It's been a great ride and experience for me at JBoss and before working with Marc and JBoss as an analyst. I first heard of JBoss through Bruce Perens who gave me some feedback on a summer 2001 LinuxWorld presentation I was preparing on OSS moving up the stack. I started hearing about JBoss from clients in mid 2002 and got on Marc Fleury's calendar to learn about what was happening here. I remember the technical presentation well...and thought, brilliant people...now with just some business focus, they will win. Met Marc and Ben Sabrin at the .org Pavilion at LinuxWorld NYC Winter 2003. When Bob Bickel joined in 2003, it was a done deal for me. JBoss, if they did not throw it away, would lead the Application Server space and have a platform for moving further up the stack over time. JBoss had the "aura of inevetibility" where a technology gets a positive virtuous adoption cycle and becomes the leader.
I did a couple of Customer Advisory Boards and discussed the industry, customers and competitors with Marc offline and threw my name in the hat to help him grow the business. After making me work during my interview process (and paying me for it :-)), I climbed aboard this rocketship in April 2005.
It's been quite a learning experience working with Marc...he reminds me of two notable IBM Fellows I worked for in previous days - Andy Heller and Larry Loucks. Never a dull moment with any of these guys! I always appreciated the way Marc would manage by walking around, keeping up with his development team, the strategy, the market, etc... In addition to technical and business strategy, Marc appreciated the power of winning the "air war", ensuring JBoss was always visible, outflanking larger competitors and delivering the highest customer satisfaction. This is especially important for a startup and Marc "got it".
Marc will certainly make some great contributions down the pike, I'm certain. We discussed the grand challenges of the 21st century - energy and biology. His background is ideal to make major contributions in these areas if he chooses so. So far, cancer research is one of his things...he amazed me with the state of progress in that arena. Help cure cancer, Marc!
Of course, we are here at Red Hat carrying on that winning tradition Marc started. I hope he stops by from time to time. Good luck in your new endeavors. Then, of course, there is always Web 3.0...I'm staying tuned.