Who doesn’t love learning how the inner workings of famous companies work? We can learn how people actually think and communicate.
I’ve pulled together all the internal memos that got made public for your reading, nerdy pleasure.
A lot of companies blog about being fecked. You might like this blog Help, We’re Being Disrupted!
- Steve Jobs “Top 100” agenda for a secret meeting– It was an itinerary for a top-secret meeting called the Top 100 to be held early the next year, in 2011.
- Thoughts on Flash – Steve jobs shites on flash to explain why it is not on the iPhone anymore
- Steve Jobs negotiating ebook pricing – Emails on how Steve Jobs won over News Corp’s James Murdoch on eBook pricing
- Presentation Graphics for Overhead Projection – The initial pitch the founder Robert Gaskins made to make PowerPoint which was then acquired by Microsoft
- Road Kill on the Information Highway – A memo written by Nathan Myhrvold at Microsoft on how the internet will disrupt all industries.
- Opus Development Postmortem (Windows 1.0 Postmortem) – Memo in 1989 on shipping Windows 1.0 with a postmortem of what went wrong given it took 5 years to code
- The Web is the Next Platform – Ben Slivka at Microsoft writes a memo for Bill Gates about the future of the internet which was largely ignored
- Warren Buffet and Jeff Raikes discuss Microsoft investment – In 1997, Warren Buffett had an interesting email exchange with a 39-year old Jeff Raikes, who was a high-level Microsoft employee. They discussed the competitive advantages of Coca-Cola and Microsoft
- Computing at Cornell and the Internet – Steven Sinofsky was a technical assistant to Bill Gates. He writes a memo to explaining the use of the Internet at Cornell University which would lead to Microsoft going all in on the internet
- Windows: The Next Killer Application on the Internet – J Allard sent a memo in 1994 at Microsoft on how to position themselves for the internet which they were later criticised for as being a plan to take over the internet
- The Internet Services Disruption – CTO Ray Ozzie writes a memo in 2005 Microsoft needs to focus on web services in the face of competition with free, ad-supported products
- Dawn of a New Day – Ray Ozzie the CTO of Microsoft writes a memo imagining a post PC world
- The Internet Tidal Wave by Bill Gates – Bill Gates declares the internet important and staff need to start focusing on it
- Zero-defects code – Chris Mason at Microsoft wrote a memo on not having any bugs in code
- Windows Usability Systematic degradation flame – Bill Gates sends an email to ‘flame’ the appalling inability to install Movie Maker. It’s really funny and illustrates just how hard it is to run such a large software base
- Steve Yegge’s Famous Rant on Google vs Amazon – Steve Yegge an employee at Google goes on a rant about the Google+ platform and forgot to turn off the “Public” sharing option.
- Google’s Ideological Echo Chamber – James Dalmore at Google writes a memo about reverse discrimination and differences between men and women and people lost their minds. He lost his job.
- The “Peanut Butter” Memo from Yahoo! – Brad Garlinghouse, former senior vice president of Yahoo talks about spreading themselves too thin
- Physically Together – Memo to state all staff have to work in the Yahoo office and work from home is dead
- Windows 95 called and they want their mail app back – Only 25% of Yahoo staff were using Yahoo and two senior execs tried to do something about it by sending an email. It got leaked
Big company stuff
- New York Times’s internal innovation report – Leaked internal New York Times report on innovation to survive the changes in news.
- Nokia CEO Stephen Elop’s Burning Platform– The memo describes in brutal terms how Elop saw Nokia’s business — as an oil rig that’s on fire, forcing workers to jump into the North Sea. Clinging to a “burning platform” only means certain death.
- The Commoditization of the Starbucks Experience – Starbucks Chairman Howard Schultz sends a memo to executives to share his concern they are becoming a sterile without the warmth of a neighborhood cafe
- Fix it or changes – Neal Patterson, CEO of Cerner Corporation sent an email to light the fire under managers to get staff to work harder. It didn’t work out well for him
- Original Sun Microsystems business plan by Vinod Khosla – It’s surprisingly short and to the point. It cracks me up to see some of the financial plans in the appendix are done in hand!
