I wanted to sit down this morning and write an article about Microsoft and Yahoo! merger and talk about why I had little faith in its success. I think it is doomed to failure because, generally, most companies don’t beat other companies when they play the game the same way.
For years, Microsoft was the hundred pound beast. You don’t create general-purpose software businesses or operating systems because Microsoft will most likely run you over. Now, Google is that beast. If you take on Google head-on, you are bound to lose.
The problem is my good friend Michael Mace wrote the article I was going to write before I wrote it. You can find it here.
Michael’s article is important for all business applications, not just for this merger. The lesson is to play the game in a slightly different way. When Microsoft decided they needed an email client, they didn’t just develop a client like Eudora did, they added integrated contacts and calendaring and automatic appointment creation and joint scheduling that Eudora didn’t and wouldn’t have. Microsoft changed the game.
Google did the same, taking what everyone else considered value-less and turned into mega money in just a few short years. Now Microsoft and Yahoo! will combine, thinking they can take on Google head-on? Good luck.