Monday, February 25, 2008

Because the Last Aquisition Went So Well...

Check-in on Yahoo: BusinessWeek has a small take on Kevin Johnson's message to Microsoft and Yahoo employees. A number of articles have been posted putting this email in the light of "we're not going to be firing anybody! Please, don't leave, we luv you all and we have someplace to squeeze you in!" After our own CEO basically lied to his own senior leadership regarding the Yahoo acquisition, I'm not buying anything they are selling because their agenda, whatever it is, is built on misrepresentation. Or shooting from the hip.

Besides, of course, I want folks fired due to my original agenda; plus, the Yahoo Peanut Butter Manifesto probably pointed to more than just 1,000 Yahoo folks needing to find a better place to work.

Reading Mr. Johnson's email, I have an image in my head of John Wayne from McLintock, reassuringly saying in this case, "Somebody needs to fire ya, kid. But I'm not gonna fire ya. I'm not gonna fire ya. ... The HELL I'M NOT!" *biff* Or, in this case, *RIF*

A Couple More Perspectives:

From the Field: a welcome message from the field in this comment:

Working in the field and not in the US, I sometimes cannot relate to the comments that are heavily oriented at the minority of peopele working in MS which is dev. And maybe this is part of the MS problem? SMSG is swarming with people and due to the "Keep your scorecard green" culture that came with Kevin "thank you for all that you do" Turner, managers are not managing and coaching people anymore. Every day I see people that should be empowered to do business staring into their spreadsheets in order manipulate Siebel (yes we use that utter crap CRM system still) to keep the scorecard green instead of going out to meet the customers. Many MS people in (i think especially in services) miss the "techy" culture where we doing good things for customers, making them successful. Now all we get "Why is your scorecard yellow, just fix it".

Dirty aQuantive laundry: a very revealing comment worth reading in full starts with:

I'm no longer with aQuantive, I now work for a great team in MS. I was threatened not to talk, but my story needs to be told, to some people higher up who believe that they can integrate Yahoo, I believe that they can, but they have to hear what is happening to Microsoft's ad serving business, which will save the company years to find out, it will be too late once they realize. The engineers at aQuantive are great, some of the best, but the central nervous system doesn't exist, this is Microsoft's managements responsibility, and it could cost us the leadership in the ad business. [...]

Classy, real classy: I'm sure anyone who had ran Vista at work looked at the Vista Capable stickers on machines they wouldn't buy for their Mom and felt bad regarding the misrepresentation of those machines' capabilities. Even some of our VPs expressed their strong dislike (d'oh, [shake fist] damn you email discovery!). Now we're up for a class action lawsuit and I'm really interested to see what kind of leg we have to stand on here. Fighting to justify this poor decision doesn't rank up as high on the Bozo Meter as trying to defend browsing technology as being a core OS component, but it's close.

Rory Blyth channels Mini: Windows Live Writer Team and Microsoft - where Rory is put over the edge when Live Writer - a delightful blogging application I adore (and makes me wonder if my hatred of .NET apps is misplaced) - gets ruined by being wedged into a Live Suite installer infrastructure. Rory is no longer with Microsoft and he doesn't hesitate to load up both barrels and let loose. A little later in the comment stream:

What happened to me is I worked for Microsoft for three years. You didn't read the post in its entirety, so you may have missed it, but I wrote that this isn't just about Live Writer - it's about Microsoft's approach to user experience in general.

I saw - and was subject to - so many dirty tricks on the inside. There's a constant battle between the stupid people and the smart people, and the stupid people do quite well. Probably because stupid people are scared of the smart people and do whatever they can to get more stupid people to work at Microsoft. A good way to retain your power and position is to ensure you aren't being challenged by other employees.

The sad thing is that I'm not exaggerating.

The company is bloated. I said myself that firing tens of thousands is cruel, but when you have managers for managers for managers for managers for managers for managers and managers for them, you have something ridiculous.

Firing tens of thousands of Microsofties? Allow me to raise my hands in the air, wave them about, and yell out, "Hallelujah brother, praise the RIF!!!"

Mid-year career discussion is upon us and now is an ideal time for you to update your resume and assess where you are and where you are going. Want a raise? Secret to Success, rule #1: the best way to get a raise is to change companies. Bar none. So update that resume and see what kind of follow-ups you get. Perhaps you're an eagle trying to soar with the turkeys... if so, some parting advice from one of our commenters:

I left months ago and am so glad I did. MSFT has a bunch of great achievers drowning amongst a gaggle of whiners who want top pay and work-life balance but don't want to work hard to achieve anything. Until you get rid of the latter, you wont' get top performance out of the former. The people who want challenges in life and to achieve something will just continue to get fed up and leave. It's sad. If you are there and frustrated there are many alternative lives you could be leading happily elsewhere. Go, it ain't that scary and you'll never regret it. Stay and you'll wake up at 45 yrs old (how many 45+ people do you see around you, eh?) sad and feeling empty. Go, leave, it's okay and you'll stop feeling so angry and abused.

No comments:

Post a Comment