Two posts caught my eye this morning:
1) Warner Crocker wrote: "When Success Breeds Contempt: The UMPC Fiasco."
2) Sam Purtill wrote me an email and also posted this in my comments: "Most of the Web developers out there utterly hate Microsoft." and "However, you guys need to win back the developers if you want [Windows Live] to succeed." In an email to me he asked "Does Microsoft have a plan or an initiative to win back web developers? Everyone hates you guys in our industry, and MS doesn't seem to be doing anything about it. You guys come across as cocky, monopolistic, and I've even heard some people call your company a form of communism. Please don't disregard my email, I will definitely regard what you have to say in a reply."
This stuff hurts, but if we don't pay attention shame on us.
One huge advantage? These guys are still talking with us. Someone who is willing to engage usually is looking for some response that tells them that we're listening and looking for a conversation (yeah, there are exceptions, but in life I've found they are actually pretty rare).
This morning I spoke with Shel Israel to the MeshForum in San Francisco and we talked about just these kinds of issues. That corporations now have the ability to listen and learn that they never had before. From a global audience.
I showed off how I use NewsGator to watch what anyone in the world says about "geek" "software" "Linux" "Apple" "Microsoft" among a variety of other topics. You don't need to be a famous blogger to be found anymore.
That's my plan.
Now, what's Microsoft's plan? How about listen to the customers and make better products for them?
Business isn't rocket science. Do that and eventually people who hate your products, think your company sucks, will start to notice.
Oh, and Sam, there's something else we can do to help win your love: help YOU win. My wife taught me this one. If I'm always selfish and don't think of her needs she eventually turns cold and obstinate. Bring her flowers and take out the trash (really small things if you think about it) she notices and warms up.
Is business that simple? Yes, it is.
Sam is just telling us we haven't been paying attention to him. Shame on us if we don't get the message.