I can’t stop thinking about Microsoft.
On Monday, I wrote about the fall of Microsoft and the rise of its competitors over the last several years, most notably, Apple.
While I know there were various factors at play as the companies swapped places in their race to be the most innovative tech companies on the planet, I couldn’t help but think of one specific difference between the two tech giants that was related to something we’ve discussed here before .
In June of 2008, Bill Gates, the visionary that created the Microsoft brand and the man responsible for its global domination at the beginning of the computer age, stepped down as the head of his company. And I’m sure in the years before that, he was working in a diminished capacity which was just kept quiet so as to not alarm the shareholders.
At the same time that Mr. Gates was backing off, Steve Jobs, the man behind the Apple brand, who rescued it from almost becoming obsolete, was seizing more control and was even more active in the operations of the company, despite fighting pancreatic cancer.
In other words, at Apple, the lead producer, the man with one, singular sensational vision, was still in the game.
Now, Bill G. retired to do incredibly philanthropic work, so I’m certainly not faulting him for his incredibly generous move.
But one has to wonder . . . if the man who convinced IBM to buy a non-proprietary operating system was still running the company, would they be where they are now?
Maybe . . . like Jobs, Bill will come back.
I don’t know. Tech isn’t my industry.
But I do know that in our business, as I wrote about in this blog, if you want your shows to keep on working, the guy who put the boat in the water has gotta keep sailing it, or it’ll sink.