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May 07, 2009


Ben Koo

Congrats on the new gig. I am sure Sugar is happy to have you at the helm.

Will John be staying with the company?

I am sure you will do a tremendous job and Sugar is lucky to have you.

Craig Oda

This is exciting. I hope that you bring SugarCRM to a new level. This is a company with a HUGE potential as an application platform. Although many companies hope for this, SugarCRM has a real opportunity. Simply look at Salesforce.com and their market cap of $5B+ in this crappy economy.

It's time for an open source company to go out there and getsome!

Account Deleted

As a guy intimatley involved in the space I can tell you that you have your hands full finding a solid replacement. Sugar's failure is not understanding their customers and the true need of the marketplace. Few people have their thumb on that magic piece.

Best of luck

Richard Keith Latman


Kudos to John for helping to get Sugar to where it is today. Even the open source Community Edition is very usable.

If there are any product areas to address, let me suggest Case handling. This is an area where both Salesforce and Sugar are fairly deficient (as are most of the alternatives).

Jay Batson


Paul Rony

I spoke with John Roberts nearly four years ago and he did not seem very open to me. Two years ago, I called and asked if he was interested in working with SplendidCRM and I got a one-word response, "No!", before he abruptly hung-up the phone.

I hope this posting will serve as an open invitation to Larry to talk.

Paul Rony
SplendidCRM Software, Inc.

Philip Copeman

Larry, I am also open for discussion it will be great to see a change of approach at Sugar.

TurboCASH is an open source accounting package. We compete against Sage and Intuit. They also provide CRM solutions of their own. We have 100 000 users in 25 languages and 81 countries. I would like to link up with a CRM company that wants to move forward with the open source model.

Philip Copeman
TurboCASH Accounting

Mark Hinkle

Larry, Congrats on taking the helm, I can't imagine the company in better hands.

Best Regards, Mark

Stanley Kellmann

Sugar tastes good going down, but vile when you throw it up.

The software QA is very bad -- lots of bugs all the time and terrible upgrades...breaking SugarCRM and fixing it is a constant struggle. You need FT PHP gurus and SQL database gurus just to maintain it.

The best strategy is to pick a release and stick with it to the bitter end. Upgrading and patching will cost you thousands of dollars and hours.

The promise of SugarCRM is not the same as the delivery.

Sacha Labourey

Congratulations Larry, that's a great challenge, onward,


(now your wife won't tell you anymore that you don't have a real job ;) )

Robert Laussegger

I assume that John Roberts didn't leave his post voluntarily. Or in other words: VCs have become cold feet because 48 mio is not exactly pocket money if there is no return.

I believe that (sadly) only one part of Sugar's strategy worked: Creating an excellent, free OS product and getting an enormous response from the media.
The second half didn't work out at all - turning this degree of popularity into money (= paying customers).

The reason is twofold: Firstly the free product is too good. Many even very large organisations can live with the CE version without any problems if they are ready to invest a few dimes in some decent programmer.

Secondly there is no channel management (and subsequently no channel) to speak of. For most of us it is much better and more profitable to sell proprietary SW simply because there is more in it for us. And for the few who still stick with Sugar as their main product it makes much more sense to "sell" the CE version and make money by adding the needed functionality themselves (and thereby deliberately locking in the customer).

My advise:

- Scrap the free version. The Express pricing is just about right provided the quality improves (less frequent upgrades).

- Scrap the partner fees but implement a partner certification program. Today there are too many so called partners who don't have a clue what they are doing but since they pay they are part of the family

- Raise the partner commission to a normal 35 - 45% but make partners responsible for support. Sugar should only provide 2nd level support or special deals for large customers (in accordance with the maintaining partner)

- Do not compete with your partners. You will lose on the long run. CRM is nothing that can be sold out of the box via a web shop.

- Distribute leads transparently and control the fulfilment.


Well things must be going better, because I have upgraded Sugar twice and haven't had any major bugs except in developing modules. Commission trackers etc. I still praise you guys daily for this project and am anxious to install 6.0 as it is looks amazing.

