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Stress or Pressure?

Learning by Shipping

This post is a verbatim reprint from a book I wrote with Marco Iansiti of Harvard Business School, One Strategy: Organization, Planning, and Decision Making (Smile link). The original content was from a Microsoft internal blog post dated April 23, 2008. More context is available in the book (Google Books link). Posts were written for the Windows team but available to the whole company at the same time.

Pressure One of the things that is really important to me is making sure working on Windows and Windows Live is a low-stress job.  Stress is evil, in fact stress is defined as:

stress: strain felt by somebody: mental, emotional, or physical strain caused, e.g. by anxiety or overwork. It may cause such symptoms as raised blood pressure or depression.

The thing about stress is that it is both physical and emotional.  Stress is all about a loss of control (anxiety).  Loss of…

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Microsoft’s Nokia acquisition was an even bigger disaster than we ever imagined

Who besides that other SteveB ever thought it WAS going to work?


Microsoft bought Nokia’s handset division thinking it could use the company’s considerable hardware talent to build phones capable of going head-to-head with the iPhone. It was clear at the time of the deal that this was never going to happen and that’s why we weren’t surprised to see that Microsoft last month was forced to eat a $7.6 billion writedown related to the deal. But now TechCrunch has taken a look at some of the numbers Microsoft posted in a recent filing with the Securities and Exchange Commission that reveal the Nokia deal was an even bigger disaster than we realized.

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