choose a paradigm, choose a retirement plan, choose a language, choose your SOA, choose sensitivity training, choose Linux vs. Windows, choose a debugger, choose an MBA, choose the system…
You can choose not to choose the system. And the reasons? Who needs reasons when you’ve got Open Source?
One of the advantages of achieving a little notoriety is that you get to spend time telling young journalists about what a “bad boy” you are. The aftermath: you get to read the ensuing portrait of a money grubber who’s “clawed his way” to the top of the open source pile (of what, kaka?) and who communicates via a “fervent, almost preachy and completely self-serving blog.” The online extra contains such gems as “most hated in open source after Bill Gates,” followed by a fleeting compliment “pioneer in spawning (nice image, even better than a viral. I can just imagine those cute little larval aliens now) viable businesses from free software,” and then, back to the real me “also alleged to be abrasive, paranoid, controlling, and a credit hog".
It is enlightening to see that after an hour and a half of interview, all Ms. Lacy’s colleague chose to remember was that I sit in an unkempt office (no way!) put Visine in my red-lined eyes, drink coffee like there’s no tomorrow and spit sunflower seeds in the general direction of my numerous detractors.
Media Training 101 includes a warning about articles that prominently feature “insiders” and “people close to the source.” The journalist has a story and whatever you say, they will make it fit. Examples abound, but my favorite has got to be the “Oracle rumor” bit. So, during the interview, I was asked by Sarah “insiders say the deal fell apart because you were going to walk away?” I tell her I am not going anywhere. Me leaving is not an issue. She tells me that it is very clear. The result in print is this wonderful quote where “insiders say the deal fell apart because marc wanted to stay.” On another note, I have always wondered about the “confirmed by multiple sources” line too. In this day and age of the Internet, the “master source” of these multiple confirming voices could be one loud dumbass.
Sarah got another bit of important information wrong. It wasn’t just “one” genius I was taking out for their birthday bash but rather 3. Above is a picture inside the “limo” she refers to in the article. You will recognize Gavin in his signature red-velvet party jacket and to the left Ben Sabrin a genius in business in his own right and employee number one (see the podcast interview of Ben on jboss.org) Also. it wasn’t organized by me. As she correctly points out, people do all my work these days and it was actually Ms. Katie Poplin that put the bash together.
My investor, David Skok, was really disturbed by the outcome of his interview. He would like it to be known that: “He has always been supportive of me. He wouldn’t have invested otherwise and that he is disappointed to see a total misrepresentation of the conversation that took place between himself and Sarah Lacy.” David don’t worry, I really don’t care. But if you care about your reputation with other entrepreneurs, let me assure you guys that David is an A+ player and has supported us all the way.
With my VCs, as with the future of JBoss, there were and are a multitude of choices. I chose David and Matrix Partners because he understood open source, respected our model and frankly was the most qualified all-around due to past Silverstream experience. I felt that they would be the most able to bring value in growing the company. This has absolutely been the case and JBoss and I have benefited from their experience. Next time, David, be wary of soft-spoken Southern belles asking questions. They have an agenda. Believe me. I know, I married one.
Don’t get me wrong I am actually EXTREMELLY GRATEFUL for the article, Sarah, I mean it is not every day that ANYONE gets a full-featured article in BW. This is more publicity than I could ever hope for and I did get a chuckle out of reading it, so thanks.