Get on ScobleShow, get fired

Last night one of the people who’ve been on the ScobleShow (my video show) wrote me and told me he was fired for appearing on my show without PR permission. I won’t tell you who that was since he’s interviewing for a new position now, but it made me realize that when I aim my camera at someone that there are real consequences for doing so. Now, the guy in question should have known that would have pissed someone off. Most big companies, in their employment agreements, have in there that you aren’t allowed to talk with the press unless given permission by the PR departments.

This rule drives many people nuts. I got yelled at at Microsoft for talking to the press a few times. But they stopped bothering when they realized that I was talking to the press on my blog anyway and generally I wasn’t causing too many messes that needed to be cleaned up. Heck, the executives did enough of that and I was paid a lot less so my messes were cheaper.

Being in the public eye is NOT easy, NOT for the timid, and NOT for those who don’t have a good read on the corporate membrane.

I’m reminded of this again when I read David Weller’s blog at Microsoft where he points out some of the difficulties of representing a big company in the public eye. I see both points here, by the way. Doing the kind of blogging that I was doing at Microsoft is much harder than it looks. You’ve got to have great relationships across the company to be able to do things like tell people they should be fired for not doing something, like I did at Microsoft, without being fired yourself.

Plus, today, Microsoft is changing its approach to PR. Why?

Two words: Steve Jobs.

Steve has gotten the most fantastic amount of PR the world has ever known by making everything secret.

You can say a lot of things about Microsoft but one thing I came away with after my three years inside there is that it’s a learning company. I’m sure right now they are arguing out all sorts of things about the iPhone launch and thinking about how they will apply the lessons from this period in time to Microsoft.

I’m hearing from my friends on the Windows team that Steven Sinofsky and his team (Steven runs the Windows team) has made it clear he doesn’t want anyone talking about the next version of Windows. Hey, Steven is learning from Steve.

Steve Jobs is MANUFACTURING great PR by keeping everyone’s mouth shut. Heck, I’ve met some people I KNEW had an iPhone and they were so scared of retribution or consequences that they wouldn’t answer a single question.

Have you noticed that no one has started talking about the next version of Windows? I have. That’s on purpose. They learned their lesson and realized that letting you see inside the meat factory is a little too messy for this new world of PR. Rather keep all that mess behind corporate walls and come out when something is actually finished.

This also is the reason why I haven’t had many developers on my show. I’d love to have more. But PR departments keep the developers away from the press because the PR departments know that developers:

1. Are likely to tell the unvarnished truth.
2. Aren’t skilled in explaining/demoing what their product does.
3. Might be boring or unprofessional on camera.

It’s a real problem and I’ve been working with several of the PR folks to gain their trust so they’ll let me a little deeper inside their companies to look around like I got to do at Microsoft. But it’s not an easy process.

Anyway, when interviewing people from now on I’m going to make sure they have PR’s approval to appear on my show and/or understand the consequences of doing that.

It’s not worth getting people fired just by turning on my camera because they didn’t check with PR first.

That said, if you want to get on my show I’ll be filming for the next two days in front of the Apple Store in Palo Alto on University Ave. Come on by, bring your PR person too!

115 thoughts on “Get on ScobleShow, get fired

  1. Pingback: Common Sense PR
  2. I worked at Microsoft for 7 years, although not ever in Redmond, so I guess you could say I’m still a bit of an outsider. Also, for about half of it I was part of a MS rarity, a semi-indpendent subsidiary.

    Anyway, I can’t dispel alot of mystery surrounding what happens in MS, but I can say they don’t really have alot of exciting products in the works that die, but they also aren’t a group of complete borg drones. They have alot of smart, hard-working, innovative folks. The problem is like some other posters said, their system is broken. Their decision making process and management cycles are corrupted.

    It’s hard to explain in detail why I think MS is screwed up in a response to a blog, but I’ll try to give a summary. From seeing several new products go through life cycles at MS, I would say the biggest problem with MS is the motivation for developing and bringing products to market. MS is not just a monopolist by practice, but also by intent. They try to work on products they think will create a new monopoly or perpetuate an existing one. They put 90% of their effort into Office and Windows to perpetuate their near monopoly in those products, but they generally only develop products they think they can make into monopolies of some sort or another.

