What a Guy
He’s got a Way about him.
Yay, Guy Kawasaki finally has a blog. I’m a long-time Guy fan, and he’s further endeared himself to me in his blog by echoing some of the sentiments I’ve expressed here in FatBits. (His versions are more succinct, naturally.) Today’s post is a prayer for a sub-notebook—a prayer shared by many, including me. But what really caught my eye was yesterday’s post about “Intrapreneurship.”
Intrapreneurs are people innovating from within a large company. Their situation looks pretty nice from the perspective of a struggling entrepreneur, but Guy maintains that intrapreneurs have a pretty tough life as well:
Intrapreneurs don’t have it better—at best, they simply have it different. Indeed, they probably have it worse because they are fighting against ingrained, inbred, and inept management.
So, what’s Guy’s very first piece of advice for beleaguered intrapreneurs?
Kill the cash cows. This is the only acceptable perspective for both intrapreneurs and their upper management. Cash cows are wonderful—but they should be milked and killed, not sustained until—no pun intended—the cows come home. Truly brave companies understand that if they don’t kill their cash cows, two guys/gals in a garage will do it for them. Macintosh killed the Apple II: Do you think Apple would be around today if it tried to “protect” the Apple II cash cow ad infinitum? The true purpose of cash cows is to fund new calves.
Guy doesn’t even mention the "M" word, but I certainly did. With a few rare exceptions, I think the intrapreneurs at Microsoft are still losing. Their opponent is one of the most successfully defended cash cows in the history of business, so perhaps they can be forgiven for their failures. But I think it’ll all come to a head eventually…
Anyway, it’s nice to see Guy pop his head up on the net. I look forward to reading more.
This article originally appeared at Ars Technica. It is reproduced here with permission.