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The Poisonous Employee-Ranking System That Helps Explain Microsoft’s Decline
Slate ^ | Friday, August 23, 2013 | Will Oremus

Posted on 08/25/2013 6:24:11 AM PDT by SunkenCiv

There were many reasons for the decline of Microsoft under Steve Ballmer, including, as I wrote this morning, its lack of focus and its habit of chasing trends rather than creating them. But one that’s not obvious to outsiders was the company’s employee evaluation system, known as “stack ranking.” The system—and its poisonous effects on Microsoft’s corporate culture—was best explained in an outstanding Vanity Fair feature by Kurt Eichenwald last year...

So while Google was encouraging its employees to spend 20 percent of their time to work on ideas that excited them personally, Ballmer was inadvertently encouraging his to spend a good chunk of their time playing office politics. Why try to outrun the bear when you can just tie your co-workers' shoelaces?

Microsoft wasn’t the first company to adopt this sort of ranking system. It was actually popularized by Jack Welch at GE, where it was known as “rank and yank.” Welch defended the practice to the Wall Street Journal in a January 2012 article, saying, “This is not some mean system—this is the kindest form of management. [Low performers] are given a chance to improve, and if they don't in a year or so, you move them out. "

As the Journal and others have noted, what seemed to work for Welch—for a time, anyway—has produced some ugly results elsewhere. Even GE phased the system out following Welch’s departure.

(Excerpt) Read more at slate.com ...


TOPICS: Business/Economy
KEYWORDS: aboreyouknow; adoorknob; generalelectric; jackwelch; kurteichenwald; microsoft; msbuttboys; rankandyank; slate; stackranking; steveballmer; vanityfair; willoremus
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To: ican'tbelieveit

true,

I’ve personally seen this happen to several very good employees,

they just wanted to keep their head down, work hard, be diligent, get the job done, now that’s not enough, they have to play office politics or fall behind,

its poison,


51 posted on 08/25/2013 7:33:20 AM PDT by captmar-vell
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To: ClearCase_guy

Collaboration is also the means by which mediocre and lower performing employees (”teammates”) can ride on the coattails of real high achievers and performers. If “everyone gets a trophy for trying their hardest, gosh darn they ought to share in the winnings too” is the new group-think pervading our corporations. Sorry, this approach is in direct conflict with my capitalistic heartbeat so I will speak out against it. “Rank and yank” does work if it is not corrupted by the PC police and group-thinkers. The primary focus of the approach is to tell the employee where they stand in relationship to others - sadly, managers are not taught honesty skills and those that struggle with telling the truth will never be able to use the system as it was designed.

Our schools used to teach about independent excellence and achievement and instead, the schools are turning out dumbed-down, group-think idiots that can’t process on their feet or use critical-thinking skills. Businesses use it (collaboration and small groups) because that is the caliber of people they are getting from the system and it almost like a new sub-culture with its own language and thought processes.


52 posted on 08/25/2013 7:33:36 AM PDT by jettester (I got paid to break 'em - not fly 'em)
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To: adorno

Think about it: “one Apple product”. That’s not good.

When I get commercial loans for expansion the 1st question is, how diverse is my companies income stream? Extremely important to the banker that we have sales to more than just one distributor.


53 posted on 08/25/2013 7:33:47 AM PDT by liberty or death
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To: iacovatx
These types of systems are for managers who want simple systems for making tough decisions, thus absolving the managers of personal responsibility for making the decision. HR managers like these systems ‘cause they are simple, quantitative systems and require no real thought. HR managers don’t even work alongside the employees being evaluated.

Excellent comment. Just struck me that these sorts of "by the numbers" approaches to management have a lot in common with "zero tolerance" policies in schools and elsewhere. They relieve weak managers of the responsibility for making decisions.

54 posted on 08/25/2013 7:35:48 AM PDT by Sherman Logan
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To: 1rudeboy
The sales staff (of which I was one) was instructed to set-aside its loyalty to the company, and instead act as advocates for the company's customers... The company was #1 in the industry.

There is a Biblical principle at work here. If you want to be the most successful, you place others (your customers) first, and they will value you more than the others (your competitors) who place themselves first...

"If any man desire to be first, the same shall be last of all and servant of all" - words of Jesus, Mark 9:35

It really works just about every time when you are dealing with normal, generally honest people.