- Zynga Copycat Strategy memo – Zynga CEO Mark Pincus justifying their strategy which is in fact being the best, not just ripping off their competition
- Roelof Botha invesment memo for Youtube! – Partner at Sequoia shared his investment memo as part of a lawsuit with Viacom
- How To Save The Internet – BuzzFeed Founder Jonah Peretti sends a call to arms for staff to save the internet
- We Don’t Sell Saddles Here memo from Slack – Slack CEO Stewart Butterfield sends a motivational email to staff just before launch
- Good Product Manager Bad Product Manager – Ben Horowitz of a16z write about what makes a good, bad, and great product manager at the turn of 2000.
- Fab CEO’s Point-Blank Memo About Mistakes – Fab’s CEO Jason Goldberg lays out the extent of their screw-up in a secret memo to the exec team
- Fab fired email – On their way to the dead pool, ecommerce CEO comments on firing over 100 staff in Berlin to try cut their burn
- Brian Graden on the future of VH1 – Brian Graden wrote a 66-page memo on the future of VH1 and how to fix the struggling music channel in the early 2000s.
- Dave Goldberg’s plan to save the music labels – Dave Goldberg emails Sony Entertainment CEO Michael Lynton with his ballsy views on how music labels need to dramatically restructure to become more profitable. The plan is to focus on catalog revenue and heavily cut costs.
- P&G memo on Brand Men by Neil H. McElroy – Neil McElroy, a junior at P&G sets out the roles and responsibilities of brand men, or brand managers.
- Jason Kilar’s “Here Are My Thoughts On Hulu And The Future Of TV” – Hulu CEO Jason Kilar posted the following on Hulu’s blog as Hulu announce the return of some Viacom content. He discusses the future of TV and content owners
- Some Thoughts on Our Business – Jeffrey Katzenberg head of The Walt Disney Company’s motion picture division sends a long memo on how to turn around in the wake of a big failed movie.
- Chamath SPAC for FVAC – Chamath Palihapitiya invested into a publicly listed company called Fortress Value Acquisition Corporation. It’s a one page investment memo.
- Chamath SPAC for OpenDoor – Social Capital Hedosophia II, the blank-check company associated with investor Chamath Palihapitiya, announced that it will merge with Opendoor, taking the private real estate startup public in the process.
- Chamath SPAC for SoFi – Social Capital Hedosophia V, the blank-check company associated with investor Chamath Palihapitiya, announced that it will merge with SoFi, taking the personal financial services company public in the process.
- Coho Capital on Spotify – a 13 page memo focused on the value case of Spotify.
- Completed Staff Work from the Pentagon in WW2 shared by Thomas Watson – Thomas Watson of IBM read a memo during WW2 from the Pentagon regarding not annoying your boss and completing your task. He later shared it at IBM
- Why Alto? by Butler Lampson at Xerox – Computer development for a critical computer began in 1972 with a document “Why Alto?” Written by Butler Lampson. This is the memo
- How we work and why – Railroad executive Hunter Harrison’s manual on how to run an efficient railroad, originally distributed to Canadian National Railway
- The Tiger Oil Memos – Oil boss Edward Mike Davis is a grumpy son of a bitch in Houston in the 1970s. Memos were unearthed proving the point
Fun to read for shites and giggles
- I was ready to sink into the earth with shame – Template for people who get drunk and offend people (Or when sober, cough)
- The Masked Letter by Lt. General Sir Henry Clinton – 1777 war letter using spy technique called steganography. See a real letter, the code and the text that results after
- David Bowie’s first fan mail from America – The first resp0nse to fan mail David Bowie made to a fan in the usa at 20 years old
- Nikola Tesla discovers radio – Nikola Tesla discovers the foundations of the radio or something
- An idiot of the 33rd degree – Mark Twain sent a letter to a snake oil salesperson and was not polite
- A Personal Letter From Steve Martin – Steve Martin responds to fans with a template. It’s smart
- Star Trek Casting: The full list of who is in consideration to be hired for Star Trek: The Next Generation
- Fart in your general direction – Producers discussing removing offensive text to have a lower film rating including the memorable phrase fart in your general direction
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