Scoble: Microsoft Is Run By Geeks

    July 9, 2007
    WebProNews Staff

Robert Scoble earned his fame through corporate blogging, not PR blogging, where messages are always sugared up, but through saying what he wanted about Microsoft while working at Microsoft. He’s on to other things now, but is still giving the Beast of Redmond the old what-for.

"Microsoft is run by geeks," says the Scobleizer, bemoaning the company’s general lack of innovation as three of its top designers defect to their own company – a company that makes virtual flowers. Apparently, the virtual goods market is the next big thing.

Don’t laugh. How many Pet Rocks were sold again? And people make money all the time selling imaginary swords and trading pretend money for real money. The Internet’s run by geeks too, and judging from the 20 or younger folks I meet, they’re multiplying – and getting girlfriends these days too.

But, according to Scoble, the geeks at Microsoft just don’t get anything beyond the Hit-It-And-Quit-It School of Design – no slap and tickle, no nothing. Creativity, he says, is not something that is rewarded in Redmond.

He waxes poetic:

See, I know two of the three people involved.

But there are other designers I’ve seen come to Microsoft and leave, too.

These designers tried to make Microsoft build products that are more fun to use, more emotional, more visually pleasing, more user-centric.

IE, more like the iPhone.

But they keep getting shot down, over and over and over.

So they leave.

Not sure of the meter, and the syllabic structure’s inconsistent, but the beats are on in an offbeat way, I dig the repetition, the IE double entendre, and the turn at the end.

 Aesthetically pleasing, user-friendly, "artistic" ideas are killed because of schedules and lack of "hard" value. As a result, Microsoft has been behind on most innovation, chasing the highs of other companies instead by creating competing products.

But what captures the heart of the consumer, says Scoble, is something beyond that, something new and magic.

That’s an interesting (and true) concept, I think. I can’t speak to the truth of the internal structure of Microsoft, but not everything is steel and plastic and function. Humans need more than rocks and mud, always have.  They need a little magic.

And to be fair, the demos of Surface Computing is a lot of magic. Like, tanker-trucks-worth of magic.