You know that I care what happens to you
And I know that you care for me
So I don't feel alone
Of the weight of the stone
Now that I've found somewhere safe
To bury my bone
And any fool knows a dog needs a home
A shelter from pigs on the wing
Alguns já falam que se trata do mais importante blog corporativo no mundo! Talvez não fosse a intenção do cara, mas ele conseguiu fazer barulho. Explico: há mais de 1 ano um funcionário da MS mantém um blog, o Mini-Microsoft, que é, digamos, bem ácido. A BizWeek conseguiu entrevistar o cara. Mas na MS ninguém parece ter idéia de quem é o sujeito. O tal "garganta profunda" do caso BallmerGate. Saca só o naipe do cara:
"It's time for Bill and Steve to go. Bill was never a great CEO and never really wanted that kind of responsibility. Steve wanted it, but has proved a failure.
"The list of reasons why is long, but their worst mistake was with anti-trust. Today they celebrate each successive billion dollar settlement as evidence of a brighter tomorrow, but the case that defined Microsoft as a law-breaking monopolist never should have gone so far. That drawn out ordeal and its aftermath have taken a terrible toll on Microsoft's reputation and employee morale. The beating they took likely also explains the current bunker mentality and their neurotic hoarding of mountains of cash. Their instinct to do so is understandable, but not acceptable.
"The company can be healed, but only new leadership, untainted by the sins of the past, will have the credibility to do it. An outsider can make a truly objective assessment of what must be done. Only someone without an emotional attachment can make the difficult decisions and then follow through. A non-billionaire at the helm will have the kind of financial incentive a "made man" never could.
"Unfortunately, as long as Windows and Office continue to gush cash, there will be no obvious emergency to spur the board into action. But this is a mistake. Change should happen now before Microsoft becomes AT&T.
"Saying goodbye to such central figures will be difficult, but Microsoft, more than any other company, has proved its ability to reinvent itself. It will do so again. Bill and Steve built a great company, but their time has now passed."
Dizer tchau pro Ballmer é fácil. Agora o Bill Gates é uma lenda viva. Sua imagem é indissociável da MS. Ele errou sim em suas visões (há tempos sua miopia é nítida.. argh!). Mas BillG nunca aceitaria uma função a la "rainha da Inglaterra". "PR é a mãe", ele diria.
Mas Mini não está só. Em seu blog existem centenas de comentários de outros funcionários da MS. Saca só um exemplo:
"To your question, Bill has to go too - no doubt. Not only is he complicit in many of the items listed for Ballmer but as you suggest, no new CEO could actually govern effectively with Bill there. Plus, what's really improved technology-wise since he took over as CTO? MSFT likely needs an outsider just as IBM did with Gerstner who can evaluate the facts as they exist w/o sentementality/baggage, make the appropriate changes (many are going to really hurt) and set an appropriate new course. Personally, I think the market would actually reward a change at the top - it would send a message that the board is serious, the mgt team is accountable, the company isn't resigned to it's current fate and this isn't your grandfather's MSFT. Of course, we could simply do nothing and continue the inevitable downward spiral."
Já o Ballmer é o maior caso de 'board' tolerante (mansidão bovina?) já registrado na história do capitalismo estadunidense. Mini mostra brevemente o tamanho dos erros do cara:
".invested $10B's in various "emerging" businesses that even years later represent only about 10% of MSFT's revenue, aren't growing at even 10% (in BSol's case, not growing at all) and collectively aren't profitable"
[BSol = Business Solutions, aquele papo de Great Plains, CRM etc]
".approved the onerous Licensing 6 program when many companies were hurting economically thereby pissing off a good portion of our customers and fueling the move to Open Source.
".has been at the helm as MSFT failed to take security seriously and then has had to drop everything to play catch up, missed the paid search move and had to play catch up, missed the move to web services and had to play catch up, missed the portable music wave and had to play catch up, let IE stagnate and had to play catch up, and now seemingly can't ship any major product on time even stripped of formely core features (can you say Longhorn, CRM, SQL, VS, etc. etc. etc?)."
[ps orgulhoso do pv: será que o Mini lê o Graffiti? Parece... kekeke...]
