Chris Baus

Sun and MySQL: I don't get it

At $1 billion, assuming MySQL's current revenue is optimistically set at $100 million annually, Sun paid a multiple of 10 times sales for MySQL today. Optimistically assuming a 20% profit margin, they are looking at a multiple of 50 times earnings for a return on investment of around 2% per year. Optimistically.

Few people get rich making equity investments at less than half the rate of return of an average money market fund. I don't know how Sun financed the deal, but if they leveraged it at all, there is a good chance they will be losing money out of the gate with this investment.

Maybe for a company with a rock solid balance sheet and a record of extracting maximum value from their acquisitions, this deal might make some sense. JAVA doesn't meet either of those criteria.

But wait, there's more. If Sun's customers plan to extract an enterprise level of functionality from MySQL, they basically have no option but to use the InnoDB storage engine to underpin the SQL front end. And guess who owns that. That's right, Oracle, the 800 lbs gorilla of the SQL market. The rocket science ain't in the SQL parser. It's in the storage layer, and that didn't come with the $1 billion price tag.

BTW, the J2EE 6 installer blew up on us when we tried to install it on Linux x86_64, and judging by their own news groups, we're not alone. Mr. Schwartz, for a mere $1 million I'll get that working for you, and you'll get your platform back. It's one hell of a deal if you think about it.