Open Insights 16 – Success In Juggling

Open Insights Newsletter
Issue 16 – Success in Juggling
February 1, 2006
by Sean Hull

Founder and Senior Consultant
Heavyweight Internet Group

Welcome to our free monthly newsletter, discussing news, developments and business best practices at the intersection of Oracle and Open Source software.

In This Issue:
1. Feature: Success in Juggling
2. Expanding Newsletter
3. Industry Heavies – Interviews
4. Current Reading
5. Lightweight Humor
6. Book Reviews
7. Miscellaneous
8. Past Issues
9. Technical Articles
10. About Heavyweight Internet Group

1. Feature: Success in Juggling
In Godin’s “The Big Moo” there’s an article about success in business using a unique insight. “Juggling is about throwing, not catching.” Now being part-time juggler in real life, and having spent ten long years as an independent consultant, I can tell you first hand that this is incredibly, terribly accurate. The worse your throws are, the more catch-up you have to play. Good throws are easy to catch and so they make the whole process smoother, and more fluid.

Obviously there’s an analogy here, and I think a very serious one to ponder. Take for example this very excellent presentation by Dick Hardt entitled OSCON 2005 Keynote – Identity 2.0. This presentation is what I would call, slide after slide a perfect throw each time. He seemlessly takes you from one thought to the next, also building on the last until you get the picture. His presentation is very engaging because of that.

That’s another point about good consulting. Companies have spent so much time with cookie-cutter consultants coming from the big consulting firms that they sometimes assume boutique firms will be the same or worse. But the reality is those big firms have million dollar sales teams negotiating contracts for which they simply apply resources.

The other insight here comes from watching a beginner learn to juggle. Despite explaining to them how important a good throw is, they’re going to get excited at first, and get all worked up, and it’s still going to be difficult for them. You have to help them get over that hump. The same goes in consulting projects. In truth clients hire you because you have a proven track record at knowing how to throw, and hoping that you’ll be able to extend that skill to their business. With patience it can be done, and the insight from this example is that the patience really needs to be practiced all around the table. If as a consultant you expect all your clients to know what they want, you’re kidding yourself. If they knew all that, they could execute themselves without hiring you. So too, if clients expect that just plugging in the right resource will solve all their difficult problems, they have a few things to learn from juggling as well.

So set about your next technology project with this insight in mind. You want to be as serious about throwing, as you are about catching. And keep it in mind as you review and consider outside resources for those projects.

2. Expanding Newsletter
We’ve reached our 1200th subscriber for our monthly newsletter, and also decided on the name “Open Insights”. Thanks so much for passing us along to colleagues. With any luck we’ll double again in the coming year!

We’re also adding more features, and a contents section, so you can quickly jump to what you’re interested in.

3. Heavyweight Industry Interviews
I interviewed the authors of six open-source projects which work with Oracle, and published the interviews in their entirety on Oracle + Open Source. Included are…

Ljubomir Buturovic, author of gqlplus
Itzchak Rehberg, author of OraRep
Jeff Horwitz, author of extproc_perl
Paul Vallee, the author of
Tim Strehle, author of the OracleEditor
Clausen Yngve, author of ora2html

Read – Oracle Open Source Projects – The Interviews.

4. Current Reading
The Big Moo, edited by Seth Godin see also
Seth Godin edits this little book of insights, including essays and new ideas from such luminaries as Malcolm Gladwell, Mark Cuban, Tom Peters, and Amit Gupta.

The Database Hacker’s Handbook by David Litchfield, Chris Anley, John Heasman & Bill Grindlay
This book talks A to Z about database security, covering Oracle, SQL Server, DB2 and Sybase as well as open-source MySQL, and Postgres.

The Deep Hot Biosphere by Thomas Gold
The premise, backed by a lot of chemistry, and current respected science is that hydrocarbons, commonly known as fossil fuels are not of fossil origin, but are a natural component of the earth’s core. See also Abiogenic petrolium origin.

5. Lightweight Humor
This blog Gaping Void has some pretty insightful and humorous cartoons, all drawn on the backs of business cards. Here’s one about smarter and faster markets.

6. Book Reviews
Expert Oracle Database Architecture, by Tom Kyte
Tom Kyte’s books are always excellent, and this one is certainly no exception. Read the in-depth review here.

Cost-Based Oracle, by Jonathan Lewis
Jonathan Lewis as many of you know, is a world renowned expert in the field of Oracle database administration and tuning. His new book on Oracle’s sophisticated Cost-Based Optimizer will provide insights, and insider detail like no other you’ve read before. You can find the full review here.

7. Miscellaneous: Tags & Related News
We’ve added a few things to our blog “Oracle and Open Source”, including a “Tag Cloud” of keywords that appear most frequently on the Oracle blog aggregation site “OraBlogs”. To learn more about that, visit We’d also recommend taking a look at the social bookmarking site We have aggregated our favorite sites there as well.

8. Past Issues
Issue 15: Marketing About Technology
Issue 14: The Tricky Database
Issue 13: Oracle Heavy Lifting
Archive: Past Issues

9. Technical Articles
Oracle9i + RAC on Linux/Firewire: click here
Migrating MySQL to Oracle: click here
MySQL Disaster Recovery: click here

10. About Heavyweight Internet Group
In a nutshell, Oracle. Everything related to and surrounding the database technology we specialize in, but specifically setup, admin and tuning of Oracle technology. We have 10 years experience with Oracle, wrote a book on the technology, and write and lecture frequently. I’m founder and senior consultant of the company. In capacities where your company might hire Deloitte, AIG, or Oracle Consulting we can bring the same level of service and experience, at about half the price. Simple equation. Visit us on the web at