Keep It Simple, Sweetheart
Microsoft has finally said its courtship of Yahoo! is over. Perhaps it was never meant to be. Danny Sullivan has a very fine analysis of the whole saga and wonders whether walking away is perhaps Microsoft’s $5 Billion Mistake? There is still the same concern however that Michael Martinez raises. How can Microsoft succeed in Search?
The key question is: Should Microsoft have two brands? That same question came up two years ago. However that was discussing whether they should be running with both MSN Search and Live Search. A subsidiary question was how to pronounce the latter: Liv Search or Lyve Search.
Microsoft seems to be good at getting itself into these problematic situations. Just think Internet Explorer versions 6, 7 and 8 as an example. In its strategic thinking it seems to follow the Tom Peters precept: “If you’re not confused, you’re not paying attention.” How much better they would perform if they followed the KISS principle (Keep It Simple, Sweetheart). There are many more eminent thinkers they could refer to who would support that approach.
- Focus, focus, focus
- Peter Drucker
- The Null Hypothesis is presumed true until statistical evidence indicates otherwise.
- Sir Roland Fisher
- A scientific theory should be as simple as possible, but no simpler.
- Albert Einstein
- Of two competing theories or explanations, all other things being equal, the simpler one is to be preferred.
- Occam of Occam’s Razor
With Bill Gates adopting a more hands-off approach, the chances of Microsoft becoming more KISSy seem remote. They presumably will soldier on trying to figure out how to get their Search horse back on its feet. The prognosis is not good.