Here’s the single, simple lesson. Microsoft’s battle for Yahoo is a case of asymmetrical competition in reverse:
Microsoft is competing on yesterday’s terms.
Instead of using new DNA to revolutionize deeply troubled media and technology industries, Microsoft is simply buying more resources to plug into yesterday’s DNA ….
…. Today, advantage is, to use an unintentionally ironic metaphor, in a company’s operating system – not in its hardware. Advantage begins in the DNA. It’s a function of the principles you use to organize and manage – not in what assets you own, what capabilities you have, or how many monopolies you had yesterday.
That’s why it’s likely to be irrelevant who Microsoft buys, who runs Microsoft, what services Microsoft launches, or what moves Microsoft makes. The endgame is already written – into Microsoft’s industrial-era DNA.
That’s why, in fact, the more acquisitions Microsoft makes premised on yesterday’s sources of advantage, the surer its ongoing slide into strategic irrelevance will be.