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October 12, 2005


In deciding Scoble vs. Mini why isn't one considering them as two sets of topics? Then, you count the topics, see how representative are the contributors for each topic, and how well the arguments are being developed. It's only then that you can decide who's better. Non-sense ratings and such don't do justice to either one of them. I'm not even going to look too much at the people you interviewd, since they would not come back if invited by SteveB or BillG...

Cheers, fCh

Excellent insight, Rick. I just joined Microsoft after 12 years in the start-up world. My impression of Microsoft people was formed 10 to 15 years ago. At that time Microsofties were young, arrogant, usually smart, but not much real world experience. Their experience was Microsoft, and while interesting, it was a very insular view of the world.

I was at Digital Equipment (DEC) for 11 years. DEC had 130,000 employees at its peak. There are now DEC alumni in just about every technology company. DEC had a certain culture too. It was a meritocracy where only good ideas mattered. Employees at any level could be heard and effect decisions.

Microsoft has built a great, lasting company, over the past 30 years. They have stood the test of time and many technology shifts. Steve and Bill are still passionate and come to work everyday even though they are among the richest people in the world.

It is a great place to work, and a great place to have an impact on the technology world.

Rick, I'd love to know why the MS alumni you spoke to left the company. Was it because they had some tremendous opportunity outside of MS, or was it because they, or MS, realized that they weren't a good fit? For those that weren't a good fit I'd expect a little bit of negative bias towards MS products/culture.

Thanks for the comments.

For fch: It's really not a matter of ratings, rather this whole notion/study of bloggers and big companies. I'll have more on this because it's a big area of interest for me.

For Don: I agree, fun place, loved it.

For Ian: Excellent question. I can only go on what I know/told by the people. 6 of the folks used to work for me and left to do other stuff. Maybe some burnout, and 'it's different' but not turfed disgruntled employees. Another 8 were people I knew of or worked with. All of them left for other opps, dot com type stuff. The remaing folks were people who have come into my office as former ms pitching new companies. I circled back when I dug into this stuff. I didn't probe the good point you make.

I am ex-MSFT and talk to lots of ex-MSFT people in the Redmond area. I have informally discussed these topics with them over the years with almost equal results.

Great post! I was pretty shocked at some of the responses, too. One would think that having Microsoft on your resume would 'give you an edge'.
We sometimes buy into having that 'name' on the resume and think that it would have some cache for the next job. Too often we find out that it's only good for a narrow band of the technolgy industry.

I used to hate talking to people who had left MS, while I was still at MS. It was always the same comment "it's so different on the outside, you don't knwo how different". I hated it. Now after 11 years on the inside, and having been MS-Outed since 2001 I have to agree. I go to conferences and rarely see MS people there unless they are the guest speakers. I mention hit products that are non-MS products and get blank stares. "Google has maps????". OK, lets say Scoble and others are the exception.

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