A though provoking post from Seth Godin – nothing new there – but it’s got me thinking about lots of conversations I have at the moment about Microsoft.
The guys in the blue curve, the new guys, would dearly love the assets and reputation that the green curve guys have. They don’t have it, though, so they improvise. They lean into the market. They give customers what they want, and embrace technology and new ideas because they have no other choice. The green curve, on the other hand, is filled with people who feel helpless. They feel like the organization is aligned against them, aligned to fail, all because the status quo is so powerful.
Lots of people think we’re in the green bit – exclusively. They think we’re a lumbering giant that lacks innovation and had no new ideas. Guess what, in some cases we are and it’s good to be that way. When you provide the IT than runs stock markets and systems on which people’s lives depends, it’s actually considered a good thing to be stable.
Meantime, we have a host of people asking us to be Apple, Google, & Facebook, all at the same time. That’s not reality either as they all have smaller organisations, a much leaner product line and for the most part a direct relationship with their customers. Microsoft meantime has over 70k employees, over 600k partners and heaven knows how many products. I’m not looking for an excuse here, just pointing out that like for like comparisons are unrealistic. However, to say we don’t operate in the blue space would be folly – we have very blue things like XBOX, Zune, Popfly, Home Server, Media Centre and coming down the line we have Photosynth, SeaDragon and Surface. Even the product names are "blue".
So….should we stay in the green and go home or be blue and change the world or go home? A bit of both is the simple answer.
Related note: I think Mary Jo gets it spot on about the Bungie situation. Just my view.