Ray Ozzie Writes a Memo

Ray Ozzie just left his #3 seat at Microsoft so he could tell us what he could not while at Microsoft... perhaps ... he never pulled punches before - but Ballmer is a more than a bit of a bully.

His "Dawn of a New Day" letter to Microsoft is like Jerry MaGuire's Memo/Mission Statement - it should inspire change. Ray's is a voice of reason in these chaotic tech times. read it because it is relevant to all businesses, not just tech... since every company relies on digital in some way.

Below are some key points from Fast Company about The Memo:

Once a company has done something well, it’s easy to keep doing that thing. In fact, it’s hard to stop doing it, because your company—its structure and incentives—get organized around enabling that successful thing to keep happening. But if the bigger picture in your industry changes, as it is in the tech sector, that successful thing may no longer be optimized to the new environment. Continuing to do it, and not shifting to a product line better suited to the new landscape, will put you at a disadvantage against competitors who do adapt, not to mention new entrants who have designed themselves with the new needs front of mind.

If the future landscape you see is vastly different than the landscape you originally planned for, it might feel impossible to make the shift. But stay calm. Even changes that are inevitable take time to materialize. That gives you time to plan and shift your strategy in increments. Ozzie says the changes in the tech world will require innovation in the “user experience, interaction model, authentication model, user data & privacy model, policy & management model, programming & application model”—in other words, in just about everything the tech world does. But, he adds, “these platform innovations will happen in small, progressive steps, providing significant opportunity to lead.”

“The one irrefutable truth is that in any large organization, any transformation that is to ‘stick’ must emerge from within,” Ozzie writes. “Those on the outside can strongly influence, particularly with their wallets. Those above are responsible for developing and articulating a compelling vision, eliminating obstacles, prioritizing resources, and generally setting the stage with a principled approach. But the power and responsibility to truly effect transformation exists in no small part at the edge.  Within those who, led or inspired, feel personally and collectively motivated to make; to act; to do.”

So now the bully has no "Gentleman Nerd" to balance his MS bravado. Here is a WSJ video bite from D8 with a difference of opinion about the "Cloud". Ray says yes... Steve says maybe later we can sell it: