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Why don’t Microsoft alumni use their own products?

Last year, I wrote about the contrast I noticed in hiring practices in startups vs larger organizations.  Specifically, some of the best startups in our portfolio hire straight out of their community and user base. Twitter, Tumblr, Stack Exchange and others do this often. (In the early days it was basically the unwritten rule at Tumblr).

And yet, I noticed at the time of my post that pretty much all most former Microsoft alumni end up using non-Microsoft technology. At least that is my perspective based on folks I meet after they leave. 

Today I read on Techmeme a post that called out former Microsoft mobile chief, Steven Sinofsky, is now using an iPhone. This is a Microsoft vet who led their mobile platform for years.

Who knows, maybe he is just evaluating the competition some will say.

But I really don’t buy that argument. I rarely, if ever, see Microsoft alum using Microsoft products after they leave. And I’m guessing Steven and his team fully evaluated the competition frequently during his tenure in Redmond I think it’s a bigger issue. Their own employees don’t cherish their own products. 

That ain’t a good sign. 

 (1/14: update: correction: my mistake, he wasn’t the mobile leader