I was reading the 10 geek business myths that venture capitalist Ron Garret laid out. Good read. Recommended.
One thing, though, that I’m gonna jump on is his thoughts about Microsoft. He wrote “Microsoft has achieved success largely by seeking out and destroying other people’s brilliant ideas.”
What’s interesting is in other places he writes that it’s what the customers think that really matters, not what anyone else thinks. And, in this single sentence he’s demonstrated that very well.
Microsoft has two really huge businesses that funded the rest. What are those two businesses? Operating System and Office. Well known.
Why did I — as a customer — get into Microsoft’s ecosystem? Because Windows NT crashed less than my Macintosh did in the mid-90s. And because Office cost about the same as, say, WordPerfect (a competitive Word processor) but came with a spreadsheet, a database program, and more.
Did Microsoft then do stupid things like crush Netscape? Yeah. But they were put in that place by building products that customers wanted to buy. And buy in massive quantities. Translation: if you really want to crush the competition, build a better product for a lower price and make your customers very happy. (I was a very happy customer of Microsoft’s back in the 1990s).
Ron’s entire rest of his lengthy post was right on.