Microsoft’s vision was “a computer on every desk in every home”, and for many years they were close to achieving that vision. Like many well-established companies, Microsoft listened to its customers and continued to make steady improvements to its core business.
The technology world moved into a mobile environment, and Microsoft fell behind. Current Microsoft Steve Ballmer now faces a pivotal moment with the introduction of Windows 8. Apple and Google have brought us into the mobile computing age with hardware like the iPhone and Nexus 7, and Windows has lagged badly with its mobile strategy.
The five burning questions for your business related to Microsoft’s situation are:
- How can you balance keeping your core purpose while continuing to adjust your vision?
- How can you focus on keeping your existing customers happy while watching future developments?
- What hill are you willing to “die on” when it comes to your business?
- How often should you shift your objectives to stay current with market trends?
- What core business will you use to fund your moves into uncertain markets and products?
Microsoft has declined because it focused too much on its core business and not looking for the next big thing. How can your business balance its “cash cow” with its efforts to find the next big thing?