Steve Ballmer just purchased the Clippers for 2 billion dollars. For those of you that do not know Ballmer, he grew the profitability and sales of Microsoft. While doing so, he maintained his focus on his “Cash Cow” and discounted a huge opportunity right under his nose.
When Ballmer took over as CEO of Microsoft, the company was fighting an antitrust lawsuit brought on by the U.S. government and 20 states, plus class-action lawsuits and complaints from rival companies. Ballmer chose to settle these suits rather that what his predecessor Gates believed should have been done. During that same time he required detailed business justification in order to approve any new products instead of following trends or entertaining innovative opportunities.
In 2005, he recruited B. Kevin Turner, previously a Wal-Mart stores executive, to implement “scorecards” for measuring things like customer satisfaction and other key sales metrics. Overall, Ballmer has been the driving force behind Microsoft’s “dramatic shift from the company’s PC-first heritage.” BusinessWeek said the company “arguably now has the best product lineup in history.” With acquisitions like Skype and Microsoft’s cloud strategy the company has more than double their revenue. By moving away from a PC only business Microsoft has become a driving force in today’s society.
With that being said, Ballmer has made one huge mistake. In 2008, eWeek asked Steve Ballmer about the future of apps and he said, “Let’s look at the facts. Nobody uses those things…” Today, there are hundreds of millions of apps for both Android and iOS phones. Ballmer’s Microsoft is still chasing this proven trend.
Arthur Conforti, owner of Beneva Flowers, did not agree with Ballmer’s prediction back in 2008. Instead, he created the Floralapp for his flower shop, and others just like it across the nation, in order to invest in this trend early. Today, many successful retail florists are forgetting that the floral industry is affected by the acceleration of technology enhancements just like everyone else. And many agree that understanding which digital trends to follow can be overwhelming.
Back in 1998, florists made comments about the Internet like, “no one will ever buy flowers on a computer,” and/or, “it is too impersonal.”
It is apparent that this opinion has changed. Mobile versions of websites are also fairly common now, however they are merely formats of websites that complement the limited smartphone screen. The disadvantage to florists for using mobile versions of their website to reach they smartphone customer is that the potential customer can easily go to a competitor’s site at any time. By providing customers with an app the customer no longer seeks out the ideal florist, instead they push one button and shop with their trusted local shop.
How Floralapp Help Florists:
Floralapp is an Apple and Android approved native app that works off the functionality of the smartphone. Features like push notification and GPS based experiences are just a few of the unique features. Sending push notifications to registered members can be done automatically when someone drives within a mile of the flower shop using GPS technology.
Users do not have to remember passwords to log in or addresses of recipients. They just have to select the contact in their phone and the form automatically fills out the fields.
Florists need to learn from Steve Ballmer’s misstep that has cost Microsoft indefinitely. As rich as he is, he will forever be remembered as a contributor to the top 10 dumbest tech predictions.