In the video below, Michael Saylor, CEO and founder of MicroStrategy (NASDAQ: MSTR ) and author of The Mobile Wave, visits The Motley Fool to discuss tech, business, and social trends as they relate to investors today.
Understanding paradigm shifts like those discussed here is a cornerstone of Motley Fool superinvestor David Gardner's own investing strategy, and it's critical to his market-thrashing returns. I invite you to learn more about how he discovers his winners -- just click here now to read more.
Eric Bleeker: Your stock is down 35% in the past six months. There's obviously no shortage of profiles of you back in the dot-com days, often worried about share prices; everyone was at the time.
Having gone through that boom-and-bust cycle, how does that affect you as a manager? You guys don't do conference calls. You don't issue guidance. How has that affected the term of your thinking, when you're setting goals for your company?
Michael Saylor: I really look out a decade. I look at the trend, 10 years out, and I think about what's going to be important three years out. I don't really focus upon the near-term manipulations of the financial markets.
I think the more you focus on them, the more unhappy you get, and eventually you're unhappy every minute of the day, unless you're up. That's no fun.
What we're doing at MicroStrategy is investing very, very heavily to catch the mobile wave, but at the end of the day I'm not fixated upon where we are now. I'm fixated upon how we get 10 times bigger. If these things play out the way I expect, then we're a $10 billion revenue company, out 10 years.
If they don't play out the way I expect, then whatever. We'll muddle along and we'll do what we're going to do.
Do I care about investors' success? Sure I do. I'm the biggest investor in my company, but do I think that driving the stock price up is going to change my ability to put my software on a billion smartphones? My stock price isn't going to get you a billion happy users.
What Instagram proved to Facebook is, if your application loads in 37 seconds, and it takes you 15 or 20 or 30 seconds to upload a photo, people will abandon the network and they'll go to Instagram because it's two seconds, or one second -- 25 million people did that in one year.
You've got to focus on the customer, and it could be something as simple as, "I have 99 features right, but one feature is, the thing runs too slow and that one feature cripples you." I would say I became more of a product-focused person, and I stopped worrying about people's opinions so much; the newspaper, the investor.