Seattle is known for a lot things and has more than a few nicknames. To whit - Jet City, Queen City, Emerald City, and my new entry MotherShip Land. Note the capitalized letters are M and S – yes, this is a references to Microsoft.
There are rumors floating around that Microsoft may layoff 10% or even 15% to 17% of their workforce. With a global workforce of ~91,000 people this ranges from 9000 to 15,000+ people.
While I understand Microsoft has the right to do what’s right for their business a layoff of this magnitude would be devastating. Not just for Seattle, but for the whole tech industry and all of the supporting vendors and elements that work in the Microsoft ecosystem. I have heard that in the Seattle area there are 2 to 3 employed by vendors for every Microsoft employee. This number does not include all the other services that support our daily efforts – dry cleaners, gas stations, retailers, and yes the ubiquitous coffee stand on every corner. The impact of a significant layoff at Microsoft would truly be devastating. I hope the rumors are unfounded. However, if there is some truth to them I do hope that the people affected will stay in the Seattle area. The influence Microsoft has brought to the Seattle area is wide reaching and global in scope. The cultures and traditions Microsoft has brought into the Seattle area woven into the fabric that makes Seattle a great place to live. Yes, there are other industries that have influenced Seattle, but today in the here and now a rumor of a pending change at Microsoft brings us to a precipice.
I don’t want to be a rumor-monger and I do hope these are just that … rumors. However, as a former Microsoft employee (and still a shareholder) and someone that works in the partner ecosystem today I am watching very closely. I wrote a blog post a few days ago about the revenue Microsoft and partners derive together. It’s called the Microsoft Partner Ecosystem and the 1:3:5 Ratio – if you are interested in how Microsoft works with partners take a look. I’d love to get your opinion and comments.
While I don’t have all the information I do hope that if the rumors are true that the MotherShip Land is not too drastically affected. I wish the same for all the other regions and tangential industries, which are equally important and have vital relevance, that are likely to be affected. As we start off 2009 I would hope Microsoft does the right thing for their business and takes into consideration the global impact they have and will continue to have. I have been fortunate to enjoy the benefits Microsoft has brought to Seattle and to make a big part of my career within the realm of the Microsoft ecosystem and I hope to continue to do so.
Your comments and feedback are greatly appreciated. Please feel free to comment on this blog, tweet about it, Retweet it with this URL (MotherShip Land - http://budurl.com/nhfx) and if you are so inclined send me e-mail directly.
Cheers and Happy New Year. Welcome 2009.