Bill Joy is comfortably into his new role of not having a role, to judge from our meeting last Friday morning. We met at the Depot, a Mill Valley cafe which pretty much defines Marin casual. Bill is in the middle of what he termed a “three year move” – moving out of his Sun offices, which contained more than 20 years of research, notes, and assorted papers – moving as well from his Russian Hill home in San Francisco, and into new digs in Mill Valley as well as his ranch in Aspen. In essence, transition has been Joy’s job for the past few years, and he seems content in it.
Our talked ranged over a pretty open space, and touched on his talks with Google (he confirmed them, but they are not ongoing), his sense of where Sun is going (tough road ahead but he wishes them well), his continuing thinking along the lines of his now legendary Wired article (still figuring if he has a book in him on the topic, and if so, when), and his thoughts on better search solutions (we touched on the work of David Gerlernter more than once). In fact, I have an interview scheduled with David Gerlernter this Thursday morning, stay tuned for that.
As to what he might be doing next, he seemed happily indeterminate. A fine place to be, it seems to me.