How did Microsoft fall so far? Cannibalistic Culture (Stack Rankings)

How did Microsoft fall so far? Cannibalistic Culture (Stack Rankings)

“I see Microsoft as technology’s answer to Sears,” said Kurt Massey, a former senior marketing manager. “In the 40s, 50s, and 60s, Sears had it nailed. It was top-notch, but now it’s just a barren wasteland. And that’s Microsoft. The company just isn’t cool anymore.”

TConsultant J.R. Atkins comments on Microsofts fall from Technology leaderhis is just one of the insights you can gleam from the August article in Vanity Fair Magazine.

Analyzing one of American corporate history’s greatest mysteries—the lost decade of Microsoft—two-time George Polk Award winner (and V.F.’s newest contributing editor) Kurt Eichenwald traces the “astonishingly foolish management decisions” at the company that “could serve as a business-school case study on the pitfalls of success.” Relying on dozens of interviews and internal corporate records—including e-mails between executives at the company’s highest ranks—Eichenwald offers an unprecedented view of life inside Microsoft during the reign of its current chief executive, Steve Ballmer, in the August issue.

Today, a single Apple product—the iPhone—generates more revenue than all of Microsoft’s wares combined.

“They used to point their finger at IBM and laugh,” said Bill Hill, a former Microsoft manager. “Now they’ve become the thing they despised.”

“The main purpose of AIM wasn’t to chat, but to give you the chance to log in at any time and check out what your friends were doing.” When he pointed out to his boss that Messenger lacked a short-message feature, the older man dismissed his concerns; he couldn’t see why young people would care about putting up a few words. “He didn’t get it,” the developer says. “And because he didn’t know or didn’t believe how young people were using messenger programs, we didn’t do anything.”

Read the reset of the article and let me know your thoughts in the comments section below.

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1 Comment

Joseph Hollak (@jhollak)

September 23, 2012 at 9:40 pm

I read this article, based on a recommendation from someone inside E-Myth Worldwide.

Two items caught me off-guard; first the huge amount of missed opportunity that slipped away from Microsoft during its “lost decade.” The second item to catch me off-guard was “Today, a single Apple product—the iPhone—generates more revenue than all of Microsoft’s wares combined.” Wow.

What were your take-aways?

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