Zero sum game

“The problem isn’t individuals. We do hire some very smart and capable people, who I am sure all want to ‘do the right thing’.

The problem is the emergent behavior of all those individuals rushing around doing what they think they need to to get ahead. Somehow the whole is a lot less than the sum of its parts.”

Commentary | Mini-Microsoft

Mini-Microsoft comments section is basically “Microsoft under a microscope”. There you can witness the rants, complaints and Dilbert similarities of what goes on at Redmond. Sometimes i just take an hour or so and go to read the latest. ((when they don’t jump from less than two hundred to over a thousand like the quoted post…)) Some comments aren’t from ‘Softies at all, but it’s fairly easy to figure out those. Some are just outsiders that would like to get an answer or give input. But you can find there a great picture of the human reality in Microsoft’s HQ.

I won’t say that i understand Microsoft HR evaluation scheme. I don’t. I find the whole thing a jigsaw puzzle of meaningless numbers where, between the time necessary for a new post, someone at the HR department decides to reinvent the wheel and introduces some “improvements”… And then I, the outsider, am lost again. ((And apparently many ‘Softies as well…))

What i do understand is this: When you turn the assessment of individuals on the same team into a zero-sum game, you’ve just activated the self-destruct mode. No one can win in that game.

Microsoft is dying on its inside. It appears there’s only two types of MS employees. The ones utterly disappointed with MSFT current situation and absolutely despairing with the lack of direction from above; and the ones completely blind and with a zest of “we will prevail” zealot-fanatic style where the reality and visible trends are something that we shouldn’t pay attention to. ((The complete lack of understanding and importance of trends reminds me of this guy but without the excessive verbosity…)) There may be a “silent majority” there but, as usual, that majority, the ones who usually do the really good work, will just grow disenchanted with all the dirty politics and treachery going on and decide to depart to greener pastures, to somewhere where they are truly appreciated and they can feel that they do a good work.

Steve Ballmer may one day get fired ((And let’s hope that that happens on the 15th of November, at the Board meeting)) but when that happens what will be left to rebuild MSFT with? One hundred thousand back-stabbing “politicians”? It barely seems a good fit for a technology company that produces the software the equips 90% of the world computers and basically 100% of the enterprise market.

I’m truly curious about the future.