Mouth for hire Robert Scoble, who briefly worked for Microsoft in the early 2000’s as a developer evangelist, and clearly did not do a good job given the doldrums the company was in then, and who currently works for Rackspace as an evangelist (that company is in takeover talks) has decided to give Microsoft the benefit of his sage industry advice.
The albatross currently around Rackspace’s neck is convinced Microsoft needs to drop Windows Phone and “embrace and extend” Android, noting:
“The problem is that Microsoft has 4 percent market share for mobile. The reason for that is that they have no apps, and there’s no love for developers of apps. When you go to hackathons in San Francisco — and not Seattle, because San Francisco is the center of the world, not Seattle. Sorry, that’s the way it is.
Thoroughly mixing his metaphors, Scoble told Geekwire “That train has sailed. The real answer is, give up Windows Phone, go Android, and embrace and extend like you did with the Internet. But they don’t listen to me.”
Scoble, who’s job as startup liaison may be threatened now Rackspace has given up challenging Amazon, Microsoft and Google for the cloud computing market, was convinces its the safe company culture and Seattle bubble which is to blame for Microsoft’s mobile ills.
“The problem with Microsoft is that it’s so committee-driven and slow. It’s not a startup anymore. It’s a big-ass company with a lot of people. And let’s be honest — you work at a big company because it’s comfortable. You don’t have to work 80 hours per week and you get paid, have nice benefits, and the family is all happy. It’s collected a lot of those kinds of people and they are all in committees. Committees don’t do anything. I don’t know if Satya will change that. He’s trying. He did a hackathon today, that seems cool.”
“But if I was a Microsoft strategist, I would not be living in Seattle right now. I’d be living in San Francisco or Beijing or Tel Aviv or London or Berlin or New York City. I would get out of the bubble here. There is a culture here that is different than the rest of the world and it is a Microsoft company culture.”
“The minute I get off the plane, I see Windows Phones. I do not see Windows Phones anywhere in the world except Seattle. You got to get away from this culture where you don’t understand the market. You need to understand why the developers don’t like you. You got to hang out at a hackathon — not the Seattle hackathons where there are Windows Phones because it’s a Microsoft world. Go to some place else in the world where there’s a hackathon and convince them to get a Windows Phone. Then I’ll start saying different things about Microsoft.”
Scoble does have a lot of experience with failing companies, with his last 2 jobs prior to Rackspace all seeming to have failed (Podtech.net and Fastcompany.tv), but we suggest Scoble gets around a bit more, but not look in Seattle for his next job.
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