Microsoft is famous for its back story of a couple of nerds who changed personal computing for the entire world. They went from a few thousand dollars in revenue to$70 billion in revenue each year. They must have been innovative to accomplish such a feat and have $77 billion in the bank. They just spent $7 billion of that hard earned cash to buy Nokia’s Devices & Services business.
READ MY LIPS – WE ARE INNOVATIVE
Then, why did they have to point out not once, but twice about innovation in their full page ad on the back page of Section A in the Wall Street Journal? Here are the two quotes with emphasis and commentary added by me.
“By bringing together these great teams together, Microsoft will be able to deliver more choices and faster innovation to consumers in phones and smart devices of all kinds”
I thought a couple of years ago that Microsoft gave billions of dollars to Nokia and its CEO Stephen Elop (a former Microsoft executive) to accomplish the task already. Microsoft and Nokia were already joined at the hip as partners when Nokia gave up its own operating system in favor of Windows.
Staples has the “Easy Button.” Perhaps, Mr. Elop has the “Innovation Button.”
“Together, we will create more unified development, manufacturing, and marketing efforts to bring innovation to market with greater efficiency and speed.”
The market did not think so, and erased 4.6% of Microsoft’s share price after the announcement. That decline in share price pretty much wiped out the nice bump in Microsoft shares after CEO Steve Ballmer indicated he would retire within 12 months.
A THIRD EXAMPLE OF PUTTING YOUR MONEY WHERE YOUR MOUTH IS
Ballmer went on to say in a Wall Street Journal story on the same day,“For us to really fulfill the vision for what we can do for our customers, we have evolved our thinking.”
Very recently Ballmer announced the “devices and services” approach at Microsoft after a major reorganization of the 100,000 person company (now 132,000 after Nokia acquisition). Sounds like he is going all in for devices. Other than the X Box gaming device, Microsoft does not have a successful record creating hardware. See Surface Tablet and Microsoft’s recent $900 million write off for unsold inventory.
You need an Innovation Engine to help create an ecosystem of innovation. You cannot decree it, you must work hard to create it.
Your turn. Tell me what you think. Please comment below.
- Does your business have a culture and climate of innovation?
- What is the most innovative new product or service your company has created in the last 5 years?
- Do you feel that Microsoft and Nokia can out innovate Google’s Android platform and Apple’s iPhone platform?
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