February 12, 2008

Where's Eric?

Seven days ago I made a major change in my life, but I waited to blog about it until the change was firmly underway. So here goes.
I've joined Sun Microsystems as the Vice President of Marketing for Java. I was offered an amazing opportunity to help guide one of the most well known platforms for creating rich Internet applications that can be deployed across personal computers, mobile devices (feature and smartphones), TV, consumer electronics (think Blue Ray baby!), embedded devices, and other exciting delivery platforms. There are over five billion Java-powered devices in the world today, and that number continues to grow at a healthy clip. I'm excited to bring my consumer centricity to Sun as amazing enhancements to Java like Java FX allow content authors to easily create and deploy applications and widgets that seamlessly blend media, information, and your social graph into incredible solutions that up until recently we could only dream about and build crude prototypes thereof.
I've written about this before, but the next few years will bring about fundamental changes in mobile computing. Technology has made adding connectivity to consumer electronics a very simple proposition. Edge computing will come into its own, powered by consumer electronics, not desktop computers. Changing mobile business models mean developers and content owners will increasingly become partners in the mobile revenue equation, with distribution and payment models finally becoming ubiquitous and approachable. The startup cost to create a best in class consumer application (desktop + mobile) has dropped by more than 50% since the dot.com boom/bust. While some mobile models will be more open and some will still be labeled "walled gardens", customers will finally be able to get to their "content in the cloud" throughout their daily lives. Location will no longer be barrier, it will be an enabler. Content mashing is the future, and will finally solve use cases identified by pioneers like Palm and Nokia years ago.
This is far bigger than developing the m.foo.com mobile site for your existing Internet presence. The implications of relatively powerful mobile devices, near ubiqitious Internet access, and favorable business and payment models will drive an entirely new class of Rich Internet Applications (RIA). Sun is uniquely positioned to partner with companies in this space to deliver these amazing solutions, and we approach the opportunity with open arms and open source ;-)
What does this mean for Dash Navigation? It is said that you don't leave one place, you go to another. Leaving Dash was one of the hardest career decisions I've had to make. I agonized about it for almost two weeks. I feel like bits of my DNA are embedded in the Dash Express. I was the first marketing employee at Dash. I know all the stories about how and why. She's my baby. But my baby is already accepting pre-orders (GO GET ONE!), and it was time to hand the ship over to my amazing team and colleagues in Dash Marketing. You don't leave one place, you go to another...
Dash is going to be hugely successful, and I'll be rooting for them every step of the way. My leaving has everything to do with an amazing opportunity, and nothing to do with Dash's future success. I've gone from internal cheerleader to external evangelist. I've logged over 120 miles per day in my car since I've left, so I'm a proud founding member of the Dash Driver Network!! If you drive in Cupertino, Sunnyvale, or the South Bay 101 corridor, I've got your back! My car proudly displays its Dash Express on the dashboard as a sign of the power and simplicity of the Dash solution. I expect great things from Dash...
So I bid Dash a sad farewell, and drive excitedly to Sun's Santa Clara campus each morning knowing that every day we are going to make Java more relevant, useful, and simple for customers, developers, and end users in every country on Planet Earth!
And yes, I'll be buying a PS3 in short order to compliment my 360 and Wii. I have to eat my own dog food, of course!!! LOL!
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