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For the last decade, I have heard nearly every year that Sun was facing a great problem. Somehow it has always managed to stay ahead. Now it's clear that Sun and Scott are flying high and everyone is wondering how they do it. They did it by hiring smart people and letting them take risks, and they moved fast enough to stay ahead of their mistakes.

(W. Daniel Hillis)

Scott McNealy

The Competitor

"At Sun we believe in the network-computing model. We're not wired up and married to the host-based centralized computing model, and we're not all tangled up in the desktop hairball - that is the desktop computing model of the Intel-Microsoft world. Everything from the first computer we shipped a long time ago goes out with a network interface, and every desktop, server, application, software product, and service product that we've ever offered has been network-centric."

"I like to compete," Scott McNealy says, "by the rules. Fair and square. Toe to toe. I don't like my competition, I'm not elected to like my competition. I'm paid to deliver a return to my shareholders by following the rules of business, by following the rules of commerce, by following the rules of the local land, by staying ethical, moral, and legal, but burying my competition. That's what I get paid to do, and that's what I love to do. A good clean legal body check is as exciting as scoring a goal."

SCOTT MCNEALY is the cofounder and CEO of Sun Microsystems, Inc.

Scott McNealy on Edge:

Chapter 21: "The Competitor," in Digerati