Friday, September 3, 2004

Dangerous Transitions

Good OOF and back in town catching up on the news: good grief! Big
changes that a lot of us saw inevitable for Longhorn. Furthermore, an
interesting movement to detangle future client development from previous
blind adherence to all things CLR / .NET.

Anyway, Technorati'ing came
up with href="">Danger
ous Thoughts on href="">articulate.babble.  Super
well written.  An interesting snippet:

should do some big layoffs right away rather than small benefit cuts here
and there.

The reason is about the quality of people who will stay in
the former situation versus the latter. When a company like Microsoft starts
signalling its intention to scale back employee benefits, it is a green
light for its good and great employees to go seek out the new hotness.

Right after I read that, I saw via Dare's href="
b7-953f-72d61abace97">Transitions post that Joe Beda is leaving
Microsoft for Google.  So totally inline with Dangerous
. Joe's post explaining this is appropriately named href="">Microsoft--
; Google++. But realize the real fun is in the comments in most of these
posts - In Joe's
you have the discussion back to Dangerous Thoughts and its strong
direct relevance to what's happening REAL TIME.  Joe posts in Dare's
Transitions href="
47b7-953f-72d61abace97">comments and Dare makes some insightful comments
about the folks primed and ready for attrition.

Attrition. There's
Good Attrition. This was "Bad Attrition." I'm holding to my guns
and saying right now I'll take any attrition that leads to a smaller
company.  A lot of Bad Attrition variety eventually leads to "We
had to destroy the village to save it" results for what remains of
Microsoft.  When enough A quality people leave you start starving those
left behind without strong technical leadership and innovation. Then when
products and features are cancelled and folks bring up the internal career
site they discover that the lack of innovation has resulted in: dang,
there's no where to go.  Oh crap, there's no where to go!  Hey,
what's this pink-slip thingie?

This is reaching a smaller company
through a regressive set of results similar to, oh, frost-bite
amputation.  Much damn better right here and now to say: we have some
of the absolute smartest, passionate, talented software people in the
world.  We value them. We value them more than Google or any other
damn company.
  This can be an excellent environment for them to
excel in, with changes.  Scale back in mediocre intentions and product
and, most importantly, staff.  Get into 2005 with 10% less
people.  To those in this small Microsoft: tell them, color="#000080">"You are the best.  We're getting out of your way
and letting you rip.  Go make fantastic products that will innovate and
make us all tons of cash."

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