Sunday, November 30, 2008

Open source alterternative for RogueWave HydraExpress: WSO2 WSF/C

If you're a RogueWave HydraExpress customer looking for an open source alternative check out this article by Damitha Kumarage comparing it with WSO2 WSF/C, our Web services framework in C.

Damitha does work for WSO2 and has been contributing to the Axis2/C family (which is what WSF/C is) for a long time .. so he is likely somewhat biased! We'd welcome an alternative comparison from the RogueWave side too :). Also, anyone want to do a performance comparison too; I'd love to see how much extra the customers are getting for the money they're paying!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Small WSO2 re-org

Its my pleasure to announce a small re-org of WSO2 to help us better execute on the business side:
  • Jonathan Marsh, previously Director of Mashup Technologies, has been promoted to Vice President of Business Development. Jonathan will of course continue to provide vision to our mashup work (its his baby after all!) but he will focus more on helping us improve business execution.
  • Devaka Randeniya, previously Manager of Business Development, has been promoted to Director of Business Development. With this promotion Devaka takes more ownership of business development and sales activities and will of course be working with Jonathan.
Recently I announced some adjustments we've made to respond to the challenging times we live in. The roles changes for Jonathan and Devaka are designed to help us improve overall business execution and to make sure we do better than double our revenue next year and become a profitable business! I have known Jonathan for nearly 10 years and Devaka for more than 7 years and I have complete trust that we have the right people to take WSO2's business development forward!

The official announcement of these changes is here.

Congratulations Jonathan & Devaka!

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Sri Lanka += Maldives ???

I saw this article in a tweet by Mark Nottingham.

Give citizenship to 300k people in return for making Maldives part of Sri Lanka? That's a damned good deal!!

I hope our country's leadership step up to the plate and negotiate something with the Maldives. Failing that we can always take them over too ... after the LTTE war is over we're going to have a HUGE military (much larger than UK's for example) without much to do! Time to take over our neighbors ... watch out India!

Friday, November 14, 2008

WSO2 adjusting to the times

As you have probably seen in various blog posts, every VC is advising their companies to cut back, tighten belts and overall get ready for a rough ride in the immediate future. Smart companies do this pro-actively and decisively, not when its too late.

Paul and I started WSO2 more than 3 years ago. We've seen amazing growth - more than doubling revenue each year, seeing amazing technology adoption, seeing us becoming more and more influential in the industry and growing the company from the original small team to nearly 70 people globally. The net result has been the rock solid revenue growth and the quality and quantity of our customers, ranging from Fortune 100s to SMBs in far flung places in the world.

Despite all the positives, we want to be conservative and ensure that we are around for the long run. While we fully expect to be able to at least double revenue next year too, we can't accurately predict how customer spending may decrease. So we want to be cautious to ensure that no matter what happens we're here for the long run.

In fact, I fully expect that the downturn will be a positive thing for us as customers look for greater value in whatever they're paying for. Is it justifiable to pay $25-50k for an ESB license when you can download ours free and maybe pay us $8k for commercial support, better software and greater productivity?? We're seeing more and more customers come to us with that mindset and commit really fast.

So how are we cutting costs? First thing we've done is reduced all the stuff that we really didn't need to do and were doing because "that's the way things are done." No more of that nonsense. Secondly, we've had to let go of a few people in order to bring the costs down to the level that is right for us.

After having built the company up and after having personally selected every single member of our family, its very difficult to make cuts that involve people. I know we would not be here today if not for the totally incredible team we have built. Despite the tough decision, I know we're doing the right thing looking at the larger picture.

To the people who are leaving us: my personal gratitude for your contribution is unblemished and will never be forgotten.

After the overall operational cost reductions and the few headcount reductions, we feel we're in a rock solid financial position. Overall, WSO2 is incredibly well poised to dominate the markets we play in with our strong team and global structure further favoring our ability to weather the storm.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Eclipse kills open-source SOA projects

The Register has an article about some SOA projects being killed in Eclipse.

This is exactly why IMO the Eclipse Foundation model of open source is broken. Basically, you can buy yourself a board seat in the Eclipse Foundation by putting up cash - on the order of $250k/year I believe .. so not for us little guys for sure. But then, does money guarantee that a project will attract developers and users?? Of course not!

I'm of course biased, but I think the Apache Software Foundation principle of "community over code" is critical to making successful open source projects.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Non-Sinhala President for Sri Lanka??

I wonder how long it'll be before Sri Lanka is ready to elect a non-Sinhalese president? Well let's start with a non-Buddhist president!

I don't think it'll happen in the next 10 years, but I think it could in my lifetime ... it won't be easy given that we're currently in a big war but if the war stops soon, and economic development & integration accelerates then we have a chance to look beyond religion and race in selecting national leaders.

We of course had an incredible opportunity to have a Tamil person as prime minister (when Lakshman Kadirgamar was still alive) but that was lost apparently due to Sinhala right wing hawks who didn't want even that brilliant person to be the first non-Sinhala person in such a position.

Of course in the case of the US one cannot forget that Barack Obama is actually an inter-racial person. I'd settle for that for a start in Sri Lanka too - a person with Sinhala and Tamil parents, but with the person's dominant identity coming from the Tamil side (as with Mr. Obama) .. or Muslim side or whatever non-Sinhala Buddhist standard the country appears to insist on.

No no I'm not saying that we should elect a Tamil or Muslim or Christian or whatever person as president. Rather, when will it be when that aspect will be irrelevant and we will elect the person for their merits, policies and promise? Right now a non-Sinhala Buddhist simply has NO chance of getting to that position.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Obama-mania .. in Sri Lanka!

This morning when I opened the local newspapers we buy at home - the Daily Mirror and the Daily News, I was shocked to see advertisements to wish Barack Obama good luck! Yep, the Daily Mirror had one FULL PAGE advert and another quarter page and the Daily News had a quarter pager.

Absolutely incredible.