Microsoft is NOT Market Orientated…

Hola Todos!

Perhaps a better title for this post would be “Microsoft is NOT Market Orientated Yet…(and we sure hope they will be soon…).  Firms that are market orientated have: (1) an incredible strong external orientation towards customers, (2) incredible strong external orientation towards competition (i.e., the market place), and (3) excellent inter-firm communication to capitalize and adapt to the information coming in from customers and competition keeping the firm ahead in the industry.  This description has not been a fit for Microsoft in a long, long time. If we look back and think about the major trends in tech over the last 10 to 15 years, Microsoft missed the Internet (at first), missed search, missed social, and appears to be missing mobile. I could fill this blog on the reasons why this occurred but let’s stay on the market orientation theme for now.

John Gruber of DaringFireball summed it up well: when Microsoft was founded, it’s goal was “to put a computer in everyone home” and Gates, Ballmer and Co. did an incredible job with that goal in the late 1970’s and the 1980’s to become the colossus it became in the 1990’s.  But once that goal was achieved and Mr. Gates stepped down from the CEO chair in the 2000’s, that same goal did not serve Microsoft as well.  The goal should have been modified “to put a computer in everyone’s pocket” but competition in both hardware (Apple, Samsung, etc) and software (iOS, Android, App Store, etc) blew by Microsoft over the past 6 to 8 years and is now an “also ran” in everything that goes in the pocket.

Prior to Facebook’s acquisition of WhatsApp, the top conversation in tech was “How is Microsoft going to pivot under the new CEO Satya Nedella?” Not many feel Mr. Nedella will double-down and battled it through in an attempt to be relevant in mobile.  Mr. Nedella rose to the CEO post from Microsoft’s cloud and enterprise divisions and that is everyone’s best guess to the direction Microsoft is headed.  I hope Mr. Nedella will get the firm to be market orientated again, spending company resources (time and money) figuring out where Microsoft would be in 2016 as opposed to trying to pay catch-up in the markets where they are an “also ran” in 2014 (see downward sloping trend in this post).

On a final thought, the desktop is no longer the dominant computing platform worldwide, however, Microsoft still has a killer app: Microsoft Office.  If Office were to become available for iOS and Android, that move could cement Microsoft “in everyone’s pockets” and provide even more cash to help fuel the Microsoft of the future. Mr. Nedella biggest challenge is to change the culture of Microsoft to think more of 2019, as opposed to 1999 – and it will not be easy as too much of the old guard like Frank X. Shaw probably listens to too much Prince music (see Frank’s quote in this post).

I still think this is the top story of the year to follow….

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

Facebook, Microsoft, Non-Verbal Communication and a Bunch of Other Stuff!

Hola Todos!

Now that we are past the Super Bowl, it’s time to get caught up with EVERYTHING… including DigNuggetville.  I’ve been stockpiling potential post for weeks now and with so many interesting articles, it would be March before I get to anything new.  So to unclog the logjam, here’s a meta-list of super nuggets!

Enjoy!

 

Happy Birthday Facebook – what did you get for your 10th birthday?

-A nice 10-year highlight video 

Five Key moments that changed Facebook

-CEO Mark Zuckerberg on the Today Show with a nice video of FB’s headquarters

 

Microsoft has a New Leader

-Microsoft has a new CEO – How Satya Nedella will change the company

-Satya Nedella: Signs of Leadership

 

Nonverbal Communications Nuggets

-5 Keys to Great Nonverbal Communication

-What if…. Details Determined Good Communication?

-7 Steps to Earn Others’ Trust without Saying a Word

-Does Body Language Shape Who You Are?

 

 

A Bunch of Other Stuff (to unlock this reference, watch this video)

-The Logic Behind 19 Common Interview Questions

-How to Network Purposefully

-Five Things Dale Carnegie Can Teach You about Social Selling

-Jeff Bezos: A Strong CEO

-How Daydreaming Can Actually Make You Smarter

-Content Marketing Challenges

-Content Marketing and ROI

-Steve Jobs would go for a walk to clear his head

-Apple’s New Retail Executive: Angela Ahrendts

What is SquareSpace with headquarters in New York City?

 

Best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

 

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

Microsoft Buys Nokia: The Rule of Three

Hola Todos!

I apologize for being quiet for a while.  August was a great month to be outside and have fun the family.  In addition, I have my tenure packet due this October so between that and classes, DigNuggetville has not been as active.

That said, one of the biggest stories of the week has been Microsoft buying Nokia.  In short, Microsoft HAD to make this deal happen.  The future is mobile and Microsoft is still not a major player in this marketplace.  Moreover, Microsoft has a $7 Billion marketing deal with Nokia – the only smartphone manufacturer to use the Windows Mobile OS.  Microsoft has not been able to convince any other smartphone company to use their OS and if something were to happen to Nokia, Microsoft would be locked out.  In summary, this deal had to get done.

Beyond the fact that neither Microsoft nor Nokia is market orientated, my biggest thought on these events is The Rule of Three.  Without question, the smartphone marketplace is maturing (which is a major reason why we will see the more affordable iPhone 5c next week) and when marketplaces mature, the number of major players reduces.  Usually in highly competitive, lower growth zero-sum marketplaces, the only way to gain market share is to steal it from your competitors.  If this is the case, only a few firms will survive that cutthroat environment.  Therefore, there will be room for a #1, a strong #2 and finally weak #3 with perhaps a few small niche players.

