Microstiff - Microsoft Outings of the Third Kind

Monday, February 19, 2007

Microstiff – Bumper Sticker Words to Live By for Microsofties and Those Who Study Them

"Denial is the 'Shock Absorber to the Soul'" – This slogan puts a positive spin on denial. It suggests that denial is very necessary for our spiritual survival; that were it not in place, we would…could…die or be emotionally damaged. Some examples are traumatic events such as deaths and injuries, catastrophes, relationship failures and the like.

But, what about “non-soul-threatening” denial...you know, the garden variety stuff? For example: “Wow!” Who but Bill, Steve, Marketing and perhaps Legal sees even a modicum of “Wow” in Vista? Office Live? Zune? As each day passes the answer to that is “fewer and fewer people from all walks of life.” And, you can’t deny that. Just read the Blogs.

I submit to you that there is layer upon layer of “non-soul-threatening” denial built up at Microsoft in every department, division, policy and mission statement and, until it is totally or mostly abolished, it will forever drag this company into the dark smugness of arrogance, grandiosity, hubris, entropy and atrophy. And, to deny this problem is denial at its best (worst?)

"Wherever You Go…There You Are" – Also known as “The Geographic Cure” this behavior is rooted in the need to ignore problems by changing the scenery. Works great for vacations in a tactical sense but can be harmful in the long term, strategic sense. For example: Vista sales are terrible and you begin talking, corporately and to the public…about the next great Microsoft OS…Windows 7. What’s up with that?

Or, you start talking up Windows Mobile initiatives to the press and to the pundits in a big way while your “bread and butter cash cow” – Vista – wallows in anonymity!

When world traveler philanthropist Bill Gates visits Africa he is still the same vicious businessman who stages WTF meetings with competing project managers, inside his office, the winner being the one who had the fewest WTF’s screamed at him. Bill, the same guy who won’t let his kids have a dog (Daily Show, John Stewart). Hell, they could have a kennel if they were my kids! This all tells me Bill is a philanthropist in MONEY only.

This leads me to the next bumper sticker:

"Saints Don’t Marry Sinners" – This is a more poignant restatement of “…Birds of a Feather…” Next time you see a couple where one person is a miserable prick (prickette?) and the other is a perfect little angel, don’t buy into it. They both have “their sack of rocks to carry.” Probably some variation of enabling on the part of the little angel and the need to maintain the imperfect façade of the relationship. And the miserable prick continues on his/her merry way…”Up on Cripple Creek.”

Translate this to Microsoft? Known monopolists don’t/can’t convincingly kiss babies and shake hands with customers, vendors, partners and stockholders. Known intellectual property thieves can’t make us feel all warm and fuzzy about their philanthropy.

Most alarmingly, if you work with people in departments, divisions and companies doing harmful things to others, you are not a saint. You are, on some level, perpetuating the evil behavior of others in your company; by your silence, by your acceptance, by your successful work contributing to the perpetuation of their evil behaviors. If your value system disdains this behavior you will, on some level, inhibit the successful flow of ideas, products and services to and from the marketplace.

"Companies are Not Evil…People Are" - A company cannot destroy you. It takes a person or people, embracing the written or unwritten mission, policies and procedures of said company to carry out evil acts – “deliberately causing great harm, pain, or upset.” Therefore, Microsoft, by definition, cannot be “The Evil Empire”. So, don’t kid yourself, someone(s) at Microsoft is evil. I am sure if you dig a little bit, you’ll find plenty of examples.

"If it Looks and Walks Like a Duck…It’s a Duck!" – Believe your eyes, your ears, your gut…especially now that you have decided to embrace the slogans on the bumper stickers above…that you ARE IN CHARGE OF YOUR DENIAL, that WHEREVER YOU GO, THERE YOU ARE, that SAINTS DON’T MARRY SINNERS, that COMPANIES ARE NOT EVIL…PEOPLE ARE.

Next, you must believe your heart when it says to you that any actions undertaken by people in your company to “deliberately cause great harm, pain, or upset” are truly evil acts and that by DOING NOTHING TO STOP THIS EVIL (UNLESS TO DO SO WOULD BRING HARM TO YOU OR ANOTHER PERSON), you are contributing to its perpetuation.

Quack! Quack!

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Mini-Microsoft: Stop Him Before He Speaks Again!

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