Saturday, 8 December 2007

Small Mammals

Ian Hickson writes interesting stuff about the evolution of companies. One quibble: what he describes is "evolution" only in a very loose sense. Evolution, even non-biological evolution, generally requires reproduction with heritable characteristics that affect fitness, and that doesn't seem to be present here. All we have here is adaptation IMHO.

That aside, he's basically right: people have learned to adopt business models that can't easily be crushed by Microsoft, but they all have the weakness that a superior Microsoft product would hit them hard.

He omits, though, that there are other things Microsoft could do (and is trying to do) that would also hit their competitors hard --- for example, patent assaults. And open-source isn't as immune from a cut-off-their-air-supply attack as I think he makes out.



  2. Has the English language evolved so much that evolution doesn't mean the same thing anymore? :)

  3. Many companies, when searching for a product solution, will default to picking the MS solution. Many companies will only choose other products either because MS doesn't have a solution or because MSes solution is desperately behind another major vendor. I see this a lot in my workplace and have heard others notice the same thing in theirs.
    This gives MS a major advantage over pretty much any other software vendor the produces a product that competes with MS.

  4. >> Evolution ... requires reproduction
    Companies/organizations can only adapt, but when a business model is copied, that business model has reproduced.
    Evolution is so poorly defined (outside of science) that I think this easily qualifies.