Just finish fast reading Paul Allen’s <<Idea Man>> on Saturday late evening and Sunday morning on a beautiful Spring morning.
Besides the “bitterness” relationship between Paul Allen and Bill Gates depicted from Chapter 1 to Chapter 12, it turned out that chapter 13, HellHounds, actually is an excellent reading:
” Over time, though, the hard feelings faded. In 1990, when Microsoft rolled out Windows 3.0, Bill was generous enough to share the stage with me and ToolBook, a Asymetrix product” Warm feeling to see two friends made up.
“Microsoft arguably touches more lives on a daily basis than any other corporation on earth. More than a billion copies of WIndows are in use around the world. But the company is haunted by a decade and more of missed opportunities in Internet search and smartphones, social networking and digit media sales. Apple, once a niche player in personal computers, is at present the dominant purveyor of the Cool Devices of the future. Google has blown past Microsoft in search and in Internet-based computing. pr “the cloud”. Facebook is king in Social networking, where Microsoft’s lone modest success is XBOX LIVE” Wow! this confess is from cofounders of Microsoft Paul Allen himself.
“Together, these high-tech hellhounds dominate the platforms that people associate with the future. In a breathtaking fall from grace, Microsoft is perceived as yesterday’s news. A recent yearlong study by the Pew Research center found that 15 percent of tech articles were mainly about Apple, 11 percent about Google, and only 3 percent about Microsoft. How did a company once at the forefront of technology and change fall so far behind? it’s a thorny question, with roots that go back decades, but I believe it boils down to three broad factors: scale, culture, and leadership.”
” The obvious answer is that Microsoft got huge and failed to deal with the consequences. WHen I left the company, it had fewer that 500 employees. By 1990, 5000; by 2000, 40,000, today, more that 90,000. . At that scale, culture changes creep in unless you guard zealously against them. To avoid mediocrity, you need to be rigorous about weeding out underperformers.Microsoft hasn’t proven to be good at that”
“Too many semicompetetent managers, too much in-house politics among the fiefdoms and silos of principal product lines. Windows Vista was the dead canary in the coal mine. How could Microsoft allow this happen to its signature commodity?”
Who has the answer?
Post-PC era is INEVITABLE:
“A tablet isn’t as capable or convenient as a laptop for creating content. But iPad is unsurpassed for ease of consumption in watching Web video or reading magazines with a swipe of a finger. Because there are many more consumers than creators in our culture, the Swiss Army-knife strengths of the iPad– the coming horde of iPad clones — may outweigh its limitations. It appears that tables are poised to render physical books, magazines, and newspapers obsolete within the next twenty years. As an inveterate book lover, I find the prospect sad but Inevitable.”
At the end of Chapter 13, Allen concluded:
“I missed Bill’s laser focus on competition in the marketplace, his ability to execute my ideas and keep me from getting too far ahead of what was doable. And I’d like to think that Bill missed my ability to divine where technology was headed and my knack for meeting its trajectory with something big and original.”
What is next wave’s trajectory? and its inevitable?