More on Borland, Danny Thorpe, etc.

There's been some churn over in the newsgroups re: my post yesterday about my concerns over Borland's future.  I decided to respond over there, and I thought it might make sense to repeat that post here for anyone else who took issue with the post.  For what it's worth, I wasn't taking any shots at Delphi or even at Borland for that matter.  I'm just frustrated with seeing them trip themselves up time and again.  Here's the post (tomorrow we get back to technical stuff):


I see that I've stirred things up a little more than I intended.  Let me try to clear up a few misunderstandings.

First, I wasn't saying they [Borland] have one foot in the grave.  I was saying I'm worried about them.  Maybe their number is up this time, maybe not -- I dunno.  I'm not implying that the whole company's future rested on Danny Thorpe.  Rather, it rests on the shoulders of their top engineers, whom they seem to keep losing.  If there's something more fundamental at work here, they may indeed be in trouble.  Time will tell, I guess.

I remember a time when a top Borland engineer leaving for a rival was about as likely as one from Apple doing so.  There was a fierce loyalty they inspired in their people and customers alike.  I'd like to see Borland give its people as many good reasons as possible to stay.  It doesn't look like they've been doing a good job of that lately.  Maybe they're doing all they can -- I wouldn't know -- all I know is that key people keep leaving:  Chuck, a couple of years ago, and now Danny (and lots of people in between).

Borland achieved its original success in this industry by innovating better and faster, producing better products than its competition, and giving customers what they wanted.  I still think that can happen, but things will have to change.  Maybe this new CEO is the answer, maybe not -- time will tell.

The point of the piece is that, in my opinion, through a steady stream of bad moves as a corporation, Borland has continued to hemorrhage its best people.  That doesn't bode well for a small company like Borland, and I'd like to see it stop.  Larger companies get do-overs when they mess up, sometimes lots of them.  Smaller ones aren't usually as fortunate.  I hope all the good buzz about the new CEO and the new products is on target, but I've heard it all before.  I guess you could call me a bit cynical vis-à-vis Borland at this point.

I'd like nothing better than to see Borland prosper again.  I wrote five books about its products and will always have a place in my heart for it.  But I'm frustrated with a management team that can't seem to keep its best and brightest.

And before any of the rest of you flame me, understand this:  I meant no disrespect to anyone at Borland, past or present, or to any of its customers.  It's just that I see what looks like a systemic problem that may ruin one of my favorite companies and felt I had to do what I could about it.