Ex-Sun chief tells HK to go open, free and global

Ex-Sun chief tells HK to go open, free and globalFormer chairman, CEO and founder of Sun Microsystems, Scott McNealy was recently hosted by the HK General Chamber of Commerce and the HK Jockey Club.

He shared his views with local venture capitalist Andy Lau, on how to fuel technology innovation and the government’s next edition of the Digital 21 Strategy – the technology blueprint for Hong Kong currently undergoing public consultation.   

Scott, would you mind to sharing with us about what’s been keeping you busy since you sold Sun Microsystems to Larry Ellison and Oracle?

Scott McNealy: Well, in addition to raising four young boys who are not so young anymore, I started a company in Colorado called Wayin in the social media space, allowing people to have one-to-many conversations with major brands, celebrities, sports teams to basically be able to get in touch with their fan base and their customer base.

I’ve been working on which is a non-profit organization that we started at Sun Microsystems which is open source and puts free primary and secondary school educational materials available on a worldwide basis.

I am on the Board of Directors of the San Jose Sharks Ice Hockey Team as all my boys play ice hockey and I am a big hockey fan, so that keeps me busy. And I have been consulting lots of companies, large and small from very large telecommunications and computer companies to very small star-ups and including helping and advising you and your services business here in Hong Kong.

The HK Government’s latest Digital 21 Strategy --which lays out the blueprint for ICT development in Hong Kong--has adopted the theme: “Smarter Hong Kong, Smarter Living” and encompasses four key focuses. The first focus is to empower everyone through building platforms that enable the public and businesses to realize their aspirations, how can that be realized?

SM: In terms of empowering everyone, I think the most important aspect of that is to have lots of broadband and bandwidth available for the service providers so you are going to have competition.

You’ve got to have multiple telecommunication vendors that are all competing so that they keep prices low, so that innovation happens in that space and then that brings low cost of broadband, wire line and wireless to every small-medium and large business as well as every consumer.

Once you have that connectivity then you want to have the ability for people to access that technology with services that come from a very vibrant entrepreneurial environment and you see that happening in the United States for sure as we have Web start-ups taking advantages of the wire line and wireless networks from left to right.

Everywhere you see, somebody is inventing something new; from healthcare services to banking services, and all the way to things ride-sharing applications that are just changing the logistics of humans in a very positive way.