    Xbox came about because there were only a couple significant competitors in the market place. I think they thought that when MSN was created (yet more evidence they didn’t understand the internet). They’re pursuing cable box sowftware because those are already regional monopolies. They killed products like UltimateTV because they they were 2nd to market and their monopoly options seemed to go down the drain.

    The strongest most innovative parts of MS are probably in the back-end business arena. They have actually competed and done well, but there you don’t need style or big advances. Businesses are slow to adopt new technologies, so if you can get your foot in the door you develop little mini-monopolies within that company. That’s why MS is so friendly and helpful with IT.

    Anyway, I hope you get my point. Until MS decides to compete in areas where they think they can win because they make a better product, they will continue down their current scum-laden path.

    - James

  3. I worked at Microsoft for 7 years, although not ever in Redmond, so I guess you could say I’m still a bit of an outsider. Also, for about half of it I was part of a MS rarity, a semi-indpendent subsidiary.

    Anyway, I can’t dispel alot of mystery surrounding what happens in MS, but I can say they don’t really have alot of exciting products in the works that die, but they also aren’t a group of complete borg drones. They have alot of smart, hard-working, innovative folks. The problem is like some other posters said, their system is broken. Their decision making process and management cycles are corrupted.

    It’s hard to explain in detail why I think MS is screwed up in a response to a blog, but I’ll try to give a summary. From seeing several new products go through life cycles at MS, I would say the biggest problem with MS is the motivation for developing and bringing products to market. MS is not just a monopolist by practice, but also by intent. They try to work on products they think will create a new monopoly or perpetuate an existing one. They put 90% of their effort into Office and Windows to perpetuate their near monopoly in those products, but they generally only develop products they think they can make into monopolies of some sort or another.

    Xbox came about because there were only a couple significant competitors in the market place. I think they thought that when MSN was created (yet more evidence they didn’t understand the internet). They’re pursuing cable box sowftware because those are already regional monopolies. They killed products like UltimateTV because they they were 2nd to market and their monopoly options seemed to go down the drain.

    The strongest most innovative parts of MS are probably in the back-end business arena. They have actually competed and done well, but there you don’t need style or big advances. Businesses are slow to adopt new technologies, so if you can get your foot in the door you develop little mini-monopolies within that company. That’s why MS is so friendly and helpful with IT.

    Anyway, I hope you get my point. Until MS decides to compete in areas where they think they can win because they make a better product, they will continue down their current scum-laden path.

    - James

  4. Hmmm this is interesting, it’s almost like Micorosoft is saying that closed is the new “open”. Steve Jobs has always been secretive which has been anti to the technology movement that is occurring…hmmm it would seem that the the walls around microsoft will be higher as a result of going into secrecy and thus negate a lot of open blogging that’s going on.

  5. Hmmm this is interesting, it’s almost like Micorosoft is saying that closed is the new “open”. Steve Jobs has always been secretive which has been anti to the technology movement that is occurring…hmmm it would seem that the the walls around microsoft will be higher as a result of going into secrecy and thus negate a lot of open blogging that’s going on.

  6. Of course, Apple does also happen to put out some truly great products. That might be a bigger factor than secrecy. On the other hand, Microsoft, like the boy that cried “Wolf,” makes so much noise about things that don’t happen – Cairo, for example – that it’s lost credibility.

    There is also the point that many of its products suck. I didn’t notice anyone camping outside stores to get the first edition of Vista, but I do know more than ten people who installed it, then wiped their hard disks and went back to XP. This kind of thing tends to dampen one’s enthusiasm somewhat.

    I think the crux of the matter is that Microsoft lacks a leader. Gates has the charisma of a chartered accountant and Ballmer is so full of BS (“Zune has 25% market share,”) that the only people who would follow him would do it out of curiosity. “Where the hell’s he going?”

    MS products are the products of committees. After everybody and his dog has put their spoke in, what you end up with is about as exciting as supermarket music. You can’t be all things to all people and have any originality.

    Apple on the other hand, very definitely has a leader. A man of vision and charisma. While he’s running the ship, we can look forward to some insanely great tech.

    Yours sincerely,

    John Davis

  7. Of course, Apple does also happen to put out some truly great products. That might be a bigger factor than secrecy. On the other hand, Microsoft, like the boy that cried “Wolf,” makes so much noise about things that don’t happen – Cairo, for example – that it’s lost credibility.

    There is also the point that many of its products suck. I didn’t notice anyone camping outside stores to get the first edition of Vista, but I do know more than ten people who installed it, then wiped their hard disks and went back to XP. This kind of thing tends to dampen one’s enthusiasm somewhat.