Há um (grande) detalhe a ser considerado na avaliação dos testemunhos acima. Os funcionários da MS são 'shareholders'. Parte de sua remuneração (bonificação) é paga como stock-options (sorry camaradas que não podem nem ouvir falar nas opções que não exerceram pq nunca aquele ipo saiu daquele bp fdp). Sorry pelo desvio - não resisti. E.. hum.. camaradas: Lexotan, Maracujina ou Chá de camomila?
Voltando: a MS mantém um tipo de relacionamento que não é muito comum para a maioria de nós pobres informatas tupiniquins pj's e afins. Saca só o tipo de reflexo que isso gera:
"So there's the Catch 22: change is needed to avoid a death spiral and unless a death spiral becomes evident to all, external holders won't likely come out in sufficient numbers to force the board to make a change. Oh well, although there are lots of differences and it would be much harder with Gates/MSFT, it did happen to Eisner at Disney and our stock performance is even more Mickey Mouse (I know...couldn't resist)."
"I'm so pissed that I can barely convey it. I'm a longterm employee and I'm forced to sell an expiring set of options this year from 1998. What are they worth? Well, I haven't looked at the price today but it was less than $1 a share last week based on our 1998 strike price."
"Fuck that. I should go work for Google, Apple or anyone else who can grow their stock and actually ship something."
Houve uma bolha MS? Há uma bolha Google? Haverá sabão para tanta espuma?
Me preocupa mais o seguinte tipo de comentário:
"The core problem is that nobody (at least in the product group) here gets paid on things that directly relate to executing on business needs. Sure, I'd love to ship my product on time but you know what? I'll still get paid if I don't. Have my whole team work 80 hours a week to meet a goal? We'll get a nice pat on the back and maybe an afternoon at a pool hall. If you do enough of this stuff your bonus might go up a few percent and you'll maybe even get a raise that beats out the inflation rate, but that's about it. It's not going to get me a bigger house or a new car or anything..."
"Now a new pay scheme, scheduled to go into effect this fall, threatens to make the gulf even wider. If they meet incentive goals, the 120 or so vice-presidents will receive an eye-popping $1 million in salary a year, and general managers, the next level down, will get $350,000 to $550,000, according to a high-ranking source. But the rest of the staff is paid at market rates."
Por fim um que sinaliza uma parte dos "problemas culturais" veementemente negados por Ballmer:
"Within the last 5 years, almost every manager I had from PUM (2 levels below VP give-or-take) was hired externally. They were hired from companies that move at the speed of wood like Oracle, IBM, HP, etc. They are professional managers, not engineers with reports. And they think like managers. They have no appreciation for what it takes to engineer software. If you explain to them that filling out CheckPoint or spreadsheets for project tracking on *every piece of code you check in* reduces the productivity of engineers, they don't care. They like to see graphs and press buttons. They don't know anything whatsoever about writing code."
Q q eu (ou vc ou o cara aí do lado) tem a ver com isso, certo?
1. Toda empresa tem altos e baixos, picos e fossas. Cada movimento é uma oportunidade única de aprendizado;
2. A MS tá em 90% dos computadores do mundo todo. De um jeito ou de outro ela nos afeta, certo?;
3. O 'mind-set' que a trouxe para o momento atual é o mesmo que inventou o Win4$less-people (starter edition); que jogou sujo com Netscape, Borland, SCO etc etc; que detesta padrões (SQL, UML, MDA, LDAP etc etc etc); etc etc etc. Há relação? Há chance de revisão?;
4. O Graffiti não terá graça nenhuma sem a MS.. ops.. hehe.. brincadeirinha;
5. A MS montou um ecossistema único (parceiros, profissionais certificados ..). Passou da hora de tratá-lo como comunidade de fato, e não como um apêndice, braço, ou [outra metáfora anatômica menos óbvia e mais ofensiva]. Tal ecossistema será diretamente afetado por qq mini-katrina, mini-rita que atinja a MS;
6. Se no 'beta 2' pré-'release candidate' da versão 3 o porco voar, o que será de nós? Veremos uma versão "cine-catástrofe" de "Magnólia"??
7. Ou o Pink Floyd resolve voltar e gravar "Pigs on The Wing (Part Three - The Death Spiral)"??