Van Hoff and Shaio had discussed a startup on their own, but knew that
it might fall flat without the right marketing and publicity. Polese had
almost single-handedly created Java's public identity, selling a new
language to major industry players from Netscape to Microsoft.
"It was very important that Kim joined," Van Hoff says. "If it had been
just three engineers, it wouldn't have been as big of a success. Kim
brought along her address book with the 100 most important people you
need to know when you do a startup, and gave us a market focus that we
couldn't have done ourselves."
All four resigned from their posts on the same day.
"Scott McNeally was very understanding, and wished us good luck," Van
Hoff recalls. "He also warned us not to hire any Sun employees."