    I think the crux of the matter is that Microsoft lacks a leader. Gates has the charisma of a chartered accountant and Ballmer is so full of BS (“Zune has 25% market share,”) that the only people who would follow him would do it out of curiosity. “Where the hell’s he going?”

    MS products are the products of committees. After everybody and his dog has put their spoke in, what you end up with is about as exciting as supermarket music. You can’t be all things to all people and have any originality.

    Apple on the other hand, very definitely has a leader. A man of vision and charisma. While he’s running the ship, we can look forward to some insanely great tech.

    Yours sincerely,

    John Davis

  8. Gee… You are taking my business office space across the street?

    You want to get developers to chat. Get them to talk about stuff they hack outside work at playhouse like our.

  9. Gee… You are taking my business office space across the street?

    You want to get developers to chat. Get them to talk about stuff they hack outside work at playhouse like our.

  10. Robert – I find it ironic that you’re advocating the exact opposite of what blogs.msdn.com and Channel 9 have done and are doing.

    You’re telling us in this post that transparency is a bad thing. Which is the reverse of what you’ve been advocating all these years.

  11. Robert – I find it ironic that you’re advocating the exact opposite of what blogs.msdn.com and Channel 9 have done and are doing.

    You’re telling us in this post that transparency is a bad thing. Which is the reverse of what you’ve been advocating all these years.

  12. It’s simple really. By keeping things secret, you can leak out just enough information to keep buzz about a product. But, you don’t have to commit to features or timelines. In doing so, when you deliver the product, you appear to have hit your mark on features “on time”, etc. In doing so, when you do say something, you carry more credibility.

    MS has used FUD to it’s advantage in the early years. They’d promise products in very early stages of development to counter what their competitors were already shipping in hopes of keeping people from buying their competitor’s products. The problem is, when you miss on a promise, you lose credibility. Regardless of we think of Vista as an actual product today, Microsoft has suffered a serious credibility issue with regard to the development of this product. When you consider what was delivered with out long it took to deliver it and how much money was spent on developing it, coupled with how many features were eventually withdrawn, it’s an outright embarassment.

  13. It’s simple really. By keeping things secret, you can leak out just enough information to keep buzz about a product. But, you don’t have to commit to features or timelines. In doing so, when you deliver the product, you appear to have hit your mark on features “on time”, etc. In doing so, when you do say something, you carry more credibility.

    MS has used FUD to it’s advantage in the early years. They’d promise products in very early stages of development to counter what their competitors were already shipping in hopes of keeping people from buying their competitor’s products. The problem is, when you miss on a promise, you lose credibility. Regardless of we think of Vista as an actual product today, Microsoft has suffered a serious credibility issue with regard to the development of this product. When you consider what was delivered with out long it took to deliver it and how much money was spent on developing it, coupled with how many features were eventually withdrawn, it’s an outright embarassment.

  14. Funny, I thought that in this new world of work we wanted our employees to be buzz agents for our company – to talk at length about the wonderful things that we’re doing, etc.

    Perhaps akin to the recent Bloggersgate fiasco where bloggers’ quotes appeared in a Microsoft ad – the use of a simple disclosure would suffice Corporate PR departments without killing the buzz of your workforce (“I should say that my comments in this interview do not necessarily represent the views of my company…”)

    Making your workforce scared to talk to anyone about your company jeopardizes the most important marketing tool that you have. Firing them for doing so certainly won’t endear them, or anyone who they talk to afterwards, to your brand either.

    And you can rest assured that a man fired for talking positively about his work will make it his work to talk negatively about his company thereafter. Talk about flipping the funnel the wrong way!

    All the best

    Tom

  15. Funny, I thought that in this new world of work we wanted our employees to be buzz agents for our company – to talk at length about the wonderful things that we’re doing, etc.

    Perhaps akin to the recent Bloggersgate fiasco where bloggers’ quotes appeared in a Microsoft ad – the use of a simple disclosure would suffice Corporate PR departments without killing the buzz of your workforce (“I should say that my comments in this interview do not necessarily represent the views of my company…”)

    Making your workforce scared to talk to anyone about your company jeopardizes the most important marketing tool that you have. Firing them for doing so certainly won’t endear them, or anyone who they talk to afterwards, to your brand either.

