How many Microsofties does it take to implement the Off menu?

Moishe Lettvin, who spent a year working on the menu I criticized yesterday: “So that nets us a conservative estimate of 24 people involved in this feature.”

Every piece of evidence I’ve heard from developers inside Microsoft supports my theory that the company has become completely tangled up in bureaucracy, layers of management, meetings ad infinitum, and overstaffing. The only way Microsoft has managed to hire so many people has been by lowering their hiring standards significantly. In the early nineties Microsoft looked at IBM, especially the bloated OS/2 team, as a case study of what not to do; somehow in the fifteen year period from 1991 – 2006 they became the bloated monster that takes five years to ship an incoherent upgrade to their flagship product.

About the author.

I’m Joel Spolsky, co-founder of Trello and Fog Creek Software, and CEO of Stack Overflow. More about me.