A Large Corporation Needs Focus, Too

Focus
writes about the importance of focus. What most people forget is that this is important to both small and large businesses alike. If you let other forces affect your company’s trajectory, even corporate giants will fail. I’m going to use Microsoft as a case study for a large business. Microsoft recently had to open its eyes to the fact that they lost momentum and direction. In 2012 they were coming off another lackluster OS version, they were spread thin amongst products and fields without heavy ROI, and they had become an internally conflicted, bloated organization. They needed to get back to basics while overhauling their vision and leadership. Satya Nadella was appointed as CEO to accomplish all of this and essentially simplified the business with a few key moves:
  1. Trimming the fat
: from overseeing layoffs to finally selling its feature phone business, Microsoft has cut back.
  1. Developing their core focus
: from its inception, Microsoft has primarily been a software company. Their advancements in opening up Office to multiple devices and platforms, combined with a move to the cloud has made them look beyond just hosting it on Windows systems.
  1. Enhancing continuity of OS experience
: Microsoft has unified all of their devices and products under Windows 10. They’ve cleverly offered free upgrades to the new OS to try and capture 1 billion devices by 2018. They’re banking on users paying for their other peripheral services while experiencing the Windows 10 environment. This seems like a great maneuver, although I will say I’ve largely been unimpressed with their virtual assistant, Cortana. It’s probably the worst one I’ve used next to Siri.
  1. Reinvesting in proven profitable areas
: By Acquiring Mojang, the company that developed the popular Minecraft game, Microsoft sought to bolster its gaming division against Playstation. Unfortunately, while this was a smart move, Sony is still trouncing Microsoft in sales.Building out Skype’s real-time, machine-learning translation tools as a great add-on that will only get better with time. Apparently Bill Gates and Satya Nadella even passed on an $8 billion bid for Slack to focus on Skype and producing their own Skype bots.Developing enterprise tools such as Power Business Intelligence,which helps companies analyze and visualize data.There’s still a long ways to go with other market leaders like Apple and Google leading the way, but we see a different Microsoft today than in 2012 and it’s due to Satya Nadella’s focus.Disclaimer: I have at one point or another invested in Microsoft, Apple, and Google stock.

Do you have another story about large businesses and focus? Do you think Microsoft is still horribly failing? Share in the comments section!

Edward Zeiden

Edward Zeiden

Domain enthusiast and entrepreneur, Edward Zeiden, has been in the tech industry for several years. After co-founding the startup, NameLayer (subsequently acquired by Techstars) he pursued a career in