Jean-Louise Gassée gets to my real complaint about Satya Nadella’s message last week:
Satya Nadella is an unusually intelligent man, a Mensa-caliber intellect, well-read, he quotes Nietzsche, Oscar Wilde, and Rainer Maria Rilke. Why, then, does he repeatedly break basic storytelling rules?
Two possible explanations come to mind.
First, because he’s intelligent and literate, he forgot to use an unforgiving editor. …
Second, and more likely, Nadella speaks in code.
Ben Thompson, on the other hand, had a more positive view of the email. My problem with Thompson’s defense is that almost all his high points come from reading between the lines, not things that Nadella said directly. Maybe the message resonated with Microsoft employees (and past employees like Thompson), but it didn’t work at all outside that group. That being the case, it shouldn’t have been publicly released. Maybe they figured it would have gotten out anyway and wanted to get ahead of it, but as a grand strategy statement it’s in dire need of an editor.