Archive for May, 2005

Went through MSFT new employee orientation. 

Was a bit jaded walking in (I’ve been through a few of these before)… but was blown away at how good it was.

Man, does MSFT do this right.

Not just the presentation, but how easy and comprehensive everything was, including the self-service app — no wonder everyone says MSFT has the best benefits in the biz.

Here’s another observation:

Was in a room full of psyched people.  The MSFT HR people were psyched.  The new hires were psyched.  Heck, even the security people were psyched.

You expect everyone to be professional and reasonably happy… but I wasn’t prepared for — but was pleasantly surprised by — the enthusiasm. 

It was kinda infectious, even got a jaded old guy like me smiling.

 

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Being Microsoft

Posted: May 19, 2005 in Uncategorized

What’s it like to work for darn near the most successful company on the planet?

Here’s an initial observation.  (I may circle back, though, and do this topic more justice.)

As background, while I’ve done stints at HP and Deluxe Corp, I’ve been an entrepreneur for as long as I can remember.

For people that knew what we were doing, or knew us, we always got a warm reception.

But, to be honest, that universe was always on the small side.

The Syndicate Conference I just spoke at (by the way, great conference) was my first as a M-i-c-r-o-s-o-f-t employee.

Microsoft, obviously, just about owns the world.

Or said a better way, has business value to just about anyone at your typical conference or tradeshow — even to competitors.

So, my first observation is this:

     Microsoft is a magnet for "badge lookers"… people you don’t know that want to connect — some how, some way, any way — to the all-powerful Mother Ship.

Kind of a trip.

 

Got to catch up with (now) fellow employee Robert Scoble yesterday — of Scobleizer fame.

Everyone is fond of saying he’s the guy that’s making his most out of his 15 minutes of fame.

He’s actually the first to kid himself about this, which starts giving you some insight into why he’s just so bloody successful at disarming and humanizing.

And why is this important?

Because part of his unofficial job is to disarm and humanize Microsoft.  No small feat.

And — listen up everyone at MSFT — he’s doing it.  I’ve been to a zillion tradeshows and the theme was always consistent:  Microsoft was the enemy.

Now, Microsoft is part of the club… and the theme is, "how can we all work together to make all of this even better?"

A little bit nirvana-ish, but there you have it.

All the, "Microsoft is a good community citizen" press releases in the world don’t equal what Scobel has done:  Made Microsoft accessible.  Given Microsoft a public, 2-way voice.  An insider who calls a spade a spade.

Just what the doctor ordered.

He’s a PR person’s nightmare come true, but who would have thunk a little less control and a little more honesty would yield these kinds of results?

No one, and that’s what makes this story even more remarkable.

Cheers to you, Robert, for helping humanize one of the most feared and, yes, disliked companies on the planet.

Can’t wait to see what you’ll tackle next!

 

Finally, Too Much RSS

Posted: May 17, 2005 in Uncategorized

After months (years?) of pleading and begging conference organizers to add even a single solitary RSS panel to their line-up, the Syndicate Conference here in NY is an "All RSS, All The Time" show.

The two big hallway topics:  Microsoft acquiring MessageCast <smile> and Newsgator acquiring FeedDemon… congrats to Greg and J.B. (and Brad, too)!

One big observation:  The big guys like NY Times and Washington Post have already "got it."

Are we finally past the tipping point?

 

Off to The Big Apple

Posted: May 16, 2005 in Uncategorized

Heading to NY this week to present at the Syndicate conference.  Good line-up of folks. 

I’ll be talking about RSS & Marketing… twist my arm, eh? <smile>

 

Microsoft Acquires Us… !

Posted: May 11, 2005 in Uncategorized

There’s a headline you can’t write everyday.

Wanted to sneak the news out first here but, alas, it’s already hit the wire.

Go figure, those sneaky bloggers! <g>

Everyone that has been working on the deal is exhausted but excited.  Wish I had that perfect, pithy entry I can make… but all I have is this:

     "Very cool, actually."

Now that I’m one of 1,500 Microsoft bloggers (and counting), looking forward to sharing how we’ll make a difference in this world.

 

While I’m waiting to talk about big stuff, here’s an observation that hit me between the eyes today:

Some people still don’t get that RSS is unstoppable.  RSS will be — is — everywhere.

In fact, I’ll go out on a limb and say that RSS will have the same kind of impact as SMTP and HTTP.

Now, no one except techies really care about protocols.  But, everyone cares about what they enable:

     SMTP = email

     HTTP = the web

     RSS = how the entire world will share information

Normally I’d say it’s only a matter of time — but it’s already happening. You don’t have to look any farther than your favorite blog or news site.