I am amazed by this Microsoft bid for Yahoo, and it makes me think that business people need to consider doing something like anti-bankruptcy more. Presumably the clever ones already do it quite a lot, on the quiet.
What I have in mind is that Microsoft has made huge pile of money, but has now run out of ways of making such money in the manner that it has become accustomed to. So, it should simply cease trading.
If Microsoft can not mend Windows and beat off Linux, Apple, etc., then they are out of business (business as they know it) and should accept the fact. The XP version of Windows continues to be a respectable operating system, and a company should be set up and sold off (to its employees probably) to keep it going for as long as there is life in it. But that forty billion (and maybe more) dollars that Microsoft seems determined to throw at Yahoo should instead be distributed to shareholders and employees, and spent or saved just like normal money. I know very little about all the details of it, but I have the overwhelming sense – and the overwhelming sense also that many others have the overwhelming sense – that the Yahoo purchase will be money down the drain. One over-the-hill business buying another over-the-hill business, and shoving them together with giant bulldozers. They were two very impressive hills in their time, but together they will not get any bigger or better. If I was a Yahoo shareholder, I would be pinching myself with joy, but trying to stay cool and get the best price from these deluded maniacs, which according to the story linked to above, is just what is happening.
A business does not have to go on for ever in order to have been a triumphant success. Microsoft should quit while it is still, just about, ahead.
Is this stupid?