Your Apple analogy is a little off too in that Apple will never have Microsoft's position because it sells a bound hardware-software system
Agree TOTALLY on MSFT mis-management. You wont get ANY arguments here on that one!
Disagree TOTALLY on Apple. Jobs is a megalomaniac of the highest order, but he is also a GENIUS and a brilliant strategist that really never loses (plus he has charisma, so when he's as asshole, people LOVE him more)
He has reinvented Apple time and time again.
The integrated stack is their power. He either had great luck or great forsight in allowing Bill to create the PC industry (which took big diversity, an ecosystem and tons of partners) while he stayed monolithic and waited for it all to become a commodity.
Once its a commodity, people just want the "one that works and looks pretty" and "rule of the geek" is over. Thats now and BAM enter Jobs. Thus Apple market share climbs and he hasnt really done much at all except stick with the formula and make two GREAT moves:
1) leverage his work at NeXT to flush legacy MacOS thus getting BIG reward for MINIMAL investment since most of the work was done and MacOS was a dinosaur
2) switch to Intel thus gaining parts parity with the PC and opening the door for shit like bootcamp
While that was cooking he essentially took total ownership of portable audio (embarassing Sony, MSFT, Amazon, and all of the MP3 player industry) and then entered the phone business, turned the model UPSIDE down (something MSFT has INSISTED cant happen) and beaten the hell out of Win Mobile.
All of these moves required BIG balls and ruthlessness. Without going into a lot of detail, I am privy to some behind the scenes iPhone chatter pre-ATT deal and it was PURE hardball "YOU NEED US DINOSAUR!" type talk to all of the big names you can imagine.
And what happened? He was right and he won. Does anyone talk about or care about his hardball with other CEOs? NO! why would they?! Why SHOULD they???
ONLY MSFT gets ideological analysis. Thats the core of my point.
The current generation is lost, to be honest. My interest lies in fixing this LONG term which is why I am VERY bullish on XBox (an unpopular topic here, but the folks here are wrong on this)
I donate time to inner city schools and talk to kids. Kids that dont know WHAT MSFT is LOVE XBox. Kids that think Apple IS the only computer, LIVE on XBox Live.
XBox is our ONE remaining brand brightspot for the next generation. We have a narrow window to capitalize on it and fix things.
Anyone who thinks this sounds "ruthless" or "shallow" just really doesnt understand the realities of business well.
You will have ups and downs with products, but long term, your brand power will keep you alive. Without it, the greatest product in the world wont sell at all. History is litered with examples.
Saturday, May 03, 2008 9:56:00 PM
41 minutes ago