April 4, 2002 interview

Feeding the Engine

Adam Barr, 4/4/2002

On October 26, 1999, it was announced that Microsoft would be one of the four new components in the 30 stocks that make up the Dow Jones Industrial Average. This as a long-overdue recognition of the role of technology in the U.S. economy, and in particular of Microsoft’s central place in the industry.

But Microsoft was different from the other three newcomers. It has no computer chip manufacturing plants like Intel, no chain of retail stores like Home Depot, no network phone lines like SBC Communications. Indeed, it’s not industrial” at all. Its product is software; its assembly line the brainpower of its employees. And while companies across America would naturally say their employees are vital to their success, for Microsoft in a large sense the employees are the company.

And that makes Microsoft very particular about who it hires.

[read the rest online]