I really appreciate the post but I see mission and vision in a different way.
Andrea Ghirlanda

Great point! This is how I would see the Microsoft situation:

  • Mission: computers are only accessible to the elite — we want to democratize computer to enable everyone to get value and utility from the machines
  • Vision: a computer on every desk
  • Strategy: ease the transition to desktop computing by making powerful, easy-to-use, ubiquitous software no matter the hardware that serves as a platform for an infinite number of use cases

I organize it this way because Microsoft’s vision stemmed from a problem with how IBM was approaching the computing market — that to me is the even broader component that needs to be explicitly named first.

I think one of the interesting thing about Microsoft is that, once they achieved the mission and vision of democratizing the computer, they didn’t really set their sights on something else. However, they continued with the same strategy and tried to go out-execute their competition as a market follower not a visionary, mission-driven leader. This worked sometimes (Xbox) and didn’t work other times(Zune).

We may be simply using different terminologies to describe the same situation! :) Let me know what you think and looking forward to the continued discussion!

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