Scoble unleashed again

Robert Scoble took two weeks off from blogging and has returned with a vengeance with some radical thinking for his employer Microsoft. Some ideas do more than me for others but what I love is the passion and freedom with which he speaks. For instance, in how many companies could you get away with saying things like this?

In my travels around Bill Gates’ empire I do my usual Channel 9 stuff, but off camera lately I’ve been asking “how can we make Microsoft better?”

See, I’ve decided to stick around and make Microsoft better. I own a very very very small slice of Microsoft and so as an employee owner I figure I gotta do my part.

And, generally, what I’m finding on my tours is angst. Angst over stock price (it’s gone up about $3 since I’ve joined three years ago). Angst over marketing issues (why do we make cool names like “Sparkle” lame by changing that to “Expression Interactive Designer?”) Angst over vision and direction. Angst over leadership. Angst over advertising like our “dinosaur” ads (which are loudly derided by customers whenever I go to conferences and talk about how we’re being perceived).

That’s another small nail in the coffin of grandiose branding via overblown advertising.

2 thoughts on “Scoble unleashed again

  1. Jack Yan

    How very true, Johnnie. You may remember the “Microsoft iPod” spoof ad floating around on the ’net not long ago. It was subtitled, ‘Personal Ear Edition’. That sort of thing says it all about where Microsoft’s (and others’) branding has gone wrong. And to think, that little film came from Microsoft—so within, it knows what it is doing wrong. Now, I have to wonder, why does it take so long for a company supposedly at the forefront of technology, and which knows its faults, to begin implementing some changes to humanize its branding? Even a sign of it would be welcome given people like Mr Scoble who reports from within—for he needs to be among the first to learn of any such efforts.

  2. Servant of Chaos

    It is not just the passion, but also the sense of ownership that helps make the difference. How many employees can claim a real sense of ownership? Even moreso, how many customers can claim a sense of ownership of a brand (ok there is Apple — apologies to Rob Scoble — but I think that sense is misguided)?


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