How big was the original iPhone team? How big was the KIN team? Why did one result in a lineage of amazingly successful devices in the marketplace, and the other become a textbook extended definition for "dud" ?
He goes on to quote an ex Danger employee
"And finally, one Danger-employee's point of view of why they became demotivated:
To the person who talked about the unprofessional behavior of the Palo Alto Kin (former Danger team), I need to respond because I was one of them.
You are correct, the remaining Danger team was not professional nor did we show off the amazing stuff we had that made Danger such a great place. But the reason for that was our collective disbelief that we were working in such a screwed up place. Yes, we took long lunches and we sat in conference rooms and went on coffee breaks and the conversations always went something like this..."Can you believe that want us to do this?" Or "Did you hear that IM was cut, YouTube was cut? The App store was cut?" "Can you believe how mismanaged this place is?" "Why is this place to dysfunctional??"
Please understand that we went from being a high functioning, extremely passionate and driven organization to a dysfunctional organization where decisions were made by politics rather than logic.
Consider this, in less than 10 years with 1/10 of the budget Microsoft had for PMX, we created a fully multitasking operating system, a powerful service to support it, 12 different device models, and obsessed and supportive fans of our product. While I will grant that we did not shake up the entire wireless world (ala iPhone) we made a really good product and were rewarded by the incredible support of our userbase and our own feelings of accomplishment. If we had had more time and resources, we would of come out with newer versions, supporting touch screens and revamping our UI. But we ran out of time and were acquired and look at the results. A phone that was a complete and total failure. We all knew (Microsoft employees included) that is was a lackluster device, lacked the features the market wanted and was buggy with performance problems on top of it all.
When we were first acquired, we were not taking long lunches and coffee breaks. We were committed to help this Pink project out and show our stuff. But when our best ideas were knocked down over and over and it began to dawn on us that we were not going to have any real affect on the product, we gave up. We began counting down to the 2 year point so we could get our retention bonuses and get out.
I am sorry you had to witness that amazing group behave so poorly. Trust me, they were (and still are) the best group of people ever assembled to fight the cellular battle. But when the leaders are all incompetent, we just wanted out.
I guess we need another ThinkWeek paper on how to successfully acquire companies, too. Between this and aQuantive, we only excel at taking the financial boon of Windows and Office and giving it over to leadership that totally blows it down the drain like an odds-challenged drunk in Vegas. And the shareholders continue to suffer in silence. And the drunks are looking for their next cash infusion."
Hilarious. You couldn't invent this stuff. But after my last stint at MegaCorp where my group blew through millions of dollars and delivered zilch (I got out early!), I am not surprised. Dumb dumber management structures have the irresistible property of stifling any innovation or effectiveness.
Something I am watching is HP's acquisition of Palm. I know a couple of good people at HP but by and large the company is bloated and dysfunctional. It will be interesting to see what they end up doing with the Palm assets.
The comments are hilarious on Mini's post.
"If Roz and/or Andy doesn't go, what does that say about our supposed value of "accountability?" I for one am tired of accountability meaning "we move them over here and give them a smaller project and hope they resign."
Heh heh! Something like this just happened to someone at my ex employer. I've come to the conclusion that there is only one MegaCorp worldwide and the idea of separate companies is probably an illusion fostered to give the loser employee types the illusion of changing jobs in the hopes of life getting better ;-)