This post is about one-liners. So in honour about that I will be brief. It's about describing in one sentence what some companies are about.
My roommate in SF was a screenwriter in Hollywood for a while. And he was great at summarizing a movie and stating what it was really about. So to challenge him, I asked him to pitch me ET, the amazing Spielberg movie, which I thought was about going home, the Oddyssey, finding friends, all kind of stuff. He said, "easy, it's Lassie from outer space... kids find stray alien, bring him home, alien saves the day". How's that for a pitch?
So these are my pitches. Advertising is a very competitive industry, where agencies fight each other to try to win over clients with creative slogans, shnazzy graphics, wonderful branding. I think Google is an engineering company that's gotten into advertising. And it's wreaking havoc. Advertising companies don't know how to compete with this powerful engineering company.
In the same way, Apple is a computer company that's gotten into music. Music business has been about breaking new bands, cross-promotional deals, finding and nurturing talent. The music industry is having a hard time competing with a computer company.
What is Microsoft? Microsoft has been a software company, and it still is. That's why it's having such a hard time today, given that the internet is central these days. But I'll admit that MS is doing a good job at reinventing games.
Myspace is the LA music scene brought online. Everybody wants to hang out at cool bars and listen to hip new bands. Why not bring that hanging out online, so everyone can participate. So it's really a place to hang out. No wonder that their tag line is "a place for friends".