On Monday 08 October 2007 18:26, Jan Engelhardt wrote:
We could get away doing that kind of thing back in the days when we were that small German company SuSE. But now that SUSE is owned 100% by Novell, that just won't work any more.
Why is why takeovers of this magnitude are evil >>:-)
Having been through all that, having owned employee shares (and lost a lot of money with them), having seen "investors" buying out the previous owners of the old SuSE (including the employees who held shares) for pennies in exchange for big bucks, having stood with our feet one inch before the abyss and having to accept that kind of buyout, I can say this about the Novell takeover:
I am not a big fan of big companies that favour shareholder value above anything else. Far from it. I don't usually advocate Novell, nor do I get any benefits from doing so. It's my personal mind that is speaking here.
But being owned by a tech company that is interested in the technology you make, a company that has great visions about that technology, a company that values the people having the know-how -- all that beats the hell out of being owned by a bunch of investment banks that just want to make a quick buck and then good riddance (and firing ~40% of all people in the process while setting up their own top managers who made quite some money).
Back then (before the takeover by the investment banks), we were broke (and it was our own fault, nobody else's). Literally. We didn't have a choice. So the old SuSE management had to reach for any straw, even if that meant handing the company over to said investment banks. But we got lucky: The quick buck those investment banks wanted to make turned out to go to Novell, a company which back then had realized that they needed some technology to replace Netware -- for them as for their customers. Novell didn't jump the MS bandwagon; they saw their future in Linux. So they began buying Linux companies that were for sale. One such company was Ximian, one other was SuSE.
And then something began that we remaining SuSE people wouldn't have believed: Not only did they realize the value of a well-known brand name "SuSE", they even did everything to absorb every tiny little bit of Linux know-how. Big and mighty 5000 people Novell started listening to tiny 350 people SuSE. The tail (SuSE) was beginning to wag the dog.
I still find it amazing how that large Novell organization migrated their everything to Linux and Open Source. But they did. Department for department, they got a milestone plan (thinking in 3-6 month time frames, not 2-3 years as one might expect) and migrated their IT infrastructure to Linux and Open Source. Not just for techies, also for sales, marketing, administration, you name it. Amazing.
We've been through times. Times where we had to produce an insane amount of small products of questionable value for the customer each quarter -- just to avoid getting broke again. Those times are over. Thanks to being owned by a company that has a vision (and no longer by investment banks whose sole vision are next quarter's figures).
Folks, please get just a little bit more informed before you start bashing Novell. The old SuSE people don't do it, and there are reasons for that.
OK, that was a little more than 2 Cents. Let's make this one whole Euro. ;-)