Once upon a time, Microsoft was a well run company

(written by lawrence krubner, however indented passages are often quotes). You can contact lawrence at: lawrence@krubner.com

This is a good story:

“”"I can remember going to the first Microsoft Company picnic in 1988. There were only two children. Microsoft had 1,800 employees and there were only a couple of them that were married. You had all these young kids who weren’t married and were right out of school. IBM had conventional dress codes; Microsoft – it was very much like a college campus. The only difference in how they lived, the hours they kept and the way they dressed, between a college campus and Microsoft was that Microsoft bought the equipment. They all wore their shorts and half of them wore sandals or no shoes. Microsoft bought a lot of T-shirts and things for them. There weren’t set hours – the management system was to let people pick or sign up for what they were going to do, and it was up to them to do it. So there was very little management attention over directing people or telling them what to do – it was a very empowered work force. And my suspicion was that that was the way IBM was in the 1930s and 1940s. They were much more formal, because the time was much more formal in terms of dress. But in terms of the ages and the attitudes and the mission the people were on – I think it would be a lot the same.”"”

I disagree with this comment:

Perhaps it is as simple as a direct consequence of the average age at the company?

Some companies are well run, and some are poorly run. I don’t think the average age of people at the company makes any difference. I’ve certainly worked at the places that were very badly run, despite the fact that the staff was very young.

This is also good:

I intereviewed at MS as I was graduating college in 1983. My interview loop included Charles Simonyi and Steve Ballmer, who had just gotten a prerelease of the Tandy Model 100 mentioned in the OP and demoed it to me in the interview. It was definitely a programmer-centric world, in the best way; but people I talked to also had a very strong business focus as well. I turned down the job offer to go to grad school … by the time I wound up there in 1999 after selling them my startup, it was a very different place.