Culturally, I think we have operated as if we had the formula figured out, and it was all about optimizing, in its various constituent parts, the formula. Now it is about discovering the new formula.
I think the multiples of technology stocks should be quite a bit lower than the multiples of stocks like Coke and Gillette, because we are subject to complete changes in the rules. I know very well that in the next ten years, if Microsoft is still a leader, we will have had to weather at least three crises.
There was a good, brief discussion on Twitter tonight about Microsoft Office. Specifically, the fact that it’s 2014, so why the hell is anyone still using it?
To be clear, I know that a lot of people have to use it in their work environment. But that’s more because their office buys it for them and forces them to. It’s a strong method of lock-in that is seemingly still going strong after all these years.
The reality is that there are now more than enough solid-to-better alternatives for much of what Office offers. And some, like Google Docs and now even the Apple iWork suite, are free.1 And so it seems to me that increasingly, Office persists more out of habit (“I don’t know how to do this without Office”) and misguided fear (“what if I need Office for some reason?”) than necessity.
The honeymoon is on. Microsoft finally announced a new CEO yesterday: Satya Nadella. And the blogosphere seemingly could not be more pleased.
And I have to admit, reading all the coverage, Nadella sounds like the right choice. He knows Microsoft. He was leading the one division inside the company without question marks. He knows his tech. And everyone seems to like him.
But all of this overlooks the obvious question: if he seems like such a slam dunk, why wasn’t he?