55 posted on 08/25/2013 7:38:44 AM PDT by Gritty (Political correctness is no longer just annoying. It's deadly. - Lori Ziganto)
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To: llevrok
Yeah, and so did Kodak.

I'd say that Apple is closer to being like Kodak was, than MS or even Google.

But, Kodak wasn't even close to being as diversified as Microsoft.
56 posted on 08/25/2013 7:39:17 AM PDT by adorno (Y)
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To: staytrue
Welch also made a lot of hourly employees millionaires during his tenure at GE through their 401(K) plans. (I worked there for fourteen years during his reign).

The stock price would be about $40 or so, then split. This happened four times while I was employed there. Then came Obama butt kisser Immelt who wiped about half of that wealth away for good.


57 posted on 08/25/2013 7:39:29 AM PDT by ex91B10 (We've tried the Soap Box,the Ballot Box and the Jury Box; ONE BOX LEFT!)
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To: 1rudeboy; adorno; Brooklyn Attitude; bert; bjc; captmar-vell; Chode; ClearCase_guy; CodeToad; ...

And thanks to all, what a fast-growing discussion!


58 posted on 08/25/2013 7:40:50 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: 1rudeboy
"...act as advocates for the company's customers. "

That's how you get to be number 1.


59 posted on 08/25/2013 7:41:33 AM PDT by ex91B10 (We've tried the Soap Box,the Ballot Box and the Jury Box; ONE BOX LEFT!)
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To: Soul of the South

“one of the most powerful things about a well managed small business is the team spirit and flexibility to get things done on a moment’s notice. Priorities can shift due to the demands of the marketplace”.

So true. I only have three employees, but they flex and pivot to keep the products moving to the customers at a moments notice. We do online, store direct and wholesalers and each week is a new challenge because they are never the same. All three are women and work together amazingly. I’d be lost without them.


60 posted on 08/25/2013 7:42:29 AM PDT by liberty or death
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To: bert
Neither is worth the powder to blow it to hell

Bull's-eye.

I use Microsoft products and the company indeed seems bent on self-impairment.

But I also keep an eye on Slate and Vanity Fair (just as I tune into MSNBC on occasion, to see what the enemy is up to) and they are both singularly devoted to destroying others, specifically conservatives, Christians and anyone who individually achieves.

61 posted on 08/25/2013 7:42:34 AM PDT by Fightin Whitey
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To: iacovatx
When you start ranking people who do tasks that are difficult to measure, such as design or innovation work, you start falling into decisions made on the basis of liking someone. Someone might not be an extrovert, but could be an excellent, innovative engineer. Then there are people who work on pharmaceutical development and who may take many years to identify a successful drug. How are you going to clearly assess their performance over the early years?

I recognize the difficulty when the performance measurement is ambiguous at best, but how do you rate their performance and how do you remove the real slackers from the workforce? How do you justify giving one employee 4% and another one 2% or 0% raise (assuming you can even give out raises)?

I guess it's the eternal question in the business world.

62 posted on 08/25/2013 7:46:43 AM PDT by meyer (What would John Hancock do?)
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To: SunkenCiv

Not much of a contribution maybe, but that man’s face (at the link)
looks evil, and scares the crap outta me.


63 posted on 08/25/2013 7:47:52 AM PDT by spankalib ("I freed a thousand slaves. I could have freed a thousand more if only they knew they were slaves.")
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To: left that other site
So boring, stupid and useless, I quit, got married, became a full time musician.

What I wanna know is if this is a story with a happy ending?

64 posted on 08/25/2013 7:48:13 AM PDT by Fightin Whitey
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To: bert
For every collaborative pack there is leader. Akela is to be followed.

Thank you, Baloo!

Do you think the Little Frog will learn?

65 posted on 08/25/2013 7:51:55 AM PDT by BwanaNdege ("Life is short. It's even shorter if you suggest going out for pizza on your anniversary" Peter Egan)
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To: SunkenCiv
Termination based on who doesn’t fit probably isn’t viable, but reassignment of all the ejectees to a new team made up entirely of ejectees might have some merit.

I've seen that in action - except that they then "team" up a misfit with someone that presumably has a clue in an effort to cover for the misfit's poor performance. The result - the productive team member (and I use the word "team" loosely) more often than not is pulled down to the misfit's level when they find out that their performance rating (and raise) is gauged on the performance of the team rather than the individual. It falls generally under the heading of "why should I bust my butt to do right when this idiot next to me gets the same thing I get for doing nothing (or worse than nothing)".

