Hugh’s looking for Microsoft’s next big idea

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Wrong quest, sorry Hugh.
It's the small ideas that will transform big companies.

RSS? It was a small idea five years ago. Except in Dave Winer's mind. Today it's in Sharepoint, Outlook, IE7, among other places.

Blogging? Bill Gates hadn't heard the word five years ago. Today he owns one of the most popular blog services and has 3,000 of the most-respected corporate bloggers.

Podcasting? Videochatting? Hey, Microsoft still hasn't gotten that small idea, but another big company has (that company is Apple, check out the ad that Maryam is standing next to).

Want a big idea for Microsoft? Go to BarCamp this weekend. Oh, wait, that's being held in Microsoft's SF offices. I wonder if Microsoft will get the small ideas that are gonna be discussed on its own turf? Calling Ray Ozzie, calling Ray Ozzie! :-)

Maryam with a Mac ad at Apple store

Comments

  1. Nice post Robert. I do not know about the future but I surely know that the present is in
    Internet. I know Americans are not great fan of football (even you call it as
    ‘Soccer’) and World Cup Football 2006 hardly means anything to most Americans.
    However, American companies are doing the best with this event. Official website
    of World Cup Football had

    1.2 billion page views in the first week of tournament
    and there are still 3
    weeks to go. In 2002 (the last time this competition took place) the total page
    view for one month was 2 billion only. So, you can see the difference. In 2002,
    no one knew about blogs and this time thousands of blog entries have been
    written about World Cup Football.

  2. Nice post Robert. I do not know about the future but I surely know that the present is in
    Internet. I know Americans are not great fan of football (even you call it as
    ‘Soccer’) and World Cup Football 2006 hardly means anything to most Americans.
    However, American companies are doing the best with this event. Official website
    of World Cup Football had

    1.2 billion page views in the first week of tournament
    and there are still 3
    weeks to go. In 2002 (the last time this competition took place) the total page
    view for one month was 2 billion only. So, you can see the difference. In 2002,
    no one knew about blogs and this time thousands of blog entries have been
    written about World Cup Football.

  3. Eh. Only problem I see with that ad is that most students I know (and myself) are broke. A cheap laptop with Linux fits the bill for most of us. (Though some persist in using Windows, for reasons unknown. At this point, I’m just trying to move people off IE 6. :-p )

  4. Eh. Only problem I see with that ad is that most students I know (and myself) are broke. A cheap laptop with Linux fits the bill for most of us. (Though some persist in using Windows, for reasons unknown. At this point, I’m just trying to move people off IE 6. :-p )

  5. You did notice “superfast, Office-running” comes first, and “podcasting” comes last?

    “College students?” Ack, horrible…even if I am a ‘college-student’, I don’t want to be herded and generically grouped like that. And lots of people around Educational places that are NOT college students. Plus it’s too darned neutral, change it to something more sexy, like ‘cool or smart’. Cast it like, you are unhip or a dummy if you don’t own one of these. And ‘buy’ is negative, buy says ‘money’, expense — ‘own’ is less negative, more investmental, more perm.

    I personally would have reworded it thusly…

    “Smart people own the work-of-art, superfast, crash-resistant, Office-running, music-powerhouse, video-chatting and podcasting Mac.”

  6. You did notice “superfast, Office-running” comes first, and “podcasting” comes last?

    “College students?” Ack, horrible…even if I am a ‘college-student’, I don’t want to be herded and generically grouped like that. And lots of people around Educational places that are NOT college students. Plus it’s too darned neutral, change it to something more sexy, like ‘cool or smart’. Cast it like, you are unhip or a dummy if you don’t own one of these. And ‘buy’ is negative, buy says ‘money’, expense — ‘own’ is less negative, more investmental, more perm.

    I personally would have reworded it thusly…

    “Smart people own the work-of-art, superfast, crash-resistant, Office-running, music-powerhouse, video-chatting and podcasting Mac.”

  7. Hasn’t your English teacher been telling you to make remarks that are concrete and specific, Chris? You need to say what you don’t like about the Apple ads.

  8. Hasn’t your English teacher been telling you to make remarks that are concrete and specific, Chris? You need to say what you don’t like about the Apple ads.

  9. Well, show some folding green stuff and I might. :)

    But in that example, the subjected noun “College Students” was too bland, too generic labeled, without any emotion and quite limiting in scope. And big Colleges nowadays are half gov and corporate research facilities, half the population are not ‘College Students’.

    And ‘buy’ the verb, was too negative of an emotion, ‘buy’ paints mental images of bills, debt, credit card payments. Own paints a future look, after all paid off. ‘I own this’ is a happier emotion over ‘I buy this’. Plus with iPodization being a cultural phenom, to not mention anything musical (iPod mothership station kick-up) is very bad. And people think in terms of overall ‘art’ when it comes to Mac’s, pretty design, in OS and hardware, it’s what the average man on street thinks, so should make mention of that.

    Just for all the supposed marketing jazz Apple has, sure seems like not much thought went into alotta their ad pieces, but then I don’t know the metrics so I could be totally barking at the moon, but at least a first glance.

  10. Well, show some folding green stuff and I might. :)

    But in that example, the subjected noun “College Students” was too bland, too generic labeled, without any emotion and quite limiting in scope. And big Colleges nowadays are half gov and corporate research facilities, half the population are not ‘College Students’.

    And ‘buy’ the verb, was too negative of an emotion, ‘buy’ paints mental images of bills, debt, credit card payments. Own paints a future look, after all paid off. ‘I own this’ is a happier emotion over ‘I buy this’. Plus with iPodization being a cultural phenom, to not mention anything musical (iPod mothership station kick-up) is very bad. And people think in terms of overall ‘art’ when it comes to Mac’s, pretty design, in OS and hardware, it’s what the average man on street thinks, so should make mention of that.

    Just for all the supposed marketing jazz Apple has, sure seems like not much thought went into alotta their ad pieces, but then I don’t know the metrics so I could be totally barking at the moon, but at least a first glance.

  11. I was chatting with Hugh about this in an earlier post of his which I think helped prompt the cartoon. I think the party definitely isn’t over but it just about to begin…and you left us a pretty well established canavas to have the debate Robert. cheers (B)

  12. I was chatting with Hugh about this in an earlier post of his which I think helped prompt the cartoon. I think the party definitely isn’t over but it just about to begin…and you left us a pretty well established canavas to have the debate Robert. cheers (B)

  13. Insert into thought bubble “Hey , a hand held mood sensor that reads mood swings – I’ll call it the FemFeeler”.

    Just an idea, as guys are so totally without a clue about women and generally get themselves into trouble without even realizing it.

  14. Insert into thought bubble “Hey , a hand held mood sensor that reads mood swings – I’ll call it the FemFeeler”.

    Just an idea, as guys are so totally without a clue about women and generally get themselves into trouble without even realizing it.

  15. See, I just look at that Apple advertisement and scream at the screen, “There needs to be a colon at the end of that first line, not a comma!”

    Right now, it’s written in a way that “college students” is part of the list below it. Very distracting. It’s not clear to read the first time at all.

  16. See, I just look at that Apple advertisement and scream at the screen, “There needs to be a colon at the end of that first line, not a comma!”

    Right now, it’s written in a way that “college students” is part of the list below it. Very distracting. It’s not clear to read the first time at all.