A Lesson in Microsoft History, Agility and Innovation

I ran across this clip of Jeff Raikes in May 2004 giving history lesson on the early days of Microsoft’s application business.

It is fascinating how quickly and how often Microsoft changed strategic direction during that period. It almost seems to go beyond simple business agility or flexibly responding to market conditions.

There was a bit of systematic and fearless risk-taking involved as well.

I wonder where that culture went or its still there under the surface?

For me, I can’t help thinking that there is another lesson about the role of the entrepreneur in innovation.  These types of risks seem possible if someone like Bill Gates has the power and the vision to take them.  

Executing innovation might be a team endeavour but sometimes creating the right culture comes down to one person.