Steve Jobs returned from oblivion in 1997 to pull off the greatest turnaround in tech. Lot of what he did then, including up to the launch of the iPhone in 2007, invited much ridicule and criticism from the “experts” and naysayers. But now, with the benefit of hindsight, what he did then were clearly some very clever moves driven by a clear vision.
While it’s perhaps unfair to compare the two very different people from very different contexts, I do think that Satya Nadella just set Microsoft in a direction that will take it to far greater heights than it’s ever been before. Much like Apple soared when Steve Jobs decided to pursue the next big thing instead of fighting battles that were already over.
One of Steve’s favourite quotes was:
“I skate to where the puck is going to be, not where it has been.” – Wayne Gretzky
So, where is Satya Nadella’s puck headed?
Microsoft is described as an enterprise product company that produces productivity tools for work.
With increasing sophistication in Connectivity, Cloud and Cognitive technologies, the world of work is transforming exponentially.
From hierarchical, rigid, pyramid like structures …. a legacy of the Industrial Era, necessitated by limitations of one-to-many people-to-people communication and manual operations…. Work is evolving into flat fluid “networks”, enabled by sophistication in automation and social tools that facilitate communication between one-to-many and many-to-many, people and things, in ways never imagined before.
Business Enterprises, their vendors, alliances, partners and even customers will eventually come together to collaborate and co-create value as one seamless network, to unleash unprecedented levels of innovation driven productivity: a promise of the artificial intelligence driven Cognitive Era.
In the desktop era, Microsoft was the platform.
In the era of connectivity, cloud and cognitive computing the network is the platform.
Work is central to our existence and defines who we are.
LinkedIn is the network for work, of currently over 433 million working people and growing….
If Satya can effectively execute on LinkedIn’s mission to “Connect the world’s professionals to make them more productive and successful” combined with Microsoft’s mission to “Empower every person and every organisation on the planet to achieve more”
Then Microsoft + LinkedIn is potentially the network of the future on which humanity would connect, share, collaborate, co-create, transact and learn in the context of work, irrespective of who you work for, what you do and where you work from …. or even the devices you use.