66 posted on 08/25/2013 7:52:48 AM PDT by meyer (What would John Hancock do?)
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To: adorno

I meant to add, the bank also want to know how many products are top sellers.


67 posted on 08/25/2013 7:53:27 AM PDT by liberty or death
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To: ClearCase_guy
I've taken college classes in both management and business administration recently. To answer your question, yes they do teach collaboration. But it's mostly book knowledge without hands-on application. In other classes, where a team project is required, no collaborative training or instruction was provided. It was the ‘sink or swim’ method. Since I'm paying my way through college, and I had more than 2 decades in the military, I would take over as the team leader and make assignments and timetables accordingly. I want the best possible grade, not just a passing grade. And I have, in all instances, notified the professors that I'm throwing people off the project due to lack of meeting the timetables. Got one guy so pissed he wanted to meet me in the parking lot (he failed the class).

The classmates who did complete projects with me thanked me for showing them how to do team projects correctly, how to make the assignments and schedules, and how to turn out the best product. In the end, it wasn't reading the management books that got them ahead, it was having someone who could show them how to actually make collaborating work.

68 posted on 08/25/2013 7:54:00 AM PDT by Traveler59 ( Truth is a journey, not a destination.)
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To: justlurking
The key is to put the hiring decision into the hands of the people that will be working with the new employee. If you let HR make the decision, then they start filling "quotas", and you get people that can't make the grade.

HR is a poison unto itself which has risen primarily because of government regulations and oversight, i.e. "quotas", and lawyers and unions, i.e. "discrimination" lawsuits.

Very often, the very people who are hired into and staff these economically useless HR positions are chosen because they are the very target groups meant to benefit from those skewed policies and not because they add any particular value to the company. They therefore perpetuate the poisonous system of embedded discrimination and mediocrity with a vengeance.

The HR Department is a millstone around the neck of any company who has one.

69 posted on 08/25/2013 7:56:29 AM PDT by Gritty (The idea social progress can never be uninvented is one of the left's laziest assumptions-Mark Steyn)
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To: St_Thomas_Aquinas

Whenever they came up with a good idea, I credited them.
Why? Because I was confident in my skills.

Same here - “There is no limit to the amount of good you can do if you don’t care who gets the credit.”

Ronald Reagan


70 posted on 08/25/2013 7:58:38 AM PDT by Paisan
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To: SunkenCiv
Oh, btw, no, iPhone sales *haven’t* declined, they’ve increased.

The combo of iPads and iPhones, which is iOS, has declined, and iPhones, while still selling well, are no longer the biggest seller in the market, and even WP8 smartphones are setting up to surpass iPHone sales within the next year or two. Once the hype and coolness factors wears off (and there are many indications that that has already happened), Apple sales and stock will be in deep doo-doo. Apple could easily become the next Palm, but perhaps they'll survive to become the next HTC.
71 posted on 08/25/2013 7:59:49 AM PDT by adorno (Y)
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To: ex91B10
Forgive me in advance for the martial movie reference, but boy, did I love the attitude of the sales force at that place.

SALES: Heck, we'll pick your boat up and lay it down like a baby, right where you want it. This is the Cav boy -- airmobile. I can take that point and hold it as long as I like -- and you can get anywhere you want up that river that suits you, Captain.

ACCOUNTING: I don't know, sir . . . it's . . . it's . . . .

SALES: [aggressive] What is it?

MARKETING: It's hairy in there . . . it's Charlie's point.

SALES: Charlie don't surf!


72 posted on 08/25/2013 8:01:53 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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darn, “martial,” I always screw the two words up, they’re the same, anyway


73 posted on 08/25/2013 8:06:15 AM PDT by 1rudeboy
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To: adorno

“On the other hand, while MS might not be as profitable, they do have the best and largest portfolio or products in the IT market, for corporate and consumers...

While MS might not have the “coolness” factor working for them as do Google and Apple, it is operating with a much more mature approach to being a major player in all sectors of the tech market.”

I’ve stuck with MS since 3.1 but Win8 is my breaking point. After 2 months of having a worthless computer, I finally broke down and bought my first IPad.

MS turned me into an Apple customer. They have nobody to blame but themselves.


