Are you on a startup team? What if I tell you Microsoft may swallow you soon, well that is a possibility for a company that has acquired over 100 businesses in the past.
Like it or not, Microsoft is everywhere. From its origins as a super-hot startup in the 1970s to taking over the world in the 1990s to its current reinvention, Microsoft has a long and interesting line of story about how they got to where they are today.
Some of the “wow” facts about Microsoft and lessons to be learnt have been served below for your consumption, Enjoy:
- Analysts estimate that Microsoft’s explosive growth has made for at least two billionaires other than Gates, and as many as 12,000 millionaires. Like former CEO Steve Ballmer, who bought the LA Clippers for $2 billion in 2014. Well, you see why you never have to limit your challenges but rather challenge your limit. Your little start up today can become the unicorn tomorrow especially if you prepare well now. Build your model around creating long-term wealth, of course the first thing is identifying and solving a problem.
- Microsoft cofounders Bill Gates and Paul Allen designed the company’s first logo in less than a day. The funky “O” was called the “blibbet.”. You are a programmer? So what. You must be able to design, print, scan, repair laptops and clean your offices. That’s the simple definition of an entrepreneur.
- In the 2000s, Bill Gates and Steve Ballmer often appeared in silly motivational videos for Microsoft employees, like this Austin Powers parody. This is my favourite part for real. Work doesn’t have to be so boring with low morale to add salt to the injury. Infact, you and your team should go out there and have some “technical” fun.
- Microsoft was founded in New Mexico. The company was actually founded in New Mexico back in April 1975. It wouldn’t be until 1986 that the company moved to Redmond. No lesson except that, your location should not limit your exploits. Get it bigger, expand this thing and move to a better society later.
- Microsoft’s employees are referred to as Softies. To Microsoft when you say an average softie, you refer to us to an average Microsoft employee. The lesson here is for managers to sit down and think of ways to make employees proud of the organization they work in. This will also boost confidence level and resolve issues of low self esteem when they are out with colleagues from other places.
- Microsoft Holds Over 10,000 Patents. Here is the issue of intellectual property. You guys really need to take this serious. Make noise and properly document any new discovery no matter how small.
- In 1997, Microsoft saved Apple from almost certain bankruptcy by making a $150 million investment. Steve Jobs announced it on stage at his first appearance as Apple CEO, to boos from the audience. Like seriously? Well everyone is happy now. So get this in friend. Do some investment in sister companies in the industry.
- In 1995, Microsoft released Bob, a custom version of Windows that was aimed at making it easier for new users to get around their computer by making it look like a “house” with “rooms.” It was just weird and got killed swiftly. Guys, think of new ways to make things easier for your users/customers. Nobody really cared how much work was put in place to do a marquee or even an AJAX call on a single page application, even if anyone cares not the typical business user. All these guys want is just ease of use and flying graphics.
- Microsoft Uses Codenames. So what? Well start using codenames too. Though it’s all about terminology and technical jargons, but it gives some form of protections and secrecy to products that are not yet released.
- Microsoft’s Sales & Marketing Support Group has the largest percentage of her workforce. Technical guys be like, Really? Yes man. After the whole coding and testing, who’s going to sell? Who’s going to bring the business? Who maintain the bigger picture while you guys get down to specifics. This is weird but absolutely the fact. Please pay attention to your sales/marketing/business unit.