Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Rogue Coalitions

Throughout history, across virtually all disciplines, rogue coalitions have come into power and attempted to retain that power. Fortunately, these rogue coalitions have failed and allowed civilization and progress to proceed on their natural paths. Often, the source of failure for these rogue coalitions is found deep within their own structures.

A rogue coalition is one that has come to power and has the ability to redefine proper behavior, morés and expectations. Of these characteristics, expectations is probably the most important. If one only expects gruel for dinner then gruel with sugar on top may be seen as a particularly yummy concoction.

Another defining characteristic of a rogue coalition is its ability to appear to be normal and part of the natural order. Many times, rogue coalitions come about as part of some other revolution, righting something that has gone desperately wrong and needs to be fixed.

Rogue coalitions come into power and attempt, at all cost, to retain that power. What starts as a revolution becomes a strategy to protect the revolutionists.

Are Microsoft and the other closed-source vendors nothing more than rogue coalitions? Are these institutions that are unable to see the furor they create that pre-sages the revolutions that will overthrow their business models? Can they be that blind to history?

Or is it more Machiavellian than that? Do the Microsofts of the world recognize that their business models are ultimately doomed and they’re simply attempting to extract the most they can before being forced to change?

I think it’s the former. I believe that as companies like Microsoft start to be managed by their second generation leaders they lose sight of the revolution they themselves fomented in the previous generation. They lose sight of the fact that ongoing change is critical to success and get lost in preserving business models that are no longer appropriate.

I believe that Microsoft and other closed-source vendors are nothing more than rogue coalitions that are destined to either change their business models or fall by the wayside.

It doesn’t matter to me whether Microsoft fails or evolves because all rogue coalitions are short-lived. This one just can’t be short enough for me.

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