    And you can rest assured that a man fired for talking positively about his work will make it his work to talk negatively about his company thereafter. Talk about flipping the funnel the wrong way!

    All the best

    Tom

  16. Funny, I thought that in this new world of work we wanted our employees to be buzz agents for our company, to talk at length about the wonderful things that we’re doing, etc.

    Perhaps akin to the recent Bloggersgate fiasco where bloggers’ quotes appeared in a Microsoft ad – the use of a simple disclosure would suffice Corporate PR departments without killing the buzz of your workforce (“I should say that my comments in this interview do not necessarily represent the views of my company…”)

    Making your workforce scared to talk to anyone about your company jeopardizes the most important marketing tool that you have. Firing them for doing so certainly won’t endear them, or anyone who they talk to afterwards, to your brand either.

    And you can rest assured that a man fired for talking positively about his work will make it his work to talk negatively about his company thereafter. Talk about flipping the funnel the wrong way!

    All the best

    Tom

  17. Funny, I thought that in this new world of work we wanted our employees to be buzz agents for our company, to talk at length about the wonderful things that we’re doing, etc.

    Perhaps akin to the recent Bloggersgate fiasco where bloggers’ quotes appeared in a Microsoft ad – the use of a simple disclosure would suffice Corporate PR departments without killing the buzz of your workforce (“I should say that my comments in this interview do not necessarily represent the views of my company…”)

    Making your workforce scared to talk to anyone about your company jeopardizes the most important marketing tool that you have. Firing them for doing so certainly won’t endear them, or anyone who they talk to afterwards, to your brand either.

    And you can rest assured that a man fired for talking positively about his work will make it his work to talk negatively about his company thereafter. Talk about flipping the funnel the wrong way!

    All the best

    Tom

  18. Most public relations people I know are happy to put “subject matter experts” in touch with media or others, when the time is right.

    Just as most companies have tight financial controls in place to keep from getting ripped off and to keep employees from temptation (or from being wrongfully suspected of financial shenanigans), most smart companies have policies in place about who talks to the media or outside groups, and what they say.

    For publicly owned or regulated companies, it protects the employee from saying something that could inadvertantly cause problems with regulators, or with the stock price. Far better to have somebody vet the interview who knows about Sarbanes-Oxley and any other complex rules on public disclosure of info.

    There’s plenty of media training and public speaking training available to help middle managers or people lower down the food chain handle themselves when talking publicly about information that hasn’t been officially disclosed. The training also helps them choose better ways to communicate complex concepts (simplify, use examples, don’t over-explain).

    Management usually doesn’t want everyone running around sharing information without any warning, and without any limits.

    PR policies are in place to protect the company, but they’re also in place to protect the employee.

  19. Most public relations people I know are happy to put “subject matter experts” in touch with media or others, when the time is right.

    Just as most companies have tight financial controls in place to keep from getting ripped off and to keep employees from temptation (or from being wrongfully suspected of financial shenanigans), most smart companies have policies in place about who talks to the media or outside groups, and what they say.

    For publicly owned or regulated companies, it protects the employee from saying something that could inadvertantly cause problems with regulators, or with the stock price. Far better to have somebody vet the interview who knows about Sarbanes-Oxley and any other complex rules on public disclosure of info.

    There’s plenty of media training and public speaking training available to help middle managers or people lower down the food chain handle themselves when talking publicly about information that hasn’t been officially disclosed. The training also helps them choose better ways to communicate complex concepts (simplify, use examples, don’t over-explain).

    Management usually doesn’t want everyone running around sharing information without any warning, and without any limits.

    PR policies are in place to protect the company, but they’re also in place to protect the employee.

  20. Yeah. Companies don’t usually fire good people on the spot like that. Don’t discount that fact that this might have been a “last straw” for the guy. Maybe he is a loose cannon and they were just tried of dealing with him. Maybe he had been told very explitily to not talk to people. Maybe this is the 5th time he’s been told.

    I’m not trying to be mean, but let’s try and step back and ask “what really happened?”.

    It’s easy for employees to get sympathy from people about “being fired” when the whole story is not told.

    This happen to one of my co-workers. He was one of the worst people we had. The company let him go and didn’t go blabbing about why he was fired, so he was free to say anything he wanted (and he did).

