Monday, March 14, 2005

Q: What's your favorite animal?

A: The High Horse.

OK, in case any of your missed it, there was a lot of good news and bad news that resulted from my recent encounter with the Redmondians. The good news is that I got a lot of strokes for being me. The bad news is that I had to come to terms with the fact that I am not as smart as I like to think that I am, in terms of modern software development anyway. But, the encounter forced me to ride the High Horse so to speak. I have to admit that I am sort of liking the animal. Things are pretty clear up here. Things are also a bit scary. One always runs a risk of having the judgments that one makes against others come back to do some serious haunting. After all, there is some value to the slogan, “Judge not lest ye be judged.”

That being said, let's canter on.

I was reading the LA Times today at lunch and noticed that Michael Eisnerwill be replaced as CEO of Disney by Robert Iger, his number 2 on September 30 of this year. Peter Chernin of News Corporation, the people that bring you Fox news, was in the running, as was Meg Whitman of eBay. (Whoopee for all you tech heads.)

Anyway, Iger got the gig. I wish him well.

Eisner had a definite impact on the Magic Kingdom. Before Eisner, Disney’s revenues were $1.5 billion. Last year Disney clocked in at $30 billion. (Just as a reminder, a billion dollars is a million dollars times ONE THOUSAND, as in 1000 million dollar bills.)

Disney employs over one hundred thousand people, which is about 3 times more than Microsoft has on its payroll. However, Microsoft’s revenue surpasses Disney’s by a little over 6 billion.

Disney has some significant assets-- the ESPN and ABC television networks, not to mention Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, Bambi, Touchstone Pictures and at one time, The Anaheim Angels and The Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. No doubt Disney is a company to be reckoned with, a true cultural icon.

But here is the scary thing to think about: If Disney went away tomorrow, outside of 100,000 more people on the unemployment line, a lot of kids (both young and old) going through significant anxiety over the loss of Mickey and some serious turbulence on Wall Street for a little while, who would miss it? A hundred years from now would someone look back and say, “If only Disney had survived?”

Now here is the scarier thing to think about; if Microsoft went away tomorrow, what would it be like?

Who says that software doesn't rule the world


Blogger Ralph Loizzo said...

If Microsoft were gone tomorrow, penguins would run the streets.

People would probably start divorcing themselves from propriatory software and languages, and migrate to a more open source, universal, brotherly and sisterly viewpoint, zen buddhist outlook on the world.

Then again, people out of work with the tremendous talent that sits in Redmond, would probably bring their knowledge and expertise to other companies.

Then the marketing wars would really begin.

Can we get a simulation on this?

8:52 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I have to think that Mom, Dad, Grandma, and even the local librarian would fall back to Apple before they considered moving to Linux.

Funny thing though - Mom, Dad, Grandma (and maybe the local librarian) are all huge Disney fans too. Coincidence?

2:22 PM  

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