I’m still not used to the idea that my stuff at Business 2.0 is not behind a paywall. But it ain’t. Here’s my interview with Ray Ozzie. From it:
When the deal went down, people wondered, Was it Groove that was getting acquired, or was it Ray Ozzie?
The answer’s “Yes.”
At such a big company, there’s so much to tackle. What did you do first?
The first few months I spent doing what anyone who sells a company should do – make sure the acquiring party doesn’t screw up the acquisition. Fortunately the culture that we had built at Groove matched the Microsoft Office development culture, and Groove will be part of Office moving forward. After a few months, I started spending a lot more time in Redmond. Before doing anything, I just wanted to get to know people and understand the map of projects. It’s very broad. Every organization is the product of its leaders and its culture and the negative and positive things that have happened to it over time. So I tried to just learn from people there.
The Microsoft culture is famous for its bureaucracy. People joke about how hard it is to get battleship Microsoft to tack. Did you find that to be true?
It’s true in different ways in different parts of the company. The Windows organization has completely different processes than the Office side, which is completely different than MSN. The MSN culture is younger they’re used to more rapid turnaround in getting their products out. Both the Windows and Office sides ship a product with a mentality of 10-year support. The MSN side puts code into an Internet ecosystem where people don’t expect 10-year support. Users expect to be on the latest version all the time.
What’s different at Microsoft?…..