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My Current Reading List

  • Robert Jordan: Knife of Dreams (The Wheel of Time, Book 11)

    Robert Jordan: Knife of Dreams (The Wheel of Time, Book 11)
    I'm almost embarrassed to admit that I'm still reading Robert Jordan's The Wheel of Time series. When he passed L. Ron Hubbard’s Battlefield Earth decology I could have cried. Maybe WoT will be made into the worst movie of all time? Still, I've been following the saga of Rand al'Thor for more than a decade now, and I want to see how it ends. Rumor is that the next book, Memory of Light, will in fact conclude the saga. To borrow a phrase, "There should have been only one." (**)

  • Neal Stephenson: Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1)

    Neal Stephenson: Quicksilver (The Baroque Cycle, Vol. 1)
    My family got me Quicksilver for Christmas. I'm not far into it, but it's clearly a Stephenson book: lots of historical connections, multiple timeline unfolding simultaneously, meticulous historical detail, 100 pages in the plot is still a total mystery, big "thud"factor... Should be a great read.

  • Chris DiBona: Open Sources 2.0

    Chris DiBona: Open Sources 2.0
    Anything edited by Chris DiBona is worth spending the time to read.

  • David Kahn: The Codebreakers : The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet

    David Kahn: The Codebreakers : The Comprehensive History of Secret Communication from Ancient Times to the Internet
    I'm just getting started with this one, but so far it's a fascinating account of the history of cryptology. It's a massive 1200 pages, so it may be a while before I move on to something else.

Larry . . .

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    My Events

    • You can find me at these upcoming events
    • 2010-07-21 to 2010-07-22 OSCON.
      I'll be at the O'Reilly Open Source Conference (OSCON) on Wednesday and Thursday. SugarCRM engineer John Mertic is speaking at OSCON.
    • 2010-07-28 AlwaysOn Summit at Stanford.
      Jeff Kaplan of THINKstrategies is moderating a panel session at the AlwaysOn Summit at Stanford including Marten Mickos, Swayne Hill, Treb Ryan, Lars Buytaert, and me. I'm looking forward to a great discussion.
    • 2010-09-27 to 2010-09-29 Paris Open Source ThinkTank.
      Olliance Open Source ThinkTanks are always great events, and I'll thrilled to be at the Paris event again this year.
    • 2010-09-30 to 2010-10-01 Open World Forum.
      I am speaking at the Open World Forum (OWF) in Paris on Oct 1, 2010. I am also a judge in the OWF Open Innovation Demo Cup. Be sure to submit your project before July 31 for consideration.
    • 2010-10-05 London CRM Acceleration.
      SugarCRM will hold a CRM Acceleration in London on October 5, 2010.
    • 2010-10-21 Munich CRM Acceleration.
      SugarCRM will hold a CRM Acceleration in Munich on October 21, 2010.
    • 2010-10-25 Cap Gemini Open Your Mind.
      I'm speaking in the Netherlands at Open Your Mind, an event sponsored by Cap Gemini on Open Source.

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    • Doc Searls
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    • Matt Asay
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    • r0ml Lefkowitz
      The r0ml is one of the most entertaining and insightful commentators on the state of the IT industry that I know.
    • Stephen Walli
      I first met Stephen when he worked at Microsoft, and I organized a dinner at OSCON between Eric Raymond and a number of the Microsoft Shared Source team. I liked him even then so that should tell you a lot.

    My Companies

    • I am involved with these companies as an investor and board member.
    • Appcelerator
      Open Source platform that provides everything you need to build rich web, mobile and desktop applications. News
    • DotNetNuke
      Open Source framework for building websites and web applications on Microsoft ASP.NET. News
    • SugarCRM
      Open Source Customer Relationship Management (CRM) software. I have been a board member and investor at SugarCRM since 2005 and CEO there since May 2009. News

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    • Dasient
      Dasient is an an early-stage company that is solving next-generation security problems for the Internet. News
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      Embedded instant-on operating system for consumer devices. News
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      On-line lead generation and marketing automation. News
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      Open Source VoIP PBX based on Asterisk. News
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      Funambol's vision is to make push email and mobile content/PIM sync easy between the largest number of smart & feature phones, the Internet cloud and popular desktop apps. News
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      Open Source Electronic Health Record (EHR). News
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      Mule is then world's most widely-used Open Source ESB and integration platform. News
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      Novara Clinical Research operates dedicated facilities for conducting Phase II to Phase IV patient studies for the pharmaceutical industry. News
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