Doves and Hawks - deciding to re-invent Microsoft
"One interesting thing did emerge (at least for me, as an employee of the company) in the antitrust discovery process: I learned that before I arrived, a war over the future took place at the highest levels of Microsoft, between the “doves” and the “hawks.” The “doves” wanted to embrace other internet companies, like Netscape (which had the best early browser) and even AOL to an extent, and share power with them; the “hawks” wanted to clamp down and try to make Microsoft the provider of internet services. The real bone of contention was Windows: here was the most profitable thing in the history of computers. But a truly aggressive internet strategy would have meant thinking about a world without Windows. This was too difficult. “I don’t want to be remembered as the guy who destroyed one of the most amazing businesses in history,” one senior executive wrote of Windows during this argument. In the end the hawks won and most of the doves left Microsoft. Then the hawks lost."
From David Auerback, writing about the history of the fight between MSN Messenger and AOL chat. There is some great lines also about Microsoft as a whole as the Internet developed and their culture to developing products.
Fascinating showing the debates that took place in the late 90's about where top-level Microsoft employees were having about the future and how to adapt to the new future. Would you be willing to change what's going well to adapt to a new way of thinking (e.g. reduced dominance of Windows which is exactly what is happening now)?