Saturday, 6 December 2003

Why Is Growth Imperative?

You know a question that's always been in the back of my mind is "Why is annual growth such an imperative at a company like Microsoft?" Every year, new sales targets get set higher and higher. Big speeches get made by the executives (I've seen many). Managers exhort their direct reports to make the numbers. People sacrifice their home/work balance to meet the new objectives for their performance reviews.

Why?

Why can't the growth targets be scaled back and investors just given dividends? Obviously Microsoft isn't a growth stock. If there was zero growth and a big dividend, the stock price would remain stable. Why can't the energy be placed on quality of product and service instead? Would that be the sign of a mature company?

How about someone asking Bill this at the Q&A session of the next big meeting?

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