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6. The memo is just the beginning.

If your memo works as intended, you probably will have to work very hard to follow up on it. After his 2005 memo, Ozzie spent the next two years meeting with product managers and other front-line staff who had to carry out his strategy. “A memo like this is stirring the pot—it’s initiating a process of really hard work,” he says. “It’s beginning a campaign.”

7. Accept that it’s probably hopeless.

By the time a technological disruption is visible, it is often too late or too difficult for a company to change course.

Today, Garlinghouse says, Yahoo is still wrestling with many of the problems he identified in 2006. “These large companies are so hard to really change their perspective,” he says. Similarly, before leaving Microsoft in 2010, Ozzie wrote a second sweeping memo titled “Dawn of a New Day,” in which he regretted that “for all our great progress, some of the opportunities I laid out in my memo five years ago remain elusive and are yet to be realized.”

No matter what happens to the company next, Ozzie believes Microsoft should be due for another big memo around 2015. “About every five years, like clockwork, the nature of technology and the nature of the market accumulate enough change that it feels like a disruption,” he says.

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