Why Sun Can't Afford To Shine Alone

Late last June, managers of Sun Microsystems Inc.'s new SunSoft software subsidiary huddled at a retreat in Sonoma, Calif. Their mission: develop a plan to fight off the many companies trying to usurp Sun's No. 1 spot in workstation computer sales. On a lark, they turned for guidance to the I Ching, the ancient Chinese Book of Changes. William L. Larson, the software unit's marketing vice-president, solemnly threw the requisite three coins a total of six times. The name of the resulting hexagram was shih, which means "the army."

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