Recognising market realities

I’ve been following Robert Scoble‘s writings for quite some time: if you haven’t come across him yet, he’s a ‘technical evangelist’ working at Microsoft, who (according to the Economist) ‘might mark the beginning of the end of “corporate communicationsâ€? as we know it’. I’m inclined to agree. His transparent-beyond-the-call-of-duty approach is startling at first, but quickly wins you over. His employer has always had an image problem in the tech community; it’s hard to love a company run by the Richest Man In The World. But as Scoble proves, it’s a company full of well-meaning people who genuinely care about what they do.
Writing on Boxing Day, he does some searches to show the number of Microsoft teams who now engage directly with anyone who cares to listen, or more importantly, who cares to join the dialogue. I was interested to note one almost throwaway point: ‘I use Google cause that’s what most of you are using.’ This, remember, is a man whose job is to evangelise (or let’s face it, sell) Microsoft technology. And this is why it all works. Scoble isn’t shy of admitting ‘we aren’t number one’, and hence he maintains his credibility. Mind you, he isn’t averse to promising great things for Microsoft’s products in the future.
Incidentally, he’s right about the mass of anonymous email addresses. During my time with Microsoft, I remember asking where mail sent to our team email addresses actually ended up. The answer was never especially clear, and the mail generally didn’t make it to the front line.