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Friday, May 19, 2006

Mini-Microsoft Helps Change the Dinosaur's Insides, But the Outside is Still Ugly

On April 7, 2005 I blogged the following:

I like Robert Scoble a lot. He's a really nice guy who answers emails and he's even linked to me a few time. I truly wish him continued success in whatever he does. But I don't think he's really a good example of the power of Corporate Blogging. His success constrains him in enabling his blogging to improve his company. Instead he is compelled to become a cheerleader in blogging pajamas.

If you want to see the real power of Corporate Blogging, then check out Mini Microsoft. Here's a Microsoft employee who truly realizes Microsoft is in trouble and actually has some constructive suggestions to deal with it. He recently suggested that perhaps Microsoft would be better of without old-schooler Ballmer. I'm not sure if he thinks Gates should go, but he doesn't absolve him of blame in the current Microsoft mess.

Here's to hoping that the big bloggers start pointing to this guy, because a more humble, honest and customer-oriented Microsoft will benefit everyone.


On April 11, 2005 Doc Searls objected to Mini Microsoft's anonimity, to which I responded in this post:

Doc Searls pointed to my recent post on Microsoft Blogging (Thanks Doc). He makes the following point

Problem is, Scoble has a real name, while Mini Microsoft is written by "Who da'Punk," whose unrevealing profile is here.

Who da'Punk may be right as rain, but he's also borderline anonymous. It's a lot easier to be frank and hard-hitting when nobody knows who you are.


I agree with Doc that "It's a lot easier to be frank and hard-hitting when nobody knows who you are". Sometimes people are forced to be anonymous to make important hard-hitting points. If changing Microsoft for the better is a valid goal, I would not dismiss the anonymous blogging of Mini Microsoft so quickly.


Well lucky for the Microsofties, Mini-Microsoft was not dismissed and yesterday he optimistically blogged that Microsoft was making major changes on how it treats its employees.

And to top it all off, let's see what Robert Scoble had to say about this:

Oh, and thanks Mini! These changes are due in no small part to you. Even if you don't get official props in the press releases.

Can one person change a huge company? Mini did. And we don't even know his name.


In this particular case, Mini could not have done what he did without being anonymous. And I think that the fact that he was focused on improving his company more than becoming an A-list blogger contributed greatly to his success.

Of course, Microsoft still has a long way to go as it still barely listens to its customers. I've tried communicating my concerns to Scoble many times and he is never really interested in hearing what this customer has to say, despite the fact that my Wall Street location gives me a good pulse on why the NY market loathes Microsoft.

Which is why I agree with Mini's basic premise that Microsoft must be split up into smaller more responsive companies to regain its competive edge.