“I distrust the extremes. Scratch a conservative and you find someone who prefers the past over any future. Scratch a liberal and find a closet aristocrat.”
Frank Herbert

God Emperor of Dune

The Ballmer Business Metric

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I have been silently lamenting Nokia since I heard the news that their mobile phone division is being acquired by Microsoft. My one recurring though on this matter is that two wrongs don’t make a right. I’ve been living a happily Microsoft free life for 5 or 6 years and was disappointed when they squirmed back into my life by acquiring Skype. I used to believe that Nokia was the only trustworthy company when it comes to mobile phones – I am wary of anything from Apple (iPhones) or Google (Android).

So I am now left in a theoretical void. Theoretical because I don’t use smartphones – I have a simple mobile phone as a backup communication device (we have no landlines at Bhudeva) and use it very little. Void because now there is no one to turn to: no to Apple, no to Android and now no to Nokia. I look forward to the void being filled by an open-source technology such as Firefox OS or Ubuntu.

Anyways … this article talks about Steve Ballmer confessing to missing out on the phone market. And though an uninteresting article to me, the last part is cause for celebration:

“As a final note, here’s the Ballmer Business Metric: ‘The ultimate measure has to be what happens with profits. It’s got to be the ultimate measure of any company.'”

My celebration is in recognition of an inevitable departure of Steve Ballmer, his kind and their beliefs from shaping the world we live in. Thank you for your contributions to the world we live in and good riddance to your outdated and destructive beliefs – sincerely on both accounts.

I wish Ballmer a long enough life to change his mind about his biggest regret from something as petty as a temporary technology to something more substantial like his beliefs about the purpose of business.

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