Ignore Microsoft if you want success

Posted:
in General Discussion edited January 2014
http://www.pbs.org/cringely/pulpit/pulpit20040415.html





Quote:

Another company that is competing with Microsoft by ignoring them is Google. Google is the new Devil to Microsoft, and once Google goes public, it will be even worse -- a Devil with money.



Google has a business plan that includes the almost constant introduction of new products. They are not afraid to launch 10 services. They are not afraid if a few turn out to be flops. Finding great new product ideas for Google is a statistical process. Google is investing in good people and is letting them be creative. They are letting them think and act on their ideas. This is scary for Microsoft, which finds itself continually in reaction mode and never quite getting enough up to speed to be a real player before Google makes another change.



Google, unlike Microsoft, actually is a technology company, and this technology extends beyond development all the way to operations, which is almost unknown in the software/Internet space. Google has figured out the best computer power per dollar of investment. They've also realized they cannot and should not scale their support linearly with the number of servers. They've introduced better system management tools and better automation, but with a business objective in mind. Corporate IT everywhere else is still thinking in terms of headcount with the more heads the more powerful the manager. Google is smarter than that. They invested in their data center operations from the start while most companies invest as little as possible and pay more after the fact.



Most companies (including Microsoft) have about a 25-to-one server-support ratio, but Google does not have 4,000 people tending their 100,000 servers. This means they can deploy a HUGE application less expensively than anyone else. This gives them a competitive advantage. They CAN compete with Hotmail, Yahoo, and AOL with e-mail.



Google shows, just as Adobe did a decade before, that companies CAN compete with Microsoft. But to do so they have to unlock the intellectual talent of their employees and then USE that knowledge. Bringing this story back where it started, I can't see where Sun is doing this. They do not appear at present to have a culture that can grow the company beyond their present business model. Sun's pricing and support of Star Office demonstrates this point.



When a baseball team is losing, often the quickest and cheapest thing to do is to replace the manager. That's what Sun has done. Jonathan Schwartz is a very smart manager I'm sure. But his brain, no matter how big, is no substitute for a culture that encourages innovation and growth. Sun needs to regain that creative spark and I think they should use Microsoft's money to do so.



I say use the Microsoft cash to give every Sun employee (EVERY employee, all 36,000 of them) a six-week sabbatical with $2,000 in spending money. Stagger the time off over a year so customers won't suffer. Every person on sabbatical has to return with new ideas for Sun. They have to propose new businesses and ways of improving old ones. The ideas can be crazy, they can be big or small, but the worker must have ideas and defend them or they must leave the company. Many workers would leave, seeing the sabbatical as severance pay, and that's okay, too, because those people aren't needed.



At the end of this year of transformation, Sun would be a very different and better company provided Schwartz and McNealy decide to listen instead of talk. The company would be ready to compete -- not just with Microsoft, but with anyone.



Of course, they won't do it.





There's move above this section. I totally agree. Obessing about Microsoft leads to poor decisions. It may behoove Apple to start thinking more about where it wants to go and less about Microsofts reaction. History is littered with the losers of such battles. Let's hope Apple does not become one of the carcasses.

Comments

  • Reply 1 of 3
    ast3r3xast3r3x Posts: 5,012member
    The dev of google said that they weren't looking in their review mirror so they wouldn't crash into a tree in newsweek.
  • Reply 2 of 3
    hmurchisonhmurchison Posts: 12,279member
    Quote:

    Originally posted by ast3r3x

    The dev of google said that they weren't looking in their review mirror so they wouldn't crash into a tree in newsweek.





    Or how about the line someone said to the effect of "I don't know of many people who got into bed with Microsoft and didn't come out feeling screwed"



    Pandering to Microsoft is a surefire way to telling when a company is going to get shit on. Remember the much hyped Farenheit deal. Wow SGI and Microsoft working on new tech for 3D. Remember Chrome? Microsoft is not interested in furthering tech they don't control. Sun is pretty much finished as a power. They've laid off far too many good employees. There ain't enough H1B visa power to counteract that



    I'm still waiting on that Apple Office Suite.
  • Reply 3 of 3
    bungebunge Posts: 7,329member
    Perhaps this thread is similar to the thread I started about Adobe. Apple may want to just ignore them as well, and just make the best products they can.
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