74 posted on 08/25/2013 8:15:56 AM PDT by ziravan (Not Guilty.)
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To: adorno

The predictions of Apple’s demise have been almost nonstop since the 1980s. They were especially loud in the 90s. Of course, they were all wrong then. Who knows what will happen in the future. But based on the accuracy of the predictions in the past, there’s a good chance that Apple will be around for a long time.

http://www.macobserver.com/tmo/death_knell


75 posted on 08/25/2013 8:27:12 AM PDT by Henry Hnyellar
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To: adorno

iPhone sales were up 20% in the most recent quarter. That’s what this conversation which you started was about. Apple’s iOS is about 13% of all smartphones sold.

Windows phones are 3.7% of the world market, although it is second behind Android in the Latin American market — not much economic growth there for some reason. Brazil has tariffs on the iPhone, because that’s where the money is.

Android OS is sold on a lot of platforms, some of which actually have survived long enough for the manufacturers to intro an updated model. To get a look at really inexpensive Android tablets, it’s easy enough to go to a Big Lots, and there are even more available on the Big Lots website. The big growth area for Android may be in Chromebooks, which are a notch up from trying to use a tablet, at least for us older-timers. The main problem going forward will be to maintain interest by hardware manufacturers.

The funk in the tablet market (declined in the most recent quarter, but that was up half again over the same q of last year) is attributed to the lack of a new iPad model — there appears to be an autumn rollout in the offing, sufficiently ahead of the 2013 Christmas season, and to include an entry-level iPhone intro, and an iPad refresh, and perhaps one more thing.

As I said above, the smartphone market has grown — in large part thanks to Apple — and Apple’s market share has shrunk, and its profit margins have naturally declined, but the number of iPhones sold has not declined. Also, Apple is the number one seller, and the current iPhone model is always the largest selling smartphone, period.


76 posted on 08/25/2013 8:28:04 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: ziravan

Microsofts new online software has almost done me in. They charged me 10 what they should have and didn’t care. Did it four months in a row. Next to impossible to get out of the contract as well.


77 posted on 08/25/2013 8:32:10 AM PDT by driftdiver (I could eat it raw, but why do that when I have a fire.)
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To: pelican001
This is a misappropriation of the first order! The true inventor of this evil ranking system was JD Rockefeller of Standard Oil. His grim “Rating and Ranking System” is still practiced ruthlessly at ExxonMobil.

I didn't know that. Rank and rank seems to be the opposite of W. Edward Deming's philosophy. I wonder if anyone notices that liberals tend to make very successful entrepreneurs, which is fine with me as long as they stay out of government.

78 posted on 08/25/2013 9:07:23 AM PDT by Moonman62 (The US has become a government with a country, rather than a country with a government.)
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To: left that other site

The good ol’ Bell Curve. Something that describes genetic distribution has been foolishly compared to human behavior. This is a result of the idiotic idea that intelligence and behavior are genetically transmitted. As a result companies that are stupid enough to employ psychologists come up with stupid bell curve based rating systems.

You can have a crew smart guys and you can have a crew of dolts. The idea that the chief dolt deserves a bonus and the guy who is not quite as smart as the others, though he is still a brain, deserves to be fired is itself stupid beyond belief. Anyone who uses such a system is a bad manager. This is obvious because the companies that use this system struggle and fail.

If anyone thinks that there is any validity to the bell curve ratings system remember that it is used by the Federal Govt. It is laziness personified.


79 posted on 08/25/2013 9:11:33 AM PDT by Seruzawa (Hokey religions and ancient weapons are no match for good a blaster kid.)
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To: ex91B10

This is a useful reminder that Welch did do a number of things that strengthened GE. His Mantra of #1 or #2 or get out was smart for the legacy businesses. Stack and yank was not so smart because it was way too mechanistic and assumed managers were themselves competent to make the judgments. As I said earlier it also presumes the organization is able to identify talent and allocate that is at least as productive as that which is already in the organization. The point of diminishing returns is reached pretty quickly in many organizations.


80 posted on 08/25/2013 9:14:51 AM PDT by bjc (Show me the data!)
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To: ClearCase_guy; SunkenCiv
When I was young, school projects were pretty much "you do it" but in recent decades, more and more "group work" has been assigned, because collaboration and working within small groups is so central to how business is done.