  21. Yeah. Companies don’t usually fire good people on the spot like that. Don’t discount that fact that this might have been a “last straw” for the guy. Maybe he is a loose cannon and they were just tried of dealing with him. Maybe he had been told very explitily to not talk to people. Maybe this is the 5th time he’s been told.

    I’m not trying to be mean, but let’s try and step back and ask “what really happened?”.

    It’s easy for employees to get sympathy from people about “being fired” when the whole story is not told.

    This happen to one of my co-workers. He was one of the worst people we had. The company let him go and didn’t go blabbing about why he was fired, so he was free to say anything he wanted (and he did).

  22. Seems to me more secrecy and less innovation go hand in hand. They want to keep things secret so you’ll go stand in line and buy it before you realize it doesn’t live up to the hype (insert MS Vista/Leopard/iPhone reference here)…

    I’ll continue to enjoy the non-secret, no broken promises (because no on is dumb enough to promise anything) and I can’t complain anyway because it’s free world of Ubuntu/Linux.

  23. Seems to me more secrecy and less innovation go hand in hand. They want to keep things secret so you’ll go stand in line and buy it before you realize it doesn’t live up to the hype (insert MS Vista/Leopard/iPhone reference here)…

    I’ll continue to enjoy the non-secret, no broken promises (because no on is dumb enough to promise anything) and I can’t complain anyway because it’s free world of Ubuntu/Linux.

  24. “So what can MS do? 1) Cease FUD. 2) Not promise more than they can deliver. 3) Not hype crap. 4) Not seek to destroy competition through their monopoly, but overcome them through true innovation.”

    I don’t think it’s pure FUD. Microsoft employees work on a lot of projects that they think will become new products but ultimately amount to nothing. When they tried to copy open source and become more community based, when gotdotnet and C9 opened. They started leaking their internal projects and making all sorts of claims that they would not deliver on.

    Apple never tried to copy open source because they were never threatened by Linux the way Microsoft was and is. So they kept the normal product cycle of secrecy until the product was near completion.

    Just look at stuff like Singularity. It’s too slow, and a failed idea. They marketed it like it was going to be the next Linux. In reality it amounted to a lot of wasted R&D.

    Apple puts up or shuts up. MS used to be the same way before Linux and Richard Stallman scared the daylights out of them. Then they tried to copy Google. When was the last time you went to Circuit city and saw boxed Google products?
    Failed plan, failed implementation. Failed company with no good direction. Goodbye. Soon.

  25. “So what can MS do? 1) Cease FUD. 2) Not promise more than they can deliver. 3) Not hype crap. 4) Not seek to destroy competition through their monopoly, but overcome them through true innovation.”

    I don’t think it’s pure FUD. Microsoft employees work on a lot of projects that they think will become new products but ultimately amount to nothing. When they tried to copy open source and become more community based, when gotdotnet and C9 opened. They started leaking their internal projects and making all sorts of claims that they would not deliver on.

    Apple never tried to copy open source because they were never threatened by Linux the way Microsoft was and is. So they kept the normal product cycle of secrecy until the product was near completion.

    Just look at stuff like Singularity. It’s too slow, and a failed idea. They marketed it like it was going to be the next Linux. In reality it amounted to a lot of wasted R&D.

    Apple puts up or shuts up. MS used to be the same way before Linux and Richard Stallman scared the daylights out of them. Then they tried to copy Google. When was the last time you went to Circuit city and saw boxed Google products?
    Failed plan, failed implementation. Failed company with no good direction. Goodbye. Soon.

  26. back to the fired employee in question. Not knowing who that person might have been in a situation where the folks above had their finger on the exit button. Maybe they were just looking for an excuse to fire them.

  27. back to the fired employee in question. Not knowing who that person might have been in a situation where the folks above had their finger on the exit button. Maybe they were just looking for an excuse to fire them.

  28. The problem with MS’ PR right now is not that they are too open and simply being more secretive is not going to solve their problem.

    The real difficulty is that they use PR in an attempt to stifle competition via FUD, then don’t come through with what they promise. How many features were promised for Vista (in order to compete with software that offered such features) that were dropped? How much of their innovation was egregious copying?

    The real problem is that MS’ PR is simply untrustworthy. If developers operate on MS’ promises, they lose. If developers come up with something great, MS claims they’ll have something better, putting their competitor out of business and then releasing either garbage or nothing at all.

    So what can MS do? 1) Cease FUD. 2) Not promise more than they can deliver. 3) Not hype crap. 4) Not seek to destroy competition through their monopoly, but overcome them through true innovation.

