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Wow, I just got done reading Steve Ballmer's memo and strategy paper on how he's reorganizing Microsoft. As much as I hate to pick on a fellow bald guy, Ballmer's shown once again, he just doesn't get it! First I'll rant about the papers, then I've got a few takeaway thoughts for small businesses.
- Begin Rant -

Ballmer is still trying to figure out the new world we live in."Click to Tweet

  1. Most of the memo was common sense 5 years ago, and would have been nearly visionary if he had realized it 10 years ago when Steve Jobs did. (who knew the cloud and mobile devices are important?)
  2. There's still the predictable amount of grandstanding that has made him so beloved in the tech industry. We're supposed to believe that Microsoft is the greatest tech company in the world, while none of the major tech companies even acknowledge that Microsoft exists anymore. That's telling!
  3. Ballmer is still trying to figure out the new world we live in. Statements like "As devices proliferate, it has become clearer that consumers crave one experience across all of their technology." are completely out of touch with reality! People have demonstrated that they want devices that are intuitive to use and work well together. Identical experiences aren't a priority! One experience is great for marketing, not so great for the user. Different form factors have unique opportunities for interaction, and a good ui designer designs for each accordingly.
    Another gem was this: "Documents are going from being printed to being experienced." Now I don't know what the heck it means to "experience" a document, but I'm so glad he recognizes that documents don't get printed as much these days. How visionary!
    Ballmer still has the idea that they can be all things to all people. I'd rather they were just good at a few things.
  4. Oh yeah, and he's hinting at them wanting to get into the social arena(only doing it the Microsoft way of course. shudder!)

The best chance that Microsoft has of reorganizing itself back into a dominant player position is to change the name on the CEO's door and put someone with an IQ in there!
Check out this comic that sums it up even better!

- End Rant! -

Takeaway

Every business has to adapt to changing times."Click to Tweet

Every business has to adapt to changing times. Maybe it's because of technology, expectations, costs, marketing or competitors. Every business owner has to continually be asking themselves two things:

  1. Are we taking full advantage of today's opportunities?
    Any company can get by with last year's opportunities. Some can even get by with doing things the way they did last decade. But those companies are just waiting for the end to come! It's only a matter of time before someone with a little more enthusiasm comes along with a cheaper, faster, or more popular replacement.
    There are always ways to improve your business. What are you going to do this week to take advantage of your opportunities?
  2. Does our current business model have stability?
    By this I mean, does the outlook for your business look good in 10 years? How about 5? A couple of years ago I took a hard look at the direction that my industry(web design/development) was heading, and the reality was that the web was maturing, and custom development is changing to a more niche model. Now I could pretend that it wasn't, or complain that it shouldn't, but I prefer to be a realist and adapt! I've rebuilt my entire business model to position myself for what I see as the real future of web design for small businesses, and I couldn't be more excited about what I get to offer my new clients with TitaniumSites.com!

Don't just tell people that you're changing while making superficial readjustments! Take some risks and go, as they say, to where the ball's going to be, not to where it currently is.

What do you think? Should businesses restructure every couple of years, or is consistency of vision more important? Give examples to back your case!


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