Tuesday, September 4, 2007

The Beginning...

As the CEO for Linspire, Inc. the last two years, I penned most of the "Linspire Letters." Now that I've left Linspire, I wanted to have a place to still share some of my thoughts and ideas. So, here it is.

What will I blog on about? I'm sure I'll share some of my thoughts about desktop Linux, Linspire, why I left, do I still run Linux today, and what I think the future of Linspire and desktop Linux will be. More importantly, however, I'll share information about future ventures.

Stay tuned,

Kevin

15 comments:

Jim Taylor said...

Hi, Kevin!

First and most importantly, I wish you every success in your new ventures, though I'm more than a little worried about Linspire's future; the new guy(s) don't seem to be making very good decisions right now.

Regards,
Jim Taylor
Lifetime Linspire insider
Registered linux user #453758

Kevin Carmony said...

As a shareholder of Linspire stock, I share your concern. =(

Kevin

Chakkaradeep said...

Even though Linspire had many controversies, you managed to move Linspire further but now it doesn't look so. You were interacting with users and discussing their concerns with *spire in the forums, mailing lists, but now, nobody cares.Its just not about replying to all of the posts (like what Dr.Jones does), but its how far the company has interest over them. Kevin you did do that and I was pretty much happy about it. But now......

Moca said...

Kevin,
Would you like to expand on your comment?

"As a shareholder of Linspire stock, I share your concern. =(".

I gather my perception that Linspire is sinking like a stone is correct then?

Kevin Carmony said...

Yes, it's quite sad. As a shareholder, I want to see Linspire succeed, but I just don't see them making good decisions. =(

Kevin

Kevin Carmony said...

I don't have any inside information about Linspire, as they don't talk to me. I can only judge from what I've observed with the lack of leadership interaction on the forums, Linspire Letters, product releases, CNR problems and delays, and knowing which employees are gone and which remain.

I offered to remain and help out, without pay, after my resignation, but I was turned down. I have a lot of Linspire stock, so of course I want to do what I can to help them succeed, but they're not interested in my input.

Hopefully Michael Robertson has some magic trick up his sleeve to pleasantly surprise us all.

Kevin

tony w. said...

Kevin, how can you, with a clear conscience, make it sound like the product releases, CNR problems and delays all cropped up in the 5 weeks since you left. Those issues were there long before you resigned.

You didn't exactly turn the company over to Larry Kettler in the best possible condition so I'm not really surprised that they didn't jump at your offer to help them out of the tight situation you placed them in in the first place.

No wonder you are getting into politics with a spin like that.

Kevin Carmony said...

I left Linspire in great shape. I left Linspire in the black, with a profitable year (how many Desktop Linux companies have done that?) and cash in the bank. That's a CEO's main job, to be profitable, which I did.

The timing of me leaving SHOULD have been ideal, because Freespire 2.0 (based on Ubuntu), the new CNR and Linspire 6.1 were basically finished and ready to be released. Those were my ideas, all brought to the brink of release, and built while still turning a profit. I have no idea why things are taking so long. I also know when I was there we did Linspire Letters, I posted to the forums, etc.

Kevin

tony w. said...

I agree that you were very active in the community with the letters, forums and email lists. That is one of the reasons I latched onto Linspire when switching over to Linux. I also agree that lack of these things is definitely something that is hurting the perception of the company right now. I don't post there anymore because you can't question anything without getting flamed and driven away.

If they were on the brink of finishing the projects that you got rolling, what has happened that brought things seemingly to a grinding halt? You eluded to people coming and going; does that mean that there was more upheaval that just some senior executives?

Kevin Carmony said...

Let's just say I would have a lot more confidence if Michael Robertson would have accepted my offer to stay and help them keep the momentum going. When I was there, I often disagreed with things Michael wanted to do with Linspire. Fortunately, the last two years as CEO, I was able to implement things without his involvement (make basic CNR free, baseline off of Ubuntu, CNR.com for all distors, etc.), but with me and other execs now gone, I don't see anyone left there to challenge Michael, so he may decide to take them in completely different directions. This is Michael's chance to show that he was right all along and has brilliant answers. I have my concerns, but I hope he proves me wrong.

Kevin

JDoyle said...

Please explain the reasoning behind the patent protection deal deal with Microsoft Why did you agree to it?

Kevin Carmony said...

You can read my blog about the MS deal here: http://www.linspire.com/linspire_letter_archives.php?id=48

and

http://www.linspire.com/linspire_letter_archives.php?id=49

Kevin

CaptainTux said...

Kevin,

Good to see that you are still going to be writing. Yeah, I would be curious as to your thoughts on Linux, Linspire, MR, Ubuntu, and so on. But I would also be interested in reading about your other interests, ventures, and whatnot.


For instance, I know you never completely left the music world. Will there be a return of your involvement in Battle of the Bands and any support of indie artists?

Another example, still with Mitt? What is your role there? How good do you feel about his chances? Why should we take a closer look at him? Are there any myths you want to bust on him, an LDS candidate, etc?

Be looking forward to seeing what you have to say, sir.

Cheers!

Patrick

Richard Ashton said...

Kevin,

Good to hear you are still around. Piecing together some of the stuff you didn't say, one comes up with the word "shafted" which is how many of the insiders have also felt.

I, too, have had some more recent concerns, like I know many others have, mainly over what appear to have been ad-hoc decisions, and communications.

One has to wonder if - because Lindows was originally conceived as a platform on which to develop and run CNR - if the new direction is to just consolidate that theme.

Certainly I'm not an orphan among the troops (that are still around) in that thinking.

All the best for the future, mate. I don't want or intend to get involved in internal politics, as is obvious you don't either (grin), so nuff said!

Richard in Oztralia

Jim Taylor said...

Hi, Kevin,

I have to agree with what Richard said--the word "shafted" does spring to mind. Like you, I hope Linspire somehow continues to succeed, but companies that get into the habit of shafting people rarely do, in the long run.

Regards,
Jim Taylor
Lifetime Linspire insider
Registered linux user #453758