The real-life translation of this:
In school projects ("groups"), two members of a five-member group do all the work, and the other three show up at the last minute to claim the credit.
In work situations, see above.

81 posted on 08/25/2013 9:19:10 AM PDT by thecodont
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To: ClearCase_guy

When my kids were going through school and had “group projects” coming up, I told them to always try to team up with Poindexter and just tell their friends they’ll catch up with them after school. Get the ‘A’.


82 posted on 08/25/2013 9:19:14 AM PDT by Lancey Howard
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To: thecodont

The six stages of a project…
1. Enthusiasm.
2. Disillusionment.
3. Panic.
4. Search for the guilty.
5. Punishment of the innocent.
6. Rewards for the uninvolved ...


83 posted on 08/25/2013 9:26:56 AM PDT by Paisan
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To: ziravan
After 2 months of having a worthless computer, I finally broke down and bought my first IPad.

I highly doubt the veracity of your statement. If you were really a fan of Windows, then there is really nothing that was done with Windows 8 that could change your mind about it. Windows 8 is really Windows 7, but with many improvements and updates. If your complaint is about the new UI, then that's really nothing go complain about, since, all you need to do to get back into the "old" Windows 7 desktop, is to click on any of the older applications, which brings you into that older desktop interface. From there on, it's Windows 7, but with many improvements and greater speed. There is absolutely no reason for anyone to opt to get a simple iPad in lieu of a full-fledged OS in a full-fledged PC. In fact, even the Surface tablets and the tablets offered by the MS OEMs that use Windows 8, are many times better than any iPad, mini or regular.

Methinks that your just an Apple cultists that took the opportunity to bash MS, while touting your preference for Apple, and that switch from Windows is just a simple lie. But, even if you did switch to an iPad, there is nothing to be gained by that at all. Heck, even the Android tablets are better than the iPads.
84 posted on 08/25/2013 9:27:11 AM PDT by adorno (Y)
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To: SunkenCiv
The Willow Creek Church (Barrington Illinois) puts on a Global Leadership Summit event running two days which was held a couple of weeks ago. This is intended primarily for the management echelons of churches, nonetheless its appeal extends to business organizations and government agencies, and the thing amounts to about as good a $100 - $200 ticket as you'd ever find in the world dealing with human motivation and management philosophies. Attendance, both live and via closed circuit, was massive. Several of the recent presentations were stunningly good, particularly those of Patrick Lencioni, Brene Brown, Vijay Govindarajan.

List of speakers

In general, Ballmer's ideas about management would find no takers in that group; the ideas they were promoting were all pretty much 180-degrees opposed to what the article you've posted here describes.

85 posted on 08/25/2013 9:32:02 AM PDT by varmintman
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To: Paisan

Good one...


86 posted on 08/25/2013 9:34:57 AM PDT by thecodont
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To: adorno

Bingo! Apples and oranges.


87 posted on 08/25/2013 9:46:49 AM PDT by SgtHooper (The last thing I want to do is hurt you. But it's still on the list.)
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To: ClearCase_guy

Had a world history professor in college and he was demanding. Liked the challenge so worked to get an “A”. Everything I did was graded as an “A”, quizzes, testes, final; never missed a class, and dominated discussion in class. He gave me a “B”. I asked why? He said he only gave out 2 “A’s” in his career and they both were to Fulbright scholars and I was not a Fulbright scholar. Felt like telling him to take his “B” and shove it up his “A”.


88 posted on 08/25/2013 9:53:23 AM PDT by Kozy (Calling Al Gore)
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To: SunkenCiv

I got my first Iphone (4) recently because Verizon is giving them free with a two-year. I imagine they are counted as “sales” and may be skewing the stats.


89 posted on 08/25/2013 9:54:53 AM PDT by ez (Muslims do not play well with others.)
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To: Soul of the South; ClearCase_guy

I’m old-fashioned. I think collaboration is best taught on playing fields and other non-academic venues. It’s actually a dangerous crutch when thinking itself is the lesson.


90 posted on 08/25/2013 9:59:05 AM PDT by 9YearLurker
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To: Henry Hnyellar
The predictions of Apple’s demise have been almost nonstop since the 1980s.

And, there were and are good reasons for Apple still being in danger, their current success notwithstanding.

But, weren't there also a lot more predictions about how MS was going to fail? Those predictions have been around since MS launched, and they continue even today, when the company is in very good health and highly profitable.

