Sometimes I think I write too often about posts that Seth Godin writes. But, I can't help myself - they are too good, and too relevant to the world we work in.
His post on Sept 20 was particularly pointed regarding MSFT's recent ad campaign with Jerry & Bill.
And, it points up something that many don't quite understand until it's far too late: Affiliation and your brand.
Yup, you've got a brand. It is made up of the thoughts and perceptions others have about you. Some of it is made up of your work, part is from your achievements, and other bits are from the places you've been associated with in the past. You know, Carnegie-Mellon, IIT, Standford, Cal-Tech, Enron, Coca-Cola, Nike, Apple, Defense Language Institute, Microsoft, IEEE, etc., etc.
Seth is absolutely 100% correct when he says that, "For more than twenty years, Microsoft has relentlessly commodified itself and the software it makes. It has worked to become a monopoly, a semi-faceless organization that cranks out very good (or pretty good) software that gets a job done for the middle of the market. It's been a profitable strategy."
For all of you that work at Microsoft, for better or worse, this is the way the world sees you. When you go looking for a job, this is one key aspect that hiring managers tune in on. Some like to see this, others less so. But be clear, this is an attribute you own, and use it to your best advantage.
Kinda makes you think hard about where you want to go work next, doesn't it? Or, how to attract people into your organization that are a good fit w/your brand.