I knew that I could always count on my mother’s support. Each morning she would send me into the world with a paraphrase of the Spartan mothers’ farewell to their sons marching off to war: “Go forth bearing your shield!” I walked out the door a little straighter when I heard that.
The final settlement imposed relatively mild penalties. But the case’s impact on Microsoft was profound because it siphoned so much time and energy, especially from Bill. In a company where tech decisions were still ultracentralized, the repercussions of a distracted CEO had to be damaging. We can only speculate as to how much it affected Microsoft’s course in those critical years, and over the difficult decade that followed.
To avoid mediocrity, you need to be rigorous about weeding out underperformers. Microsoft hasn’t proven to be good at that. One executive recently told me, “I wish I could shoot every fourth one.”Terrifying!
As the six-week campaign over Referendum 48 unfolded, I was surprised by how many people still liked the Kingdome. While cities like New York constantly tear down and revitalize, Seattleites cherish their architectural icons, even the unsightly ones.
As Senator Warren Magnuson once said about Washington’s statewide elections, “You can see every vote that matters from the top of the Space Needle.”
I take music with me wherever I go. My boats carry a full complement of instruments, and each has a recording studio.