What stage is your company?

Taken from slashdot:

“The Beast reports unhappiness with Steve Ballmer as CEO of Microsoft: Sources say the talk around Microsoft’s Redmond, Washington, headquarters — which has grown increasingly loud ever since Apple surpassed Microsoft in market capitalization — is that the company’s stock suffers from a ‘Ballmer discount,’ and that the CEO is on the clock to significantly move the needle on its share price over the next two or three quarters or face a potential move to oust him. ‘Ballmer is on the list of mega-executives under pressure,’ says a banker who has negotiated deals for Microsoft. ‘If he was asked to leave the building, I suspect there would be more happy than unhappy people.'”

Interesting comment:

Sorry to say that but Microsoft wont change too much, it is almost in the stage of an engineering driven corporation.

First stage: Founders and young engineers develop products

Second stage: Founders and young engineers drive the company to a corporate status and have a good sense of what has to come, corporation becomes successful (Google is there currently) and dominating

Third stage: MBAs and sales guys take over more and more, engineers are leaving en masses as soon as possible or give up internally to develop something amazing, company is still thriving with new products from the back catalog and the left talented engineering force which becomes smaller and smaller and is replaced by mediocre people

Fourth stage: Company is entirely MBA driven, engineers are seen as commodity and work is more and more outsourced, product development is miserable and often behind the competition, the company becomes more and more like a bank (Microsoft today), depending on the business and assets built up in the initial stages this state can last for decades.

Fifth stage: Company either folds or becomes slowly a bank with some other assets which are dropped if they are not profitable enough (Siemens and others which are on their way out of engineering)

So where is your company, I can tell you where mine is….