Scott McNealy knows how to create the kind of cutting-edge high tech that makes money for his investors.
Lots of it.
You probably know McNealy as a cofounder (in 1982) and CEO of Sun Microsystems. For more than 20 years, his Silicon Valley-based firm set the standard for computer servers and workstations.
Sun also created the widely used Java programming language that still runs of billions of computing devices around the world and is a key contributor to open-source software.
Not only did McNealy and his tech firm help change the world forever, they brought an incredible payoff to investors along the way.
Sun went public in 1986, and it sold to Oracle Corp. (NASDAQ:ORCL) in 2009 for about $7.4 billion.
As a long-time tech writer, I have followed McNealy’s career for many years. And when I heard that he is the force behind a new startup, I decided it was time to find out what he’s up to these days.
I got the chance to chat with him by phone for about half an hour the other day.
After hearing firsthand from McNealy about his latest startup, my first thought was, it’s no wonder an elite group of investors has already ponied up about $20 million to back this idea.
Scott McNealy’s Latest Gem
It’s a company called Wayin.
This social network startup is built on the power of a simple but vital idea – creating a global community of users who tap the service to get feedback from a large group of voices on any number of topics.
Think of it as instant polling or focus groups for questions of education, human resources, politics, games, entertainment, and more.
It used to take weeks or months for companies to get customers or workers to weigh in with their opinions.
Now with Wayin, they can do it on the fly along with a larger audience from around the world.
As such, Wayin plugs into the huge appeal of social network leader Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ:FB).
It also works well with Twitter, a service that allows members to send out short messages of up to 140 characters to their followers. Both online firms have become runaway success stories with several hundred millions users around the world.
Here’s how McNealy describes his new firm: