Where's Steve?


“The only thing worse than being talked about,” said Oscar Wilde, “is not being talked about.” That has until recently applied in spades to Steve Jobs of Apple, a guy who, when I’ve interviewed him, has always asked what other people have said about him, “especially the bad stuff.”

Steve is a guy who likes being talked about.  He likes it so much, in fact, that he’s adopted a strategy to encourage it.  This strategy involves very carefully doling-out bits of himself to the press not in an effort to discourage coverage, really, but to ENcourage it by limiting the supply.  Like everything else about Steve it is brilliant and cold.

This was the […]

The Bentonville Mafia


As promised, here’s part three of my series on fixing Microsoft for the 21st century.  This assumes we’ve already spun-off the Internet properties to Yahoo as I suggested a few days ago and a Bank of America/Merrill-Lynch analyst quickly copied.  Does that copying qualify me for a Federal bailout?

The big Microsoft news this week, at least from the press it has received, is Redmond’s decision to open a chain of stores.  Nearly all the pundits think this is stupid, while I think it was merely inevitable, given the nature of current Microsoft management, which seems to be more and more from Bentonville, Arkansas, home of Wal-Mart.

See that guy in the picture?  That’s […]

Power to the People


My promised restructuring of Microsoft will conclude tomorrow but today I want to cover a news announcement from Google that I think is very important, yet that importance seems to have been missed by the mainstream and technical press alike.  My subject is the Google PowerMeter, which is far more strategic than Google is letting-on.

Not that the official PowerMeter story isn’t a good one.  Google has invented these devices that will be distributed to users to measure the electricity consumption of their homes or apartments in real time, encouraging residents to conserve power, which is good for everyone.  I’d love to have one of these gizmos, which in most cases won’t only report […]

Wall Street Can't Count

This post first ran on January 29th on my mortgage blog.  It got some traction there and  a  few mentions in the press so, lazy bastard that I am, I’m reproducing it here in a slightly improved form that corrects my own math error.

Take a look at this chart that someone sent to me a couple days ago.  I’m making it big so you can see as much detail as possible.  Have a look and then come back, okay?

Pretty scary, eh?  It’s a chart showing the deterioration of major bank market caps since 2007.  Prepared by someone at JP Morgan based on data from Bloomberg, this chart flashed across Wall Street and the financial world a […]

Yahoo Should Buy Microsoft


My last column was all about the culture of Microsoft and how it makes real change difficult for the company.  It’s not just at Microsoft that these things happen, by the way: nearly all mature organizations get into similar ruts.  And if, like Microsoft, they are spectacularly profitable ruts, well then it isn’t surprising that things stay more or less permanently dysfunctional.

I said last time that a second column would follow with my specific suggestions for restructuring Microsoft, but now that I am really into it I think we might be looking at a total of three columns, not two.  But then I’ll be finished with Microsoft for a few months.

Setting out […]