Mini Microsoft

Mini-Microsoft. Wow, written up in Business Week, Slashdot, etc. Shows the power of the web when someone can put up a site like this about the insides of a company.

Wonder how long it will last, so read it while it lasts. Some really greet insider comments. It took me an hour to read one post like “comments”:http://minimsft.blogspot.com/2005/09/comment-overload-at-mini-microsoft.html#comments or “reorg”:http://minimsft.blogspot.com/2005/09/microsoft-reorg-reshuffle.html. of course I have my own opinions but I’ll keep them private 🙂

Blogging by the way is an incredible way to communicate. Wish we had made more investment there 🙁

“Sinofsky’s”:http://blogs.msdn.com/techtalk/ comments are interesting given he’s Mr. Office.

Steve Jobs on Apple was probably the most interesting

. Q: What can we learn from Apple’s struggle to innovate during the decade before you returned in 1997?
A: You need a very product-oriented culture, even in a technology company. Lots of companies have tons of great engineers and smart people. But ultimately, there needs to be some gravitational force that pulls it all together. Otherwise, you can get great pieces of technology all floating around the universe. But it doesn’t add up to much. That’s what was missing at Apple for a while. There were bits and pieces of interesting things floating around, but not that gravitational pull.

People always ask me why did Apple really fail for those years, and it’s easy to blame it on certain people or personalities. Certainly, there was some of that. But there’s a far more insightful way to think about it. Apple had a monopoly on the graphical user interface for almost 10 years. That’s a long time. And how are monopolies lost? Think about it. Some very good product people invent some very good products, and the company achieves a monopoly.

But after that, the product people aren’t the ones that drive the company forward anymore. It’s the marketing guys or the ones who expand the business into Latin America or whatever. Because what’s the point of focusing on making the product even better when the only company you can take business from is yourself?

So a different group of people start to move up. And who usually ends up running the show? The sales guy. John Akers at IBM is the consummate example. Then one day, the monopoly expires for whatever reason. But by then the best product people have left, or they’re no longer listened to. And so the company goes through this tumultuous time, and it either survives or it doesn’t.

Microsoft and the community

Pushme-pullyou. Great thoughts by Joe on what to do about the “community at large.” It is nice to know there are folks inside the ‘Soft who are wondering about what to do about the external world.

my initial reaction is this: I know that to a great degree, Microsoft employees are incredibly enthusiastic about the products they work on, and they are eager to share their work with “the community at large.” The problem comes when the personal desire to share information meets the corporate desire to control how and when information is shared, and this conundrum isn’t unique to Microsoft. I think that is something Microsoft, both as a company and as a group of employees, is still trying to come to terms with. It’s a difficult balance to get right, and it’s pretty clear that Microsoft hasn’t found it yet.

Microsoft guy critiques Windows Media Player

jetsam redux. Joe critiques Media Player and I gather he got lots of questions about why a Microsoft person would criticize a product. Bravo to you Joe. Nothing gets better if you don’t think critically about it IMHO. I have never yet seen a perfect product or one that couldn’t use improvement. Even ones in their 9th versions.