Microsoft has no innovator’s dillema?

Oh, boy, Don Dodge says that Microsoft will not fall into innovator’s dillema.

Hmmm, someday I’ll post an email to me from a top Microsoft executive that had the words “business value” repeated 13 times (I asked them to buy a variety of things, including Flickr (this email was written three weeks before Yahoo bought Flickr). The executive was running a business with billions in revenue and didn’t see the business value in what I was proposing Microsoft do. Truth is, Microsoft is run by people who aren’t taking risks and don’t see the value in Web stuff. Why can I say that? Name a single Microsoft Internet product/service that made you say “wow” in the past three years. I can’t name one and I’ve been looking.

But, in this trip to Seattle I had a few meetings with MSFTies that I didn’t talk about cause they don’t want to be quoted on my blog. In them I was reminded once again that Microsoft has a far deeper problem: it isn’t shipping cool stuff THAT IT ALREADY HAS BUILT. I can’t tell more. I heard the story of yet another team that had a killer service that was killed. Funny enough several members of that team have left because they were demoralized about building something cool, getting close enough to ship that they had already sent the technology outside of Microsoft to partners, and then getting reorged and getting the product killed.

It isn’t the first time I’ve heard this story, either. I remember when Mark Lucovsky said “Microsoft has forgotten how to ship software.”
I stuck up at that time for Microsoft. Kevin Schofield, who works in MS Research, defended Microsoft too. But, yet again, another developer left Microsoft (this time Chandu Thota, on the Virtual Earth team, who is starting up his own company). Just remember, happy workers don’t leave. And the continual flow of smart developers leaving Microsoft tells me that Microsoft has deep managerial problems that are going to prove challenging to overcome.

But, I’ve learned never to bet against companies with billions of dollars in its pocket and tons of smart people still working there.

If Microsoft gets the marketing teams, the executives who are constantly reorging teams, the bean counters who don’t want to spend money to acquire interesting companies, out of the way, watch out.

Then what Don Dodge says will really have some truth behind it. Until then, Microsoft is sure getting boring to watch lately.

Can’t wait to hear what Ray Ozzie is working on. The silence gets worse for Microsoft with every passing day. I wonder how many companies are looking into Amazon’s S3 service yesterday. Last night I met Jeff Barr, Amazon’s Web Services evangelist, he told me that I wouldn’t believe how many customers are adopting that service and how big Amazon’s data centers are getting because of it.

214 thoughts on “Microsoft has no innovator’s dillema?

  1. Your right I haven’t been reading for more than a month I got sick of you on channel9 with all of the crazy laughing you would do in the microphone. God that was annoying.

    It is not that important to me to go do homework on you. So, based on your response I will just assume you have a very limited knowledge of actually creating software vs. talking about.

    Feel free to call me names and act like a child because I’m to busy creating new software than doing research on the “scobleizer.”

    Good luck i’m sure you will make a fortune giving an opinion on things where you have no real knowledge.

  2. Your right I haven’t been reading for more than a month I got sick of you on channel9 with all of the crazy laughing you would do in the microphone. God that was annoying.

    It is not that important to me to go do homework on you. So, based on your response I will just assume you have a very limited knowledge of actually creating software vs. talking about.

    Feel free to call me names and act like a child because I’m to busy creating new software than doing research on the “scobleizer.”

    Good luck i’m sure you will make a fortune giving an opinion on things where you have no real knowledge.

  3. The first clue is I’ve already answered that question hundreds of times. Go do your own homework. The answer is in the blogosphere if you need to look. It’s pretty obvious you haven’t been reading me for more than a month if you need to ask a question like that.

  4. The first clue is I’ve already answered that question hundreds of times. Go do your own homework. The answer is in the blogosphere if you need to look. It’s pretty obvious you haven’t been reading me for more than a month if you need to ask a question like that.

  5. So can you give me a clue?

    Can you tell me how you just change your story over night?

    Can you tell me where I’m clueless?

    I will admit to being clueless if you can will just answer two question. Have you ever written ship quality code in a real product or just talk about it? Also have you personally innovated any software product that was used by more than 100k people?

