An article has cropped up on Techmeme – 7 Reasons Why Microsoft is Doomed! (¨Not this year, not next year, but soon – almost certainly by the next decade¨). Well that means the year after then (or +1 if you count 2010 as part of this decade… let’s not go down that well-worn rabbit hole)
Of course Microsoft is doomed. So is Google for precisely the same reason. This is not a new phenomenon and is better described by the authors of Funky Business:
The dirty little secret of market capitalism in all its many forms is that successful companies have become so by killing the spirit of free enterprise. They have all succeeded in creating monopolies, at least for a short moment in time.
How long that moment in time lasts depends on your dominance and the stability of your market. But stability never lasts. If you want to avoid impending doom or obscurity, you have to adapt. It’s true for Microsoft, it will be true for Google, it has been true for every nation state claiming to be (or acting like) an empire. Why is Madonna so successful? She has made adaption an art form. It is true for anyone who reaches the top of the pile – you don’t get to stay there unless you adapt to change. And that’s the hardest thing for humans to do. (It’s easier to learn something new than to change what you know.)
Microsoft’s run has lasted well and doom at the moment looks like a leisurely stroll down a gentle hill, hence the stagnant stock price. They have time and (oodles of) money on their side. Doom can be avoided, as demonstrated by IBM, but not easily or smoothly. That’s the worry and challenge for anyone who experiences a monopoly moment.