Free Java – Finally Sun Makes a Good Business Move

Strategy used to be about secrets. Now it's about being open. It may be too little to late, but Sun is finally moving in the right direction.

Sun's boldest strategy is freeing up its software in hopes of generating new business in servers and services. Nearly a fortnight ago, Sun published the source code for its Solaris operating system. On Sunday, the firm went one better: It said it'll share the code for its admired Java System application server software.

The counterintuitive ideas are becoming the best ones in business. Jonathan Schwarz says of the decision:

The risk is that someone will pick up the source code and out-execute Sun with it. We have to take the risk that someone else's product will be better. Free doesn't guarantee you the business. But it guarantees you a shot at the business.

Business is becoming less about strategy and more about execution. We've studied strategy to death, but we still can't get things done. Maybe B-schools should start offering classes on execution.