  6. So can you give me a clue?

    Can you tell me how you just change your story over night?

    Can you tell me where I’m clueless?

    I will admit to being clueless if you can will just answer two question. Have you ever written ship quality code in a real product or just talk about it? Also have you personally innovated any software product that was used by more than 100k people?

  7. Scoble,

    Dude I lost all of the little respect I had for you. Channel9 was cool and you were such a Microsoft cheer leader. Every video was “wow this is so cool! We (microsoft) are doing so many great things!”

    Now less than a year out of the company you are basicallly bad mouthing the company.

    Have you ever written software or just talked about it?

    Have you ever sat in a meeting and said ok we have N amount of weeks, N developers ,N features what can we build in this time. Oh yeah we still have to worry about backward compatability and still ship a good product.

    How can you compare Amazon to Microsoft? Amazon is a retail store. Their web services are for people to integrate into their store. Do we really care how big their data center is? No.

    If Microsoft actually did what Apple did and said F backward compatibility you would be so suprised by what could be done.

    Why would MS buy flicker? For Ads? That is a crazy idea. I will be glad when people truly start looking at the future of software as software not as retail store or an ad engine or search. Yes those are all important things but without core software you can’t get them done.

    I think we are looking at a hype much like the internet boom. Everyone is rushing to be the next Google. I truly don’t know what Google has done that warrants stock of $490/share.

    I have a test for you take all of the big software companies. Imagine what would happen if you could just make all of their software stop working for 24 hours.

    If google was gone would it make a difference in you life? No.

    If all Microsoft software just paused for 24 hours all hell would break loose!

    Think about it.

  8. Scoble,

    Dude I lost all of the little respect I had for you. Channel9 was cool and you were such a Microsoft cheer leader. Every video was “wow this is so cool! We (microsoft) are doing so many great things!”

    Now less than a year out of the company you are basicallly bad mouthing the company.

    Have you ever written software or just talked about it?

    Have you ever sat in a meeting and said ok we have N amount of weeks, N developers ,N features what can we build in this time. Oh yeah we still have to worry about backward compatability and still ship a good product.

    How can you compare Amazon to Microsoft? Amazon is a retail store. Their web services are for people to integrate into their store. Do we really care how big their data center is? No.

    If Microsoft actually did what Apple did and said F backward compatibility you would be so suprised by what could be done.

    Why would MS buy flicker? For Ads? That is a crazy idea. I will be glad when people truly start looking at the future of software as software not as retail store or an ad engine or search. Yes those are all important things but without core software you can’t get them done.

    I think we are looking at a hype much like the internet boom. Everyone is rushing to be the next Google. I truly don’t know what Google has done that warrants stock of $490/share.

    I have a test for you take all of the big software companies. Imagine what would happen if you could just make all of their software stop working for 24 hours.

    If google was gone would it make a difference in you life? No.

    If all Microsoft software just paused for 24 hours all hell would break loose!

    Think about it.

  9. I work at MS and have had most of the projects I’ve worked on over the past year cut – for no real reason and at the moment when we were ready to ship. WTF? If our managers are so bright then why couldn’t they let us know about a decision to cut a product earlier in the development (or perhaps design) cycle? What a waste… but I guess that’s why they get paid so much.

  10. I work at MS and have had most of the projects I’ve worked on over the past year cut – for no real reason and at the moment when we were ready to ship. WTF? If our managers are so bright then why couldn’t they let us know about a decision to cut a product earlier in the development (or perhaps design) cycle? What a waste… but I guess that’s why they get paid so much.

  11. Old men moaning…that’s what I see …having some pointless discussion about who is hot and who is not- pointless as talking about the weather…go and have some friends, or make some babies…or stop your president from ruining you country! That would be innovative for a change….ha ha ha… no…you rather whine the “GooglevsMSvsLinuxvsApplevsFirefoxvsVSvsEcliplsevsJavavsvsVistavsXPvsC#vsFlahvsBlavsBlablablablabla” pattern – as probably the least innovative of all time…

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