    Both Vista and Apple’s Leopard are evolutionary steps–not revolutions. MS promised much and delivered little. Apple promised little and seems like it will deliver more. That, IMO, is the real secret of Apple’s success.

  29. The problem with MS’ PR right now is not that they are too open and simply being more secretive is not going to solve their problem.

    The real difficulty is that they use PR in an attempt to stifle competition via FUD, then don’t come through with what they promise. How many features were promised for Vista (in order to compete with software that offered such features) that were dropped? How much of their innovation was egregious copying?

    The real problem is that MS’ PR is simply untrustworthy. If developers operate on MS’ promises, they lose. If developers come up with something great, MS claims they’ll have something better, putting their competitor out of business and then releasing either garbage or nothing at all.

    So what can MS do? 1) Cease FUD. 2) Not promise more than they can deliver. 3) Not hype crap. 4) Not seek to destroy competition through their monopoly, but overcome them through true innovation.

    Both Vista and Apple’s Leopard are evolutionary steps–not revolutions. MS promised much and delivered little. Apple promised little and seems like it will deliver more. That, IMO, is the real secret of Apple’s success.

  30. @30 Michael Maggard and @32 Sharpe – The correct level of transparencey is an issue that Microsoft is dealing with.

    In the past Microsoft has been transparent when it was inappropriate. As I said in my post earlier #25, throwing out all the ideas you have isn’t being transparent it is being randomizing. In a company of Microsoft’s size with the large partner system we have, these ideas get discussed and partner’s take this as the direction we are going.

    There obviously needs to be a level of responsibility when starting conversations about ideas and concepts when they aren’t formed enough to know if they are solid ideas, or just floating concepts.

  31. @30 Michael Maggard and @32 Sharpe – The correct level of transparencey is an issue that Microsoft is dealing with.

    In the past Microsoft has been transparent when it was inappropriate. As I said in my post earlier #25, throwing out all the ideas you have isn’t being transparent it is being randomizing. In a company of Microsoft’s size with the large partner system we have, these ideas get discussed and partner’s take this as the direction we are going.

    There obviously needs to be a level of responsibility when starting conversations about ideas and concepts when they aren’t formed enough to know if they are solid ideas, or just floating concepts.

  32. @11
    One tactic expertly employed by Microsoft is FUD and vaporware. Vista was not the first product promising the moon and failed to deliver. Microsoft is pretty good at sabotaging their competitors by promising their next product will have the same features and then some. The customers who listen understandably want to postpone their purchase and stick with Microsoft solutions. Whether the promise becomes a vaporware, that’s another story. The most important thing is to keep competitors from getting Microsoft’s customers.

    Many people has been burned by Microsoft’s FUD and vaporware and they are developing an immunity. They are no longer effective. Just look at the reaction to Microsoft post-Vista. Can Microsoft change tactics and compete fairly? That is an interesting question, but I have to say no, unless they get rid of Ballmer and the other hacks. If they do, then they’ll have a good chance reforming.

  33. @11
    One tactic expertly employed by Microsoft is FUD and vaporware. Vista was not the first product promising the moon and failed to deliver. Microsoft is pretty good at sabotaging their competitors by promising their next product will have the same features and then some. The customers who listen understandably want to postpone their purchase and stick with Microsoft solutions. Whether the promise becomes a vaporware, that’s another story. The most important thing is to keep competitors from getting Microsoft’s customers.

    Many people has been burned by Microsoft’s FUD and vaporware and they are developing an immunity. They are no longer effective. Just look at the reaction to Microsoft post-Vista. Can Microsoft change tactics and compete fairly? That is an interesting question, but I have to say no, unless they get rid of Ballmer and the other hacks. If they do, then they’ll have a good chance reforming.

  34. Harsh.. can’t believe someone got fired. I take it this person didn’t give anything away proprietary but merely participated in an open discussion about public info?

    Seems to me someone blew an unnecessary gasket. I understand the need to control public facing messaging to a degree, though.

  35. Harsh.. can’t believe someone got fired. I take it this person didn’t give anything away proprietary but merely participated in an open discussion about public info?

    Seems to me someone blew an unnecessary gasket. I understand the need to control public facing messaging to a degree, though.

  36. MS has made fantastic promises time & time again about each new iteration of their products. Each and every time they fail to deliver. Sometimes by multiple versions with missed delivery dates of over a DECADE.