They were especially loud in the 90s.

Apple is still skating on thin ice, with basically "one" product, that being iOS, with basically different size hardware into which iOS is manifested. iPhones and iPads and iPods are all basically the same thing, with enough differences to create the perception that, they're different products. But, iOS is stuck in the past, and Android and WP8 have surpassed iOS's capabilities. The iPhone is still selling because of the continued hype and coolness that the it developed a few years ago, but lately, that coolness and hype are getting old, and the consumer has bigger and better choices available. Basically, Apple's days as the top smartphone make are over, despite the continued sales and profits.

Of course, they were all wrong then. Who knows what will happen in the future.

In the tech market, things change a lot faster than in any other, and whoever is on top today, could be just another has-been in no time. Ask Palm and BB about how that works. Yeah, it could happen to Microsoft too, but, MS could be immune or resistant to such a fate because of it's huge diversification, whereas Apple could lose a lot of iPhone sales in a short year, and then, it'll be either gone or just a lowly player in the market.

But based on the accuracy of the predictions in the past, there’s a good chance that Apple will be around for a long time.

Sorry! Don't see it.

Apple's success recently is mostly due to one product, that being the iPhone. That's not a company with a solid future. It's a company with a solid "current" success story, but not going forward into the longer or distant future. The smartphone market has met with saturation, and the market for smartphones is already facing the same fate as PCs, with sales declining, and what is being sold lately is not as profitable as in the early stages of the "re-invention" of smartphones which occurred when the iPhone first came out. Apple is having to introduce low-cost phones too, and with that, their profit margins will take major hits, and so will their stock. With low-cost phones, Apple is becoming "just another devices maker", and the coolness factor suffers. Right now, Apple is way overvalued, and it's real market cap should be closer to Google or Microsoft, but in about 2 years, it could be worth something along the line of what HTC is worth, which is around 33-34 billion lately. The only saving grace for Apple is the huge stash of cash which they have in the bank, but then, that's money which the stockholders could demand on getting back before the company starts losing more value.

ONe also has to consider that, with the current stinking economy, Apple doesn't have the same base of consumers to go after. And, like I said before, smartphones are being made to be useful for at least 4-5 years, which is one of the problems plaguing the PC market, where people don't need to buy a new PC every 3 or 4 years.
91 posted on 08/25/2013 10:01:35 AM PDT by adorno (Y)
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To: SunkenCiv

Dude, everybody on the Internet knows how to run a multibillion dollah company like Apple, Microsoft, Kodak, GE.
It’s our loss that they are not running one.


92 posted on 08/25/2013 10:06:50 AM PDT by Revolting cat! (Bad things are wrong! Ice cream is delicious!)
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To: adorno

“Me thinks that your just an Apple cultists that took the opportunity to bash MS.”

Nope. The IPad I bought a few months ago is the first major Apple product I’ve owned. Even my cell phone is a Galaxy 3S w/ Android. I’ve never owned an IPhone and never cared to do so: the screens are way too small.

I’ve used MS for 20 yrs. Win8 is a break point. On my Win8 brick of a laptop, I have classic shell and it helps, a little.

But whenever I do something like start a pic or music file and forget to use a different product than Win8, it takes me right back to Win8 hell and I have to keep moving my cursor off the screen to the right until I can get a menu screen that will take me back to classic shell. It’s too much of a hassle.

No sir, there are more things in the world wrong with Win8 than can be fixed with classic shell. I hear that, if you have a professional version, you can opt back to Win7. I just have an off-the-shelf consumer laptop that was brickified by adding Win8 to it. If I could do so, I would revert to Win7 in a second.

Instead, I’m now for the first time, using an IPad.

You - and MS for all I care - can dismiss the real complaints of tried and true customers as just Apple aficionados in disguise if you like, but MS lost a long term customer here and I doubt I’ll be back for Win9.

Here’s the real problem, in a nutshell: MS doesn’t care about me as a consumer because I’m not a company or professional sale; sales to individuals are an afterthought because they have a captive audience in off-the-shelf computers.

Except they don’t.


93 posted on 08/25/2013 10:10:58 AM PDT by ziravan (Not Guilty.)
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To: ican'tbelieveit
... there is great pressure to classify at least 10% of staff who as underperforming, whether they are or not.

