James Robertson: "MS is huge, which means that nearly any acquisition will be of a smaller entity. Smaller entities simply don't have the power to change a larger corporate culture. One of three things happens:" - James outlines what he thinks would happen if a big company gobbled up a little company. I was part of such a scenario and James' thoughts really hit the nail on the head. I think all three things happened at Visio, with the third bullet point being first, followed by one, then two, like this...
- The smaller entity goes quiet, hoping to stay 'under the radar' of corporate - thus maintaining a semblance of their old culture - We managed to do this for about a year, then the softie way started making way into the Seattle office(which would eventually go away because "It's too far from Redmond".
- The staff of the acquired entity leaves, since things are 'too different' for them - Microsoft actually encouraged the 'old-times' to leave, which I found strange. Eventually 99% of the old guard would leave.
- The staff of the acquired entity 'gives up', becoming more like the acquirer - By encouraging the old-timers to move on Microsoft was free to introduce their own brand of management into the Visio fold, thus triggering a HUGE change in the culture. Those that remain have learned to just live with it and produce a great product.