PayPal was the first Silicon Valley titan to get its own self-styled "mafia": a cadre of successful executives who left to create a range of great businesses like LinkedIn, Tesla and YouTube. Google now has its own "mafia", albeit one stronger in management expertise than product prowess, and no doubt Facebook, Twitter, Square, …
That sounds so negative... I think of it as a bunch of friends and coworkers who find ways to work together again. And obviously some smart people who know how to get some things done.
Also, it is much deeper than you even pointed out. The people actually spread even further. Going back in history in Bluestone with folks like Tom Leonard, Shaun Connolly, Rich Friedman, Joe McGonnell, John Mazzatelli who were key contributors at JBoss. And how Bluestone acquired Arjuna, then spun it out of HP so that JBoss could acquire it again, and for the star at Arjuna, Mark Little took Sacha's place as the CTO of JBoss today. And others at CloudBees like Michael Neale and Francois Dechery and for a while Andrian Brock. Or Mark investing in CloudBees, and Connolly and Friedman being on the Tech Advisory Board at CloudBees. Or Juha Lindfors doing work on Mark's OpenRemote project. There are even wacky interconnections like Greg Pavlik who is now VP Engineering at HortonWorks and was a Bluestone star developer. Also, how about the VC's like David Skok and Peter Fenton. And how that spread out to people like Kevin Efrusy. Also other company connections like Hyperic, who's technology was the foundation of the Jboss Operations Network. Hyperic was later acquired by Spring because it had become the foundation for their management platform and was driving increasing revenue. And eXo, which Jboss selected to be the foundation of the new JBoss Portal, where Sacha and I are both advisors.
One might almost call it a world wide web ;-)
And the relationship with HP goes even further: my first printer was a HP!
This article makes an important point about the ecosystem and how it works. The best book about it that I have read is Startup of You by Reid Hoffman. It is as important for its examples as its recommendations.
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