Monday, April 04, 2005

Think Week, the WSJ, and those Ten Crazy Ideas

In the Wall Street Journal article In Secret Hideaway, Bill Gates Ponders Microsoft's Future we read a bit about Bill Gates most recent Think Week. First, this Think Week a great idea for everyone. Before I had a life (well, a very nice bike) I actually took vacation time to read up on wild and deep ideas I had piled up (tragically lacking my own dreamy Alex Gounares).

Here's an interesting bit:

Four days into this Think Week, Mr. Gates had read 56 papers, working 18 hours straight some days. His record is 112 papers. "I don't know if I'll catch my record, but I'll certainly do 100," he said. Among the unread papers: "10 Crazy Ideas to Shake Up Microsoft."


About a month ago, a friend emailed me the "10 Crazy Ideas" paper off of Think Week. For those in Microsoft, you can go and read it yourself by navigating through the http://thinkweek/ web site and finding the Winter 2005 papers.

I don't think they are crazy ideas at all and it's unfortunate, and very telling, if the paper went unread and not commented upon. Perhaps they should have chosen a more subtle title. I wish that Kentaro and Sean would go ahead and share their ideas broadly, posting either their own edited versions in a blog or emailing me text they'd like to share. I'd even serialize it!

The ten crazy ideas? Okay, I'll share that part:

  1. Schedule Unscheduled Time into Performance Reviews
  2. "Break Up" the Company
  3. Encourage Loose but Prominent Couplings
  4. Exile and Empower Incubation Projects
  5. Offer Super-exponential Rewards
  6. Offer Different Risk-Reward Compensation Profiles
  7. Cut Back on Bureaucracy
  8. Review Cost Cutting
  9. Reduce Headcount on Large Dev Projects
  10. Eliminate Exec Reviews

Mostly, more common-sense than craziness (ooo, cut back on Bureaucracy! Craaaaaazy...).


Who da'Punk said...

Administrivia: deleted a previous version that was hanging out in Blogger's post queue that popped up when I posted this directly. Things are still a little screwed up here.

Anonymous said...

When I read that paper, I thought, "I wonder if Who Da'Punk wrote this?!"

Anonymous said...

It did get reviewed and Bill wrote comments on it. Maybe the authors will share?

Anonymous said...

The comment on bureaucracy just made me look up our current list of execs. Erm...we have Bob Herbold as a "part time" executive VP. Nice...

Anonymous said...

Unbelievable, Mini quoted Herbold as saying MS had hired too many employees since 2000 and there he is hanging onto the teat of Microsoft as a part time VP

That is beauracracy

Don't listen to what they say, watch what they do

It really is time for Bill to clean house and reclaim his company

Anonymous said...

MS has hired too much since 2000 ? LOL. They have outsourced more than they have hired. You folks don't understand anything other than the daily frustration you and your peers face. Their is more to it. MS will continue to hire selectively as their is attrition as well. Bill knows better than you and that's why you are working 20 levels below him.