February 19, 2009

Microsoft, Apple and Google

I have empathy for Microsoft, Apple and Google.  They have such a success and failure relocate ride of a history.

Microsoft has always been embattled, they saw a market where there was none and through various means kept themselves in the forefront.  They have always been the black hats though, from Bill Gates letter against software piracy, to tactics used in the market place.  They have huge products in Xbox, Windows and Office.   Do not forget Office was a come from behind winner.  

Now then, aside from Windows, Office Xbox and mice, what other market are they a big player?  As far as Office and Windows they are damned if they do damned if they dont.  Add to that a lack of cool factor.  They have all this potential but lack of ability to capitalize.

Apple does have a coolness factor.  They found niche markets and got them controlled in a neo-monopoly.  When it comes to predatory tactics, they are stealth and devastating.  Perception and mind share are the grand illusions.  And now they face the loss of the cult leader.   While Steve is reportedly not the sweetest guy in the world, he has a large elitism umbrella that make people want to be a part of his company.  The Macintosh has taken a back seat to the I-pod destroying iPhone.   What will happen when he is no longer able to be the front man?  The stock market reacts to things like his being unwell.

Google is a goofy kind of company that you really have to look deep into to figure out how they make money.  Oh, they make money, just not from the consumer.   They started out with a good way to find things on the Internet.  They are the closest thing to alchemists on the planet, turning things to gold.  Where else can you have the computer desktop functions without having your own computer?  E-mail, Office software, Database, Research, entertainment that moves with you when you log on.  The coolness falls someplace between Apple and Microsoft, yet, they are becoming the black hats.

Google is to big, Google is too dominate, Google has all the ad revenue, Google cannot sustain its growth, Google is too powerful and so on.  Just a few weeks ago some one at google brought the Internet to its knees by making a typo.   It really was n0t brought to its knees, just perceived to be.

I enjoy seeing companies do well.  That means more real jobs.  These three have been the movers and shakers for an industry that is going from small potato's to worldwide saturation in my lifetime.    

Still, any company that gets too bloated can become problematic.


Stella said...

I am an admirer of Bill Gates and Google's CEO. These are great companies. Although I'm not a big Mac fan, I respect the work Jobs did to move his company from near bankruptcy to excellent profitability.

I don't know if you are aware that all through companies are laying off employees. Blame the financial market.

However, this is an odd comment coming from you, my friend. You said any company that gets too bloated can become problematic.

Yes, I think so, too. But this is the very nature of Capitalism. That's why I've always been wary of unrestrained capitalism. Look what's happened to our financial industry—the same problem.

There's got to be a meeting place between Capitalism and Socialism. If we can agree, we all win.

Bill Gates has turned in to a major philanthropist: He made his money and now he helps others. That's admirable.

Lee said...

What government run "business" or "central planning" out performs a private business?

Stella said...

I don't know, Lee. That's a great question. The companies you mention are multinational corporations I respect. Bill Gates has become a great philanthropist now that he's stepped down from the helm of Microsoft, and I admire that.

Unrestrained capitalism unnerves me, yet your point's made about government when I remember Reagan's break up due to antitrust of Bell Labs, which set the telecommunications industry back 20 years. Stupid. The innovation from that company was outstanding. The Air Traffic Controllers and airline industry is still trying to get on its feet.

Of course, that's government interference from Reagan and makes your point for you. =)

I strong believe in strong oversight, but don't think all corporations are evil empires, either. I want to see a process where government and corporations can learn from each other.