Marten Mickos


Thriving in an Online World
30 minutes, 13.8mb, recorded 2007-07-23
MÃ¥rten Mickos

What does it mean that the world has gone on line? The impact is everywhere we look. Mårten Mickos estimates that it has taken only a few hundred thousand developers worldwide to get us this far, but that's only the beginning. In order to continue thriving on line, we must preserve two key types of freedom: the freedom to do things, and the freedoms that protect us. Mickos compares this to smoking. People who want to do it uphold the freedom to smoke, people who don't want to be around it, demand freedom from smoke.

Mickos explores the tremendous potential of open source to uphold to our essential freedoms, and examines key qualities of open source cultures and companies like MySQL and Canonical. Polling the audience, he comes up with some interesting ways to look at motivation and innovation, and also points to some pockets where freedom is not fully realized. At its best, open source and the networked workplace promote the freedom to participate, freedom of opinion, and even the freedom to make money. On the last point, it helps to recognize that there are two types of people, those who will spend money to save time, and those who will spend time to save money. Striking a balance is important for any open source company getting into one of the new markets now emerging on line.

Questions from the audience raise some interesting points about software licenses, business models and invention. Among other things, Mickos comments that frugality rather than money can often breed the most innovation.

Mårten Mickos, CEO of MySQL, brings a strong track record of leadership in global high-tech companies to MySQL AB. Prior to joining MySQL in 2001, Mickos was CEO at MatchON Sports, which he grew to become the twenty-fourth “hottest e-business” in Europe within nine months of its inception. Previously, Mickos was CEO at Intellitel Communications, where he was instrumental in transitioning the company from a development lab to a commercial software vendor. He has also directed worldwide sales efforts at several technology companies.


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