Microsoft’s rise to the top position as a software company was truly fantastical and so has been its litany of failures. The company had plenty of latter in the last twenty years and that include Skype (you can disagree with me on this one), Internet Explorer, and who can forget Windows Phone, a glorious failure that will be remembered for years to come. But except for a few speculations, we never really got to know what went wrong inside the Redmond campus.
Garry Tan, venture capitalist, current Managing Partner at startup Initialized and ex-Microsoft employee (2003-2005) took to Twitter to explain what went wrong. In a series of tweets, he explained the whys and wherefores of the failure in all the major consumer battle Microsoft fought with Apple, Google and others.
Hanging with old Microsoft coworkers this weekend really underscored how much Microsoft just conceded the past 20 years
Every major battle: iPod, iPhone, iOS, iMessage, Slack, Dropbox
Completely dropped the ball. Total capitulation through just mismanagement. Much infighting.
— Garry() (@garrytan) April 15, 2019
He said that Microsoft’s defeat on these key areas of technology was due to mismanagement. Also, the company was too slow to ship and overfocused on copying what others doing instead of focus on users.
Every major battle: iPod, iPhone, iOS, iMessage, Slack, Dropbox Completely dropped the ball. Total capitulation through just mismanagement. Much infighting.
Too many levels of management, too many fierce reorgs mid-product cycle, too slow to ship, overfocus on paranoid copying of what others already made instead of focus on users.
He then said that what Microsoft was doing back in the days was just trying to defend its billion-dollar monopoly. According to him, many great engineers including him left the company at that period of time to start their own start-up. Garry holds the view that a company which tries to defend a billion-dollar company without much focus on the users is not a good place to learn to make great products.
It’s worth noting that even after these failures, under Nadella’s leadership Microsoft managed to beat Apple as the world’s most valuable company in the US. And according to stock pundits, Microsoft will soon hit the 1 trillion dollar mark and this would make Microsoft the third company after Apple and Amazon to do so.
You can see the Twitter thread here.