Burning the ships at Nokia

When John Sculley forced Steve Jobs out of Apple back in 1985, the former PepsiCo marketing executive very quickly produced dramatic improvements in Apple’s profitability.  Apple wasn’t losing money before, but Sculley improved the bottom line by about $200 million (a lot in those days) simply by cutting all of Steve Jobs’s pet projects that appeared to have poor prospects. Sculley raised profits by cutting expenses not by increasing sales. Expect the same thing at Nokia where, ignoring for the moment the “enormous payments” Microsoft will be making according to Nokia CEO Stephen Elop, the company can probably cut its software development budget to near-zero, saving $1 billion or more and increasing profits by that […]

By |February 14th, 2011|2011|86 Comments

2011 prediction #7: Microsoft is the new IBM

Microsoft isn’t going away, but they aren’t going to do a lot of things right in 2011, either. The company’s leadership is stuck, complacent, and just a bit thick. We’ve seen a lot of flux in the executive ranks reporting to CEO Steve Ballmer and I think that’s mainly because Ballmer won’t get out of the way. There is no upward mobility path so people leave. But don’t expect Ballmer to leave in 2011, either, which means more mediocrity. So Microsoft will continue to be a huge presence, but not feared in the industry the way they used to be. They’ve become the new IBM.

Windows Phone 7 is almost there, for example, but almost isn’t […]

Show Me the Money

I want to make a small point here about this week’s Windows Phone 7 launch from Microsoft. Now you can take this with a grain of salt given that I was an iPhone user until I switched this summer to Blackberry for my Startup Tour. So I am not exactly unbiased. But is it just me or are you, too, having a hard time seeing the $400 million that Microsoft claims to be spending on this product launch?

Redmond spent $100 million launching Windows 95, a number that set something of a record for its time and stood for long as the standard amount to spend if big companies were trying to make a point based […]