Yep, especially if the rating standards are subjective so the manager can play favorites and take care of his butt kissers.

94 posted on 08/25/2013 10:29:45 AM PDT by ken in texas (The Obama motto: If the weather's nice let's play golf.)
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To: adorno
It it weren't for Office, no one-- and I mean no one-- would use Windows.

I just spent three hours fixing a performance problem on Win7 yesterday due to some Microsoft installed "features" that behaved indistinguishably from malware.

There were thousands of complaints about related issues on MS' website without a hint from MS about how to fix it.

Sorry, but most of Microsoft's products are a POS. They're great for 'toy' applications that you can quickly prototype something with-- but try a real world app with load and you'll spend an endless amount of time trying to figure out how to 'tune' Windows because you have no idea what MS' software is doing (or failing to do) behind the scenes.

95 posted on 08/25/2013 10:39:28 AM PDT by pierrem15 (Claudius: "Let all the poisons that lurk in the mud hatch out.")
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To: Gritty
The HR Department is a millstone around the neck of any company who has one...

I think that's true. How many businesses of a certain size do NOT have an HR Dept? Any?

Why?

I think it's partly the mindset of many businesses that "expertise," however defined, is valued. The thought is that hiring and managing people is such an important function that we need "experts" which is in this case HR professionals. The results speak for themselves.

However, HR depts. serve a much more important function for a company...they PROTECT THE COMPANY FROM ITS EMPLOYEES.

I believe the #1 priority of any HR Dept is...don't let us get sued. So there are all kinds of methods and processes for hiring and firing that are legally sound but functionally null (at best).

96 posted on 08/25/2013 10:42:42 AM PDT by gogeo (I didn't leave the Republican Party, it left me.)
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To: Revolting cat!

Heh...

I’d be running one, but my job was destroyed by a combination of ATMs and ethanol subsidies. /zing /zing

Built-in backdoor: German govt warns of significant Windows 8 security danger
http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/news/3058623/posts


97 posted on 08/25/2013 10:42:58 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: Henry Hnyellar

Except...there’s a strong correlation between the timing of the success enjoyed by Apple...and the presence of an employee named Jobs.


98 posted on 08/25/2013 10:45:12 AM PDT by gogeo (I didn't leave the Republican Party, it left me.)
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To: varmintman

I think there was an article about Ballmer’s upcoming retirement, and this article seemed like a nice companion piece. I don’t think much of his management approach, but we need to remember than Microsoft was handed over to him by its founder, and doing the old me-too approach isn’t in the bloodstream of the small number of people who manage whole companies. He wasn’t there to see the reasons that things had gotten to where they were, which must have been a problem for him, even if he wasn’t aware of it.

Church management is different, not just due to the budgets involved, but also in the way in which income is generated. Typically the local churches have longterm participation by an ever-transitioning (that is, they die) board, all of whom know each other.

As long as they don’t do anything daffy like spend $20K on a networked copier/printer/fax/scanner/document server (the latter of which rarely works) for use by the very small staff that works in the office, and keep recruitment efforts high (that’s more important now than ever before), they should be all right.


99 posted on 08/25/2013 10:50:16 AM PDT by SunkenCiv (It's no coincidence that some "conservatives" echo the hard left.)
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To: Seruzawa
The good ol’ Bell Curve. Something that describes genetic distribution has been foolishly compared to human behavior. This is a result of the idiotic idea that intelligence and behavior are genetically transmitted. As a result companies that are stupid enough to employ psychologists come up with stupid bell curve based rating systems. You can have a crew smart guys and you can have a crew of dolts. The idea that the chief dolt deserves a bonus and the guy who is not quite as smart as the others, though he is still a brain, deserves to be fired is itself stupid beyond belief. Anyone who uses such a system is a bad manager. This is obvious because the companies that use this system struggle and fail. If anyone thinks that there is any validity to the bell curve ratings system remember that it is used by the Federal Govt. It is laziness personified.

Good points. If "management" was doing their job in hiring, they would be getting the people at above average on the curve. There wouldn't be a group of dolts to evaluate....maybe the managers are the problem, not the employees....... Naaah, couldn't happen, let them fire 5% of their employees every year and get a big bonus and big stock award, after all, they are "management", they are special...their bosses have said so.....

100 posted on 08/25/2013 10:55:19 AM PDT by machman
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