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SF Gate: VA Linux: Easy Come, Easy Go; Stock's dramatic rise & fall leave determined workers unfazed

Jan 18, 2001, 20:22 (0 Talkback[s])
(Other stories by Diana Walsh)

"But even as employees of the Linux-based computer systems and services provider dared to dream about what their new fortunes might buy -- a new car, a European vacation, a new house -- they knew what went up so quickly would have to come down. They just didn't realize how far and how fast. The history-making stock closed down $2 yesterday, to $7.13, off 97 percent from its all-time high of $242.88 on Dec. 17, 1999.

"While VA Linux has become a poster child for the Silicon Valley downswing, its employees -- who view their company as part of a larger computing revolution -- are remarkably stoic. Despite their heavy dose of shock therapy, VA Linux employees seem to be holding up just fine."

"Part of the secret to employees' equanimity in the face of financial turmoil is their commitment to a cause. VA Linux is at the heart of the open-source software movement, which is dramatically changing the way software is developed and distributed, namely freely and free. ... For many in the open-source movement, it's never been about the money. It's about changing the world. Or at least how the world computes."

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