I just wanted to jot down some of my thoughts about the acquistion. After a week to digest this I came away with the following feeling.
About 3 years ago JBoss Inc. started the process of recruiting other open source projects. Ben Sabrin and I went out to the TSS symposium in 2003 to recruit Gavin King of Hibernate. Later, others at JBoss enticed Bela Ban (JGroups), Tom Baeyens (JBPM), and Mark Proctor (Drools) to join. Basically, the pitch to all of these guys were:
- We are stronger together than apart
- We have synergy in product offerings
- We have the business infrastructure so that you can focus on tech
- Our brand will boost your visibility and user base
- Our sales force will sell your software
- Customers will feel safer with a larger entity
Last week we became the acquired rather than the acquiring. I think I know how Gavin, Tom, and Mark felt now and why they wanted to join JBoss. Red Hat gives us some of the same benefits that we gave Hibernate, JBPM, and Drools except on a much larger scale.
Marc also shared with us an IRC chat log he had with about 230 Red Hat employees about the acquisition last week. This IRC reminded me a lot of "the core" email list we have internally at JBoss: a lot of opinionated individuals that aren't afraid to ask hard questions or be critical of others. With other companies I've worked for in the past, individuals would be scared to question management decisions or voice controversial opinions at such a meetings fearing that they would rock the boat. Red Hat employees had no such qualms. Its obvious these guys care as much about their company as we do ours. The fact that Red Hat, as a company, would have an open internal IRC chat with Marc tells me alot about the openness of the culture we are joining. I'm glad Marc and Red Hat shared this IRC log with us JBossians. As one of our developers said internally, "This IRC makes me happy on several fronts.".
I hope Red Hat employees see this blog and know that there is at least one JBossian very excited about this acquisition. I think we're gonna mesh quite nicely and I hope I get to meet a lot of the tech guys soon.