“And once you’re in the cross hairs, it is hard to get out,” Mr. Smith mentioned.
The pure tendency for the younger tech powers is to combat. “They didn’t get to where they are by compromising,” Mr. Smith mentioned. “They got to where they are because they stuck to their guns. And so they tend to think they’re right and the government is wrong.”
That mentality is very true for immensely profitable and rich founders. The Microsoft co-founder Bill Gates, in keeping with Mr. Smith, “learned that life actually does require compromise and governments actually are stronger than companies,” if solely after a bruising confrontation.
Mr. Gates, who wrote the foreword in Mr. Smith’s e-book, recalled that for years he was happy with how little time he spent speaking to folks in authorities. “As I learned the hard way in the antitrust suit,” he wrote, “that was not a wise position to take.”
At Microsoft, Mr. Smith pushed for the new path. Horacio Gutierrez, a former senior Microsoft lawyer, who’s now the common counsel of Spotify, mentioned, “We went from dealing with governments in a reactive, defensive way to reaching out and being proactive.”
As Mr. Smith was cleansing up Microsoft’s legacy of authorized troubles, the tech trade was shifting on. The private pc was not the heart of gravity, displaced by smartphones, web search, social networks and cloud computing.
“What you saw at Microsoft was acknowledging reality and a response to changed circumstances,” mentioned A. Douglas Melamed, a professor at Stanford Law School. Microsoft will not be in a highlight of criticism at this time, he mentioned, “largely because the company is not dominant in visible ways as it used to be.”