Friday, November 16, 2007
(How Not to Think About) Edge Strategy, Pt 91647
"...We go in as a platform company and say to ESPN that we can offer preference information so you can curate programs in a way that has never been done before."
Hmm. Preference info. Interesting. Looks like somebody's been reading my ppts.
Not deeply enough, though.
No one's gonna give up preference info to a player like Microsoft - because no one trusts Microsoft. And trust is at the heart of value creation in the edgeconomy.
Let me put it another way.
"...Maybe you are a commuter, and what you are all about is ESPN. I’ll give you ESPN your way. You like Formula One, downhill mountain biking and ice hockey, I will show you a SportsCenter designed for you."
Sure. But how? Am I just gonna "customize" it? If you learned anything from portals, it's that consumers don't individualize services so explicitly - they do it implicitly, over time, investing in firms that invest in them.
Look. Microsoft is lame. The Zune
But those are superficial issues. The real question is: why? Why does a company with so many resources suck so much, to totally, so unfailingly?
The fundamental problem is that Microsoft is playing massconomy games in an edgeconomy. Coercion doesn't work; closure doesn't work; and, most definitely of all, evil doesn't work.
And those games are wired into it's DNA. Microsoft will never - ever - pioneer new market space, explode a value proposition, or redesign a value chain.
What it will do is imitate others who have done so - Apple, Google, Nintendo - and try and coerce their buyers, suppliers, and customers to it's own platform.
And that's all Microsoft's DNA - the sum total of how the firm sees, judges, imagines, and thinks strategically about the world - lets the company be capable of.
So there's nothing to fear - this particular shark is now a fish out of water.