PROFILE: Michael Avis - Marketing Director, Sun Microsystems
Back in the late 90s, Silicon Valley, and the companies that hailed from there, could do no wrong. The likes of Cisco, Sun, Dell, HP and Microsoft were riding high on the dotcom wave and comprised a global elite of B2B brands for whom anything seemed possible. The events of 2001, and their aftermath, certainly brought these organisations down to earth, and in the years since they have had to adjust to existing and carrying out business in a less stratospheric environment for some a thoroughly chastening experience.
Like the economy as a whole since then, the Silicon Valley fraternity have felt the good times return; if not to the same extent as pre-9/11. The stable and more measured economic growth has allowed most of them to rebuild their businesses and profits in a more sustainable environment. Most, but not all.
Sun Microsystems, arguably the most creative, idiosyncratic and above all interesting of this group, has found the new world order more difficult to deal with. The last five years has been a troublesome time for Sun, with competitor activity taking the gloss off some of its best known innovations such as programming language Java and operating system Solaris and asking fundamental questions of what it was and where it was headed.