Large growth companies like Microsoft are always in denial when the high-growth phase of their trajectory ends. They continue to wrongly pour money into new initiatives, acquisitions, and other fruitless forays as they try to return to their go-go days. This point is well made in a study that is cited here:
A study by Corporate Strategy Board found that of all Fortune 50 companies from 1954 to 1995, only 5% … were able to sustain a growth rate above GDP, and over half of these have stalled since the study. Once stalled, no U.S. company larger than $15 billion has been able to restart sustained double digit internal growth
While I knew it was rough to restart the growth engine, seeing it in such stark terms is truly jaw-dropping. No U.S. company larger than $15-billion in revs has ever restarted growth? Remarkable.