Yee-hah! Charter Street Launches!


For the second time in as many months, am thrilled to announce that a new business blog is on the scene; this time it’s the Charter Street blog (“a blog about entrepreneurship, the internet, and the state of the software industry”) from Cerado customer Versai Technology. Charter Street is penned by industry vets Paul McNamara and Greg Olsen, with whom I’ve been fortunate enough to work closely over the last few months. Paul and Greg are jumping into the business blogosphere with both feet, and will be chronicling their new company through its birth, growth and eventual world domination*.

I’m not yet able to publicly say what Versai is going to be doing, but I can tell you it’s very, very cool and very much in line with our belief of where the technology industry is going.

Their first two posts are up as of last weekend, with Paul bringing us up to speed on what he’s been doing since leaving Red Hat in 2001 (hint: it’s a lot), and Greg laying the groundwork of his vision and explaining why “going bedouin” is the right choice for a startup in 2006.

The money ‘graphs from Paul:

As Mark Twain once said, rumors of my death have been greatly exaggerated. As some of you know, I left Red Hat in 2001 to join Hal Covert (another Red Hat alum) at SGI. 2001 was a year that saw lots of the early guys at Red Hat leave.

I have to say that most people think that moving from Red Hat to SGI was a dubious career move. But in truth I found it to be a really rich experience — there’s no better experience than a turn around. There are two really big lessons that I learned from the SGI experience. First, I grew to understand how and why SGI, once an extremely hot company, lost its way in the market. And second, I learned just how hard it is to remake a public company.

My advice to anyone trying to affect a major turn-around of a public company is simple: don’t. Take it private first.

…and some insight from the good Dr. Olsen:

Given peoples’ experience with telecommuting and distributed team projects from the open source community, a neo-Bedouin approach is not as hard to envision as it once may have been. The requirements for a neo-Bedouin business, however, go further and must include support for all business functions (such as sales, marketing, finance, engineering and customer support). A neo-Bedouin approach can be executed through a wide variety of specific choices. Here is a sample recipe:



* – Of course, the phase after “world domination” is typically an embarrasing VH-1 retrospective sometime in mid-2025, but hey, that’s the price for success.