I was catching up on my Daring Fireball feed today and saw that John Gruber had put together a longer post on Microsoft’s earnings shortfall. It’s a worthwhile read, and I think that Gruber is correct in suggesting that Microsoft has begun a very difficult time and is going to be there for a while.
Today that is simply no longer the case. Microsoft has lost all but a sliver of this entire market. People who love computers overwhelmingly prefer to use a Mac today. Microsoft’s core problem is that they have lost the hearts of computer enthusiasts. (Emphasis mine) Regular people don’t think about their choice of computer platform in detail and with passion like nerds do because, duh, they are not nerds. But nerds are leading indicators.
Now, let me be particularly cautious here. This is combustible territory I realize. A couple of months ago I was asked by a couple of people for my opinion of what Microsoft should do to change direction. After considering it for a while I came up with a simple two step plan that would make me think that something big had happened at Microsoft.
Neither of these two steps I’m going to suggest are things that average consumers would notice, or even really care about. My point, agreeing with Gruber, is to do something that will get the nerds to take notice. However, before proceeding, let me come clean that I have been a huge Microsoft advocate. MarketWatch.com is one of the largest financial websites on the Internet, and is entirely built on Windows technology. I’ve advocated with people the benefits of Windows development environments. I’ve even been quoted in Microsoft case studies. With all that said, I can’t imagine using Windows in a new company, and I haven’t seen an early stage company using Windows for years now.
Earlier this week Split Rock Partners did a press release regarding my entrepreneur in residence (EIR) with the firm. The first question friends of mine have asked is “What exactly is an entrepreneur in residence?” Wikipedia highlights an EIR as:
The EIR role is often designed to fill one of three primary functions:
- To launch a new entrepreneurial venture, often with the backing of the parent firm or organization;
- To assist in the evaluation of potential investments where the entrepreneur has a particular expertise; or
- To provide functional expertise to assist with an existing investment.
That is a great recap of what I will be doing with Split Rock. The partners have given me a place to office and the opportunity to get and give early feedback around potential business ventures.
A couple of other items about EIR roles. There are other “in residence” programs. For example, artist in residence seems to be a fairly well established. I’ve also seen writer in residence as well as journalist in residence pop up. Lastly, just to be clear, the EIR role is a partnership. I’m not an employee at the firm, and this isn’t a “job”. It is a formal collaboration and a vehicle for us to work together.
I am excited to work with the partners at Split Rock and will make the most of such a unique opportunity!
Waiting for Coldplay to take the stage at Alpine Valley!
This is a couple of minute preview from the upcoming Tron Legacy to be released in 2010, released today. It’s a great clip.
I watched this preview in awe. I was one of the kids that saw Tron when I was just 10 years old and was amazed by it. It reinforced my amazement with the computers. I may have even thrown glow-in-the-dark frisbees at friends of mine in the middle of the night, pretending we were in the disc war game of Tron. Maybe.
I can’t wait to see this new one.
Fun movie, puts a smile on your face.
This is a good example of what a Big Green Egg looks like when it’s full blast, north of 700° F. And it can get hotter!
Me at the grill: Looking Great! Don’t burn your forearm tending that grill! http://twitpic.com/atm2w (via @mrock911)