Ray Ozzie and Steve Ballmer
So Ray Ozzie announced few days ago that he is leaving Microsoft and then followed up with a typical Ozzie blog post this weekend…. Yeah… Please make sure to clean out the office, we wouldn’t want you to leave any of your “vision” behind.
Sorry, I’m just not a Ray Ozzie fan. He made his name on Lotus Notes, which I admit has generated a lot of jobs. Given, it is mainly jobs for consultants helping companies get off of the platform but I guess beggars can’t be choosers. Groove was a hype machine that only succeeded in getting us to install it multiple times in hope that over the years they somehow made it hurt less. At least it had a rock solid uninstall function. That was was an improvement over Notes I guess.
This leaves us with Steve Ballmer, whom I happen to enjoy a lot. Not for his strategic moves or his understanding of technology but for his shear force of will. Seeing him on fire churns up images of The Jock grabbing The Geek by the privates and explaining the nuances of proper etiquette, with a squeeze. I would pay good money to see Mr. Ballmer beat the snot out of that narcissistic elitist prick heading Apple.
Ok, sarcasm and sniping aside I actually am a fan of Ballmer. He isn’t afraid to clean house when things are not working. That isn’t as easy as it sounds, often times executives hold on to their “people” simply because they can’t admit failure. Also, Steve is the perfect weight to balance the overly optimistic techie who thinks if they simply “build it and they will come”. The only problem is that I think he’s the wrong face for the company. They need a visionary technology guy to stand out front and leave Steve in the background kicking butt and getting things done.
If Microsoft is serious about changing things up they need someone who is willing to change fast, bring in concepts from the outside when they work and frankly look smarter than anyone else in the room. So come on Microsoft, start grooming Scott Guthrie. If you don’t know what you have in Scott Gu then you’re blind and your fate is predictable.
UPDATE: Someone sent me this link from CNN that talks a bit about their vision problems. Personally I think they’re a little off the mark with XBOX, to say it was beat by the Wii is kind of unfair given that they came out at two different times and targeted two different markets. But generally I think they make some good points.