Rob Enderle: ‘I may be delusional’

“As you likely know, Steve Ballmer is stepping down under a cloud at Microsoft, and I too think he is getting a raw deal. What you don’t know is that I feel I’m partially responsible. It goes back to a meeting in the late 1990s,” Rob Enderle writes for ITBusinessEdge. “In 1999, I actually thought of Steve Ballmer as a friend (I still do actually; but I may be delusional). I’d had a private meeting with him and a few other analysts to talk about how he was going to fit into his president’s role. He was looking for advice and providing insight on what he planned to do as he phased into becoming CEO. Then a couple of years later, I met with a very different Steve Ballmer. He was angry and combative. I wondered where both my friend and what would have been a far more successful plan had gone.”

“Two things came out of the meeting with Steve in 1999: One that he executed on and falls into the success column for his time at Microsoft, and one that he didn’t execute on and goes to the core of why he appears to be leaving the CEO job as a failure,” Enderle writes. “The purpose was to pick our brains on what he needed to do. During the process we got a sense of what he planned to do and it was an impressive plan… The other aspect of the talk that stuck with me was how Steve was going to meet with the top employees in the company to collaboratively make Microsoft better. This clearly didn’t happen and I think the pointed feedback he got may have driven a wedge between him and the employees. Over the next few years, rather than getting closer to the employees, he had been isolated from them and failures like Zune and Vista, which could have easily been anticipated and avoided, resulted.”

Enderle writes, “Over the decade, Steve became more and more isolated and the product failures started to mount. The relationship with Intel, which had been rocky, worsened. All of this eventually led to Steve’s early retirement. I believe, had he remained connected to the folks that worked for and with him, we would have seen a different, better outcome… This is really a shame because I still see the unrealized potential in Steve that I saw in 1999, and even though I saw the problem progress, I was completely ineffective in addressing it. You see, I did eventually see that Steve was failing but couldn’t come up with an effective way to prevent the failure. Every time I tried, I just made Steve angrier. This is why, in the end, I view Steve’s early retirement as one of my own greatest failures.”

Read more in the full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: “May?” Try “am.”

Wow, Rob’s delusions of grandeur are grandiose indeed!

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “Wingsy” for the heads up.]

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    1. Rob, I understand your pain.

      What with you being all-knowing, infallible, and the master of the PC universe, it leaves me with now doubt.


      I only can hope your ego can survive this.

    1. Rob, I am truly sorry to disagree with you, but this is not your failure it is mine.

      In 1997, before you ever met with Steve Balmer, I read one of your excretions you laughingly called an opinion column and I failed you. I did not sit down right then as I intended to write you to tell you that your ability to analyze facts, or even to distinguish a fact from your own opinion, was delusional even then. It was obvious that you were deluding even yourself, your editors, your clients, and your readers by claiming to be the principal Analyst of the “Enderle Group” which was composed of you, yourself, and your ego, unless you you were one of those truly rare multiple-personalities, which, I now see, may actually be close to the truth.

      Had I written these things in 1997, it is indeed possible, you would have been cured of your delusional condition, not been invited to meet with the equally delusional Steve Balmer (a sufferer of severe delusions of competence), and not have given him such poor, incompetent advice as you so delusionally think you may have. In any case, as you can see, it IS MY FAULT for NOT writing you that critical letter, lo these many years ago.

      So I will be a man and take the failure of Microsoft upon my broad shoulders, relieving you of that weighty burden, so you may rest easy and proceed to seek the psychiatric help you so desperately need.

  1. “. . . I view Steve’s early retirement as one of my own greatest failures.”

    No, Rob, opening your mouth along with writing articles that put forth your opinions has Steve’s early retirement beat by a mile!

  2. Msft failed because its success didn’t depend on innate talent and good products, but upon copying/stealing/buying the products of others.  When that well ran dry, the company had no future other than reaping the benefits of its Windows and Office franchises.

    If not for Apple’s thorough job of patenting iOS and iPhone, today Microsoft would be doing the same things to Apple that Samsung and Google do to it.

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