Reply To: An interview with Ken Williams

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Manish:

Good luck with your company!

As I mentioned in the interview, Sierra’s role models were Microsoft and Disney. Unfortunately, neither of these companies are what they once were. 

Here’s some of what we tried to model from each:

Microsoft (at the time, in the 80s)
– Aggressive competitor
– Pick a category, and build a long-term plan to ‘own’ the category
– Technology and product driven
– Culture of hard work and long hours
– Serious about what they were doing
– Focus on hiring smart, aggressive engineers
– Engineers in senior management

Disney (in the 70s/80s)
– Ownership of intellectual property
– Heavy investment in building (and owning) brand names
– Internally created product
– Hire creative people, but then manage team tightly. Rigid control of where the product is going.
– Emhapsis on the company branding as a mark of quality, almost more so than an individual product. I remember taking our kids to DISNEY films. We knew it would be great, or it wouldn’t have the Disney brand.

Ken W