Its a known fact (so for example I don’t have to bother looking for references to prove it…) that organisations go through various growing pains as their size increases.
One big pain I see a few companies experiencing at the moment is the visionary exit pain.
Most recently Jobs announced his departure from Apple and the share price dropped 7% or something. In reality we wont know the real impact for several years as his involvement gradually works out of the product development cycle.
But I don’t want to talk about Apple, I want to talk about Microsoft.
Bill Gates was a big influence, and whilst he was at the helm Microsoft did well (it also did some things that were not so good). But as his input has declined so has Microsoft’s success.
I don’t know, but I get the feeling when he was there there was a single clear message and everyone understood, and everyone found it easy to pull in the same direction. Now it seems like, as well as consistently eating next years seed corn to make the numbers, no one really knows which way they are going.
I think of it as a camel being a horse designed by a committee. so the ribbon is a ui designed by a committee of people who don’t use the product to earn a living. And VS2010 was envisioned by a bunch of people who don’t use it day to day to solve real issues. And so it goes on, there are a few gems in there for sure, but many are becoming diluted.
So all in all current (and near future) MS is a bit meh for me, I see a lot of poor decisions gradually coming back to haunt them. But they are not alone, it seems many of that generation are struggling.
- Yahoo – still barely alive, but Carol Bartz is my current hero for calling the board a bunch of dufusses
- HP – in terminal decline, with CEO apparently about to depart (for the circus?)(I don’t think he would get the same welcome at Oracle as his HP predecessor.) (shares up 7% on rumour of exit – I wonder how much MS would jump on similar news??)
- Google – very static, still limited outside search and ads. Well except for Android I guess, if they can get it back under control.
Yeah I think there are a few big names wrestling with the hand over from visionary to holding team.
Have I got any helpful advice? no not really. Have you? Any other large IT co’s you see in terminal decline?