Just as recent has 3 years ago, there were 6 major OS players in the market: iOS, Android, Symbian, Palm, Windows, and Blackberry. As I said many times in class, there is no way all those firms will survive.  This Microsoft deal places an enormous amount of pressure on Blackberry.  Microsoft has deep pockets, Blackberry does not…meaning something is going to happen to Blackberry relatively soon. Either they are going to go under due to the market strength of Apple, Android and the deep pockets of now Nokia or someone such as Samsung or Amazon who does not want their mobile future anchored to Android is going to buy Blackberry.

Something to think about today…

 

Best regards

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, Ph.D.,

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

Bill Gates and Steve Jobs: A Rare Glimpse Into Their 30 Year Relationship

Hola Todos!

The story of Microsoft and Apple – translated to Bill Gates and Steve Jobs – are central figures in the history of personal computing.  In a fascinating but unfortunately short (under 6 minutes) video, 60 Minutes Overtime put together a number of interview highlights of Gates and Jobs by journalist Charlie Rose.

There no question these two had a complex relationship but there is also no question that their relationship was special and unique.  Gates his visibly choked up in one segment when talking about Jobs after his passing. One of the most interesting lines in the clip is when Gates tells about Jobs, in failing health, canceled a dinner at the last minute. “If he wants to know why,” Jobs told Gates’ secretary, “just tell him I’m an asshole.”

Something to watch today…

 

Best

Dr. Dan-o

 

 

LinkedIn Missed the Boat: Microsoft Buys Yammer

Hola Todos!

The headline I heard this morning on NPR (read full story from CNNmoney.com, click here) did not surprise me – Microsoft Buys Yammer – but at the same time, I’m disappointed in LinkedIn.  Perhaps LinkedIn did not have the cash (although it could have been an all stock deal) or they did not see a strong business model in Yammer or they could have been strategically asleep (perhaps) – regardless, LinkedIn missed the boat on this opportunity.

Yes, LinkedIn is the best B-to-B social network going (I’m a big user) but at the same time, LinkedIn should not be so myopic (click here) and just define itself as a massive, digital, and interactive Rolodex.

In my eyes, LinkedIn should position itself towards digital services that are B-to-B.  Yammer would have been a nice fit.  WebEx would be an excellent premium service to LinkedIn users.  Even live chat to have a team meeting among multiple members would be a nice service to offer its users.  What about Ning?  Microsoft bought Skype a while back for $8.5 billion and I was thinking these same myopic thoughts about LinkedIn.  However, at the time LinkedIn was not a public company and $8.5 billion is a ridiculous amount of cash to spend on a firm that did not have a strong positive net cash flow.

The lesson is:  if a firm defines itself to narrowly (e.g., myopically), the firm could find its business out of flavor in the near future.  Monster.com and CareerBuilder.com are both struggling at the moment because the business that they defined for themselves 5 to 8 years ago isn’t viable to today’s marketplace because of LinkedIn.  I just hope that LinkedIn does not find itself in the same predicament 5 or 8 years from now.

Something to thing about today…

Best regards

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, PhD

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

 

Nugget Keyword Dictionary – “Biting the Hand that Feeds You.”

Hola Todos!

Today’s nugget keyword, like last week, is a phrase:  “Biting the hand that feeds you” or as it is usually expressed “Don’t bite that hand that feeds you.”

The Usingenglish.com free dictionary (which also includes idioms) defines this phrase as,”When someone says this to you, they are trying to tell you not to act against those on whom you depend” (click here).

One of the Microsoft story lines over the past few days has been, “Microsoft is really going to piss off their partners (e.g., Dell, HP, etc) by developing their own tablet.  They are going into competition against some of their biggest and oldest clients by developing a tablet!.” I even heard on a NPR radio broadcast that “Microsoft will have hell to pay for their actions.”

This storyline and all of its associated commentary sure has the flavor of “biting the hand that feeds you.” In Microsoft’s defense, however, its not like HP, Dell or anyone other Amazon’s Kindle and to a lesser part Amazon’s Fire, have done anything to dent Apple’s stranglehold of the tablet market. If I were Dell or HP, I would be cheering them on because without Microsoft, HP, Dell and anyone without an Android OS isn’t in fastest growing marketplace in the tech industry.

Something to think about today…

best regards,

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik

Associate Professor of Marketing

Seton Hall University

 

 

 

 

The Microsoft Surface Tablet: An iPad Competitor?

Hola Todos!

Microsoft had a big announcement yesterday as they debuted their new Surface Tablet.  The demo and the video (click here) shows their solid Metro interface, a neat cover that flips over to a flexi keyboard, docking station which almost turns the device into a desktop, and a build-in kickstand.

While I, as well as the entire tech world, will wait to see Walt Mossberg’s (The Wall Street Journal) review of the Surface before making any judgments, on the surface (sorry, I could not let that one go) appears to be a solid offering from the Microsoft team.

-For a play-by-play analysis of Monday’s announcement (click here)

-For extra commentary from Mashable (click here)

-For Microsoft’s officially web site for Surface (click here)

 

Best regards

Dr. Dan-o

 

Daniel M. Ladik, PhD

Associate Professor of Marketing

Stillman School of Business

Seton Hall University