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10 "crazy" ideas for Bill Gates


Many of us read with interest a Wall Street Journal story last week detailing what Microsoft chairman Bill Gates does during one of his legendary "Think Week" retreats.

Besides Diet Orange Crush, we learned that Gates also digests hundreds of papers, many written by Microsoft engineers and product managers, on state-of-the-art technologies and ideas for new business areas.

One paper mentioned in that story, titled "10 Crazy Ideas to Shake Up Microsoft", certainly sounds provocative. Did it suggest going open source? Ditching Windows? Buying Google?

Hardly. On closer inspection, most of the ideas seem more mundane than crazy ("Cut Back on Bureaucracy"). Some are more radical: "Break up the company". And a few are downright puzzling: "Encourage Loose but Prominent Couplings".

Here's the rest of the list, courtesy of a blog posting earlier this week:

• Schedule Unscheduled Time into Performance Reviews.

• Exile and Empower Incubation Projects.

• Offer Super-exponential Rewards.

• Offer Different Risk-Reward Compensation Profiles.

• Review Cost Cutting.

• Reduce Headcount on Large Dev Projects.

• Eliminate Exec Reviews.

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