Satya Nadella, Microsoft’s new CEO, went on record yesterday in an internal memo saying the company is going to double down its focus. His implication is that the company needs to move faster, smarter and with less layers. Some read that is layoffs are coming — having just assumed 25,000 employees brought on with the Nokia purchase. (You’d think with 25,000 employees they could make a mobile phone with a working speaker. I am “0 for 6” with Lumia 928s.)
If focus is what Microsoft needs, it may be a little hard based upon Mr. Nadella’s explanation of the business he’s in. As quoted in today’s NYT, Microsoft is “the productivity and platform company for the mobile-first and cloud-first world.” I’m sure this started out as a fine Is-Does, but somewhere along the way team members, investor relations and business line leaders bolted on language to make it a bit of a porridge.
I never liked the word “platform” in an Is-Does. It’s such a catch all. Productivity platform may have worked but not “productivity and platform.” Semantics I know. Then you have the words mobile and cloud. Whoosh, was that a truck driving through. Plus how can both be first? This is a smart man no doubt. That said, it’s hard to be focused and hyper-productive with a broad Is-Does.