SUN to become JAVA on NASDAQ. World to end.

August 24, 2007

Jonathan Schwartz, the brilliant young CEO of SUN Microsystems spoke today on his blog that his company would change their NASDAQ stock symbol from SUNW to JAVA, a calculated tip of the cap to SUN’s most widely used brand, the JAVA platform. He had some great things to say about the direction of the company, and heralded his recent partnership with Google on the Open Office offerings (as he should). As he stated, the JAVA brand is worldwide… its used by computers, cell phones for games, programmers….. most people with a vague knowledge of the Internet are familiar with JAVA. As Jonathan put it, imagine what that type of exposure would cost if you were paying for it through advertising. I think it is a brilliant idea to leverage that exposure so that it becomes an advertisement for the business. People are not near as familiar with Sun Microsystems as they are with JAVA, and changing the companies identity to JAVA on NASDAQ makes every time someone sees the JAVA logo an advertisement for the litany of other things that company does. I think it’ brilliant, but the comments in below the post seem to disagree. While many see dropping the SUNW (which comes from the companies roots as being Standford University Network Workstations) as disrespectful to the other products such as Star Office, Open Office, and the revolutionary open source OS offerings the company has. What they fail to see is that by leveraging the JAVA brand, SUN draws attention to everything they do.

Johnathan is doing what Google is so good at: taking a successful brand and leveraging that familiarity into a trust that encourages users to look into what else the company has to offer. When Google first came out with Gmail, Google Maps, and Google Docs I knew I would try it. Why? Because they were so good as a search engine that I assumed their other products would be just as innovative.

JAVA as a stock symbol scares some people and seems insignificant to others. But just like Ron Burgundy, its kind of a big deal.

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