Lefsetz Declares The Zune DOA

Well he’s far from the only one. But I do like his piece anyway.

Particularly this part, which is yet another riff on the Begging Forgiveness thing.

But Microsoft played by the rules.  Crippled the squirting feature
so the RIAA wouldn’t get mad.  Had a point-based sales system so they
could have variable pricing, only confusing the customer.  Steve Jobs
had it right here.  If you can figure out Zune points, then you’re
obviously not math-challenged.  And it seems most of America IS!

you want to make it in the sales/distribution world, you can’t play by
the rules.  The rights holders won’t let you.  They won’t compromise,
won’t budge, won’t license.  You’ve got to STEAL the wares.  Like
YouTube, like MySpace.  THEN the labels will come to the table.

Microsoft’s too big to break the rules.  Which is why the meek, like
Apple, initially only serving the Mac universe, get traction when the
big boys don’t and ultimately triumph.

And the same thing is
happening in music production.  New kids knowledgeable in the new
systems are playing by the REAL rules, not the RIAA rules, and they’re
going to steal this business just like Microsoft stole computing from

Simplicity.  Usability.  Delivering what the customer wants.  Sounds easy, but Microsoft fucked it up.

#VC & Technology