I was looking around for CES news this evening and noticed the live stream of the keynote and decided to watch. Steve Ballmer from Microsoft was the speaker, or was it Ryan Seacrest? I believe I live in a world where it is 100% clear to know how to make a great product. I also believe it is 100% clear to know how to market a product. Apple has spelled out, in every way, what people want in products, how products should work, and marketing. I am dumbfounded while watching Microsoft, a company that has made 90% of the world's operating systems, struggle to sell products.
I am reminded of Tom Smykowski in the movie Office Space where he declares he is a people person. Maybe Microsoft needs to understand people a little better. I think the problem may lie with the executive boards and engineers that make up most companies. From my experience they view the world from a perspective of their own. They are achievers by generic formula and intelligence. Engineers are needed thinkers, they love to solve technical problems. To them, if it works- problem solved. Business people are motivated, they figure out financial success, usually through tried and tested means. To them, if they are making money- problem solved. What Microsoft and many other companies need is a third perspective. This perspective is one that isn't motivated by money or effectiveness, but by quality and attention to detail. Apple designs beautiful products that work and makes a lot of money. Apple's desire is to control and refine every detail (They also don't bother talking about it until it's time for product release). With these three qualities a product can be desired and admired. To me, this is simple (especially after Steve Job's Memoir), but I am astonished everyday that only a handful of companies in my life get it, and the rest tumble down the road hoping soon, it will pop into gear.
Until Microsoft lets someone with the third perspective make decisions, I think the company will continue to lose market share. This is unfortunate because Windows is something I prefer.