    (There should be a website somewhere listing all of MS’s marketing promises year by year vs what they actually delivered, and when (if ever))

    Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me over and over and I’ve gotta be an idiot to keep listening to MS’s bullshit “roadmaps”.

    Apple, until this last rev. they’ve kept it quiet, and OVER delivered each time. Even with the fanboy sites predicting outrageous things Apple has kept up.

    With Leopard Apple stumbled–delayed, no apparent secret wow. But they acknowledged they spread themselves too thin and took the heat, did some damage control. MS just redefines the product and continues on blithely.

    Seriously, anyone’s head roll at MS over WinFS? It was obvious they were over-promising and in the weeds, but MS kept claiming ‘til the day they re-aligned it, then later quietly dropped it. Someone’s career shoulda been holed for that, but not at MS.

    As to being different markets, no, I think both MS & Apple serve developers as well as direct customers. The difference is Apple waits to deliver a product before selling it to developers, while MS sells it to developers with the promise they’ll deliver it.

    Frankly I think MS succeeds entirely in spite of itsel and, aside from marketing & playing hardball, is likely the worst run business in the US. Looking at the money, the power, the brainpower, they’ve got, and what eventually gets shipped, it’s pitiable.

    There’s a reason MS is so zealous about buying or crushing smaller competitors–because they’re hopelessly broken inside. Too many managers, too few negative feedback loops, byzantine decision making structures.

    Apple isn’t a great counter-example, they flip from ADD to OCD and back again with their attention to developers, ongoing programs, even products. But on a budget a fraction of MS’s they continue to innovate and excel in ways MS can only envy.

  37. MS has made fantastic promises time & time again about each new iteration of their products. Each and every time they fail to deliver. Sometimes by multiple versions with missed delivery dates of over a DECADE.

    (There should be a website somewhere listing all of MS’s marketing promises year by year vs what they actually delivered, and when (if ever))

    Fool me once, shame on you; fool me twice, shame on me; fool me over and over and I’ve gotta be an idiot to keep listening to MS’s bullshit “roadmaps”.

    Apple, until this last rev. they’ve kept it quiet, and OVER delivered each time. Even with the fanboy sites predicting outrageous things Apple has kept up.

    With Leopard Apple stumbled–delayed, no apparent secret wow. But they acknowledged they spread themselves too thin and took the heat, did some damage control. MS just redefines the product and continues on blithely.

    Seriously, anyone’s head roll at MS over WinFS? It was obvious they were over-promising and in the weeds, but MS kept claiming ‘til the day they re-aligned it, then later quietly dropped it. Someone’s career shoulda been holed for that, but not at MS.

    As to being different markets, no, I think both MS & Apple serve developers as well as direct customers. The difference is Apple waits to deliver a product before selling it to developers, while MS sells it to developers with the promise they’ll deliver it.

    Frankly I think MS succeeds entirely in spite of itsel and, aside from marketing & playing hardball, is likely the worst run business in the US. Looking at the money, the power, the brainpower, they’ve got, and what eventually gets shipped, it’s pitiable.

    There’s a reason MS is so zealous about buying or crushing smaller competitors–because they’re hopelessly broken inside. Too many managers, too few negative feedback loops, byzantine decision making structures.

    Apple isn’t a great counter-example, they flip from ADD to OCD and back again with their attention to developers, ongoing programs, even products. But on a budget a fraction of MS’s they continue to innovate and excel in ways MS can only envy.

  38. Yes, you are free to say anything you want, but your company is free to fire you any time they want.

  39. Yes, you are free to say anything you want, but your company is free to fire you any time they want.

  40. Do we really have free speech if a company is allowed to fire an employee for speaking to the press? We may not send folks to jail for exercising their rights of free speech, we just deprive them of their ability to provide for themselves and their families. Is that really free speech?

    Thank God I am not an at-will employee. And, thank God we have unions where I work. I wish more folks did.

  41. Do we really have free speech if a company is allowed to fire an employee for speaking to the press? We may not send folks to jail for exercising their rights of free speech, we just deprive them of their ability to provide for themselves and their families. Is that really free speech?

    Thank God I am not an at-will employee. And, thank God we have unions where I work. I wish more folks did.

  42. Robert…What happened to that old…Jobs should have a blog…Apple should be more transparent…mantra that one used to espouse?

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