NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- I can tell pretty quickly when something I write about a company resonates.
When I strike a chord, I notice an increase in company-specific lawyers viewing my LinkedIn profile; executives and public/media relations departments begin to "reach out" to "open a dialogue"; and/or I start hearing from current and former employees of companies under the microscope.
Over the last month or two, I have heard from a considerable number of current and former Best Buy (BBY - Get Report) and Microsoft (MSFT - Get Report) staffers across ranks. When these folks echo your sentiment once or twice, you don't think much about it. However, as support from past and present workforces keeps rolling in -- as independent accounts -- it's logical to think you're on to at least a little something.
The other day, a former 10-year plus Microsoft veteran sent me an email. This person's spouse still works for the company. The better half's tenure approaches a decade.The correspondence came in response to Does Steve Ballmer Even Know Microsoft Makes Xbox?, where I question Redmond's marketing apparatus. There's simply no connection between Microsoft's best work in recent years -- Xbox -- and its larger, more entrenched Windows ecosystem. I won't interject much because this former MSFT employee states it well. And, believe me, this person is not alone. Do some digging; you might find a similar level of bewilderment from unassociated Microsoft workers.