News from National -- Current Articles
Rising IT Company
Interview by S. Ibaraki, I.S.P.
This week, Stephen Ibaraki,
I.S.P., has an exclusive interview with Stu Sjouwerman, President of Sunbelt
Software, one of the fastest growing companies in the North America, ranked #
409 in the 2001 Inc. 500 List ; Editor of W2Knews with more than 500,000
readers every week; and best-selling author of several books (http://www.w2knews.com)
Q: First of all, thank you Stu for agreeing to this interview. What does your
family think about your career as a noted author, editor, and president of
one of the fastest growing companies in North America?
A: They are thrilled and proud. And of course they are now telling me they'll
be here for a month at Christmas time and lounge in our new pool.
Q: Can you detail your personal history, the decisions you made, the jobs you
have undertaken, and the roles you have played to get to your present
position as head of Sunbelt Software? Which areas will you be targeting in
the future, with your company?
A: I have been 22 years in IT, mainly in sales, then marketing, then
management and finally business owner. We are sticking to what we know,
System Management Utilities for the Windows NT/2000/XP and soon .NET market
Q: It rare to have a best-seller, itís even rarer to have a best-selling
technical book. Can you provide a quick overview of your past, present, and
future books? And, can you provide five key tips you could share with the
A: We leveraged the Internet right from early 1995. Built a very large
(actually the world's largest) database of opt-in email addresses of people
managing NT/W2K and looking for add-on tools. 5 Tips? Easy:
- Build an email
- Provide useful
information that educates in a peer-to-peer fashion and generates
- Ask people to tell
- Provide excellent and
- Goto 1
Q: You have built-up your newsletter over the years to take a leading
position. Share your secrets on how you did this remarkable job? And, how did
you build your company into itís current position of one of the fastest
growing companies Ė can you provide tips?
A: We started early so our timing was right. And we saw the potential of the
net early. I have always believed in email and never in banners. So we built
an email address database first.
Q: Look into your crystal ball and tell us where technology is today and
where is it going?
A: Evolutionary. More into wireless but slowly. I see no wild disruptive
events. Here is the Crystal Ball issue for this year:
Q: What are your views on top four programming environments and their future?
A: I have to admit that my viewpoint to a large degree is limited to the
Microsoft environment, so the two things I see are Visual .NET and XML as THE
major two winners for the next couple of years. But there is a saying.
"This is so obvious it's like kicking in an open door".
Q: For those relatively new in the computing field and for seasoned veterans,
which 10 areas should they target for future study, what are the high-growth
areas, and can you provide specific advice?
A: They are:
- Network Security
- System Security
- Physical (site)
- Wetware Security
Policy and enforcement of it
- High Availability and
- Windows 2000 and Cisco
- SANS Security
- Windows 2000 and
Exchange 2000 System Management
- People Skills are
getting more and more important for techies like us.
Q: What would you do different if you started again, having gone through this
authoring experience over the years?
A: Our run in with the anti-spam community was no fun. I'd have liked to not
have that experience: See this link
Q: What would be your recommended top references for the serious developer?
For the serious system administrator?
A. Out of the "How Are We Doing" survey came some other very useful
info. These were the most popular other technical sites apart from Microsoft
MSDN/Technet and Sunbelt-software.com. High on the list were:
- ZDNET: 50%
- CNet: 44%
- TechRepublic: 40%
- PCworld: 19%
- SearchWin2000: 17%
Q: Itís a blank slate, what added comments would you like to give to
enterprise corporations and organizations?
A: Our recent market research points to the fact that corporations have woken
up to the fact that security and high availability need way more attention
and budget. It's time that everyone gets going on this. It is our mutual IT
responsibility to keep things going and protect our business and economy.