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Fortune Magazine Profiles MySQL AB 63

hdtv writes "Fortune magazine profiles MySQL AB, a midsize company with a fairly large footprint. Fortune magazine popped in on another corporate party, which just happened to take place online across countries and continents." From the article: "'When a company is as spread out as this one,' Basil explains, 'you have to think of virtual ways to imitate the dynamics of what goes on in a more familiar employment situation.' That neatly sums up the broader challenge that many companies are confronting: how to nurture a bond among workers who rarely, if ever, meet. Few businesses are as spread out as MySQL, which employs 320 workers in 25 countries, 70 percent of whom work from home."
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Fortune Magazine Profiles MySQL AB

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  • Ha (Score:4, Interesting)

    by neonprimetime ( 528653 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @12:39PM (#15455119)
    "I have a very low opinion of human nature, which is that people are both greedy and lazy," declares Michael "Monty" Widenius, co-founder and chief technical officer of MySQL, which is based in Cupertino, Calif. "Of course you have noble people, but they are a small fraction."

    Now that's how to gain customers! Insult them in FORTUNE magazine!
  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday June 02, 2006 @12:51PM (#15455233)
    MySQL says "Don't get too excited."
  • by w33t ( 978574 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @12:51PM (#15455241) Homepage
    Here's a novel idea: when you hire someone give them a headset and a free copy of World of Warcraft and subscription. Hold weekly "meetings" where everyone logs on and you discuss talking points while you slay rats and such. I think that even if you are not a gamer, this could still be fun.

    Or you could more closely emmulate a real-world meeting with a sandbox game like Second Life and actually create a meeting area. With Second Life you could even show slideshows and stream a video presentation (given that you have the bandwidth for the video since it streams from you and not second life's servers).
    Music should be free
  • by eln ( 21727 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @12:57PM (#15455303)
    Or you could just hold a webconference and not have to worry about everyone being distracted by slaying rats.

    I work for a large, global company. Most of the people on my team are in foreign countries. Time zones can make it difficult to find good meeting times, but web conferencing and IP telephony make actual communication fairly painless.
  • Re:Ha (Score:2, Interesting)

    by heinousjay ( 683506 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @01:19PM (#15455529) Journal

    Naw, that's too easy.


    That's just a dream. After all, what good is a language that doesn't provide 6 ways to do everything? Everyone should have their choice of syntax for common operations. That's what freedom is all about!

    Perl's popularity is entirely predicated upon the fact that it was the only thing available. The alternative languages are so much better now that only CPAN saves the entire thing from falling into obscurity (and even that won't last forever.)
  • What a bloody GREAT idea. "Hey, why don't you start using your computer for something non-productive DESIGNED to be addictive."

    Been there. At my .com experience, the first thing they had me do was install Half-Life. And the rest, as they say, is history. This kind of attitude is silly - Skype is a better idea, IRC is a better idea, even Google Bloody Talk is a better idea.

    MMORPG's can build teams, yes, but they are designed to suck people in so fast and hard that they don't even realise it when they don't come out. I have no problem with this post if it was meant as a joke, but "insightful" is the worst moderation I've seen in years.
  • by v3xt0r ( 799856 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @02:07PM (#15456074)
    We had about 60 staff spread out across US, Asia, and Europe by the time I left. When I started, it was just 5 people (including myself).

    We mostly all telecommuted, except for the partners who all worked in their main office 2 steps from the beach. They would even buy lunch EVERYDAY for in-house staff, or staff who happened to be in the office that day. It was a great group of people and a great company to work for, even though it was small and on a (somewhat) tight budget.

    I worked via telecommute (phone, IM, IRC) for 3 years, and enjoyed every minute of it in my home office, listening to music as loud as I want, and maximizing my creativity/productivity due to minimal distraction.

    The only draw back was it consumed my entire life. I became unable to seperate my work life from my home life, and i was working 10-16hrs a day, sometimes all night long (literally). I felt like I was cracked out on code! hehe

    Now, I'm a cubicle farmer, and try to work from home when at all possible, but my present employer isn't as flexible when it comes to working from home (although it is allowed).

    I've learned to enjoy working in an office, although it really goes against my beliefs. *Think Kunta Kinte*
  • Lawsuite invitation (Score:2, Interesting)

    by 140Mandak262Jamuna ( 970587 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @02:31PM (#15456314) Journal
    He is also wary of hiring "young men without a wife or a girlfriend or a dog or parents. They are at risk because they can get so immersed in their job that it drives them crazy. We don't want the type who read e-mails on their way to brush their teeth. They need a life."?
    Is this guy spoiling to get some discrimination law suite? And why does he diss checking emails? What about checking /. postings? Is that good or bad?
  • by redneckHippe ( 744945 ) on Friday June 02, 2006 @04:20PM (#15457459) Homepage
    I assume you are talking about the open source community and business model. This is probably true for software, but try refining oil, mining iron or making chips with workers and volunteers spread out all over the world.
    That said, there is no reason why smaller plants couldn't be built providing they were close to the raw materials. Personally, it really bothers my that we have all our refineries clustered together. It really makes them vunerable to attack or natural disaters.
    I think as the world becomes more globalized smaller companies will be more adaptable to changing demands( Think China, India, global warming, shrinking resources, etc.) and the larger corporations will find it more difficult to compete.
    I think we are building toward major crises as the general public becomes disillusioned with big business and the whole Capitalist Idealology. The profit above all else mentality of many CEO's and the total disregard for the middle class is really starting to get more airplay on the news channels.
    This probably won't cause a revolution as such, but a drift toward more conciensess companies. I'm not saying that there won't be an awaking like we had in the 60's(enviormentalists,civil rights activists, anti-war activists and a general distrust of the status quo) but I think that spending habits, loyalties and personal beliefs will have the main impact.

"Never face facts; if you do, you'll never get up in the morning." -- Marlo Thomas