Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Aftermath...Revenue...Culture...Kool-Aid...Red-Pills...What's in a name?

The past two days were filled with marathon meetings.  Not just any meeting but, as I mentioned in this post, it was the first of many DevCo operations meetings where we got all the leading players together from all the regions where we operate (Americas, EMEA, APAC), to sort out everything from our Q3 revenue plans, to figuring out transition priorities, to figuring out what direction we want to drive the new company's culture.  Can't talk about the first item, the second is plain boring (what financial system are we going to use for invoicing, inventory tracking, etc...), but the third item was actually interesting.  While it wasn't about products, and not specifically about operations, it was about our most valuable assets, the customers and the employees.  We broke up into several smaller groups and had to write down as many words, phrases, concepts, etc... that we felt described an effective corporate culture.  It was great to see that without exception, everyone held to a common theme.  Everyone was committed and passionate about what kind of culture we want to have.

Now of course, you cannot dictate or form policy for a culture, but you can influence it.  There was a lot of talk about reviving some of the old Borland cultural mojo.  This is because the vast majority of those on the extended leadership team have been with Borland for a long time and remember "the old days."  We also were not a bunch of old geezers pining for the "glory days," but recognized that while there was a lot of good things about the old Borland culture, times have changed and a lot of what worked great back then don't work now.  So we're looking to look to the past culture as a foundation on which we'll be building a brand new and unique "DevCo culture."  From my point of view, and I know that Nick is on board with this, part of what should be part of this new endeavor (and will be if I have anything to do with it) is that everyone here needs to climb on board the Cluetrain, drink the Kool-Aid, and take the red-pill.

On another note, we've been getting lots and lots of DevCo company name submissions from the email addresses that Michael Swindell setup.  During our Ops meetings we had a chance to go through a lot of the submissions from the customers and employees.  There were a lot of... ummm let's just say "interesting" names.  Some of the names were down right hilarious.  Others just didn't translate too well to all languages and cultures.  Still more were just real "head scratchers."  There were a lot of submissions that were very similar or even identical. Some even identical to some names suggested internally.

The activity of the name submissions is another example of one of the major themes we constantly highlight.  Our customer community is vibrant, passionate, motivated, highly vocal and very active.  Talk about an asset!  As we discussed this business with "some people," that was something that was very apparent.  These folks took special note of this.  While you cannot easily put any kind of price tag on that (it is a nearly priceless asset, in my mind), it factor into the value of all the related bits you can quantify.

For now, we're all on the edge of our seats waiting for any kind of news and information regarding the spin-off.  I get questions from the team almost daily whether or not I've heard anything and what's going on.  I imagine that we are all feeling a little like the NASA engineers/managers during the Apollo missions in the 1960's and '70's when the first time they orbited the moon. As the module passed to the dark side of the moon all the communication stopped.  Folks were just listening to radio for any signal.  When it finally comes, we can all breathe a huge sign of relief.  So right now, the spin-off module is on the dark side of the moon...