Harvard Business Review has a post on how cool XBox is.
Xbox Live is easy to miss. It's a $2 billion revenue business embedded within the $9 billion revenue entertainment/devices business of the $73 billion revenue of Microsoft overall. If Xbox Live was a standalone business, its 40 million members would be dwarfed by user base of Linkedin, Twitter, Zynga and Facebook. But while Xbox Live's membership is less than 20% of the size of Zynga (a comparable gaming company), it likely has nearly double the gross profit that Zynga generates. Not bad for the old guy.
I discovered Xbox Live first via my brother-in-law Joel, a technology executive and gaming enthusiast from Seattle, and my junior high buddies, Emmett and Reid, from Hawaii. I hadn't played video games in years, but Xbox Live was a game changer. We were able to play each other and talk to one another despite living thousands of miles apart. It was a way to compete with one another as we caught up. We could also compete as a team against others, much like playing pick up sports at the park or having poker night. I positioned it to my wife (who was less than enthusiastic) as a way of keeping up with my friends from home. This worked at first, although the jig was up when she would ask how Emmett's family was doing and I'd respond with, "Um...I forgot to ask, but his sniper skills are just fine."
This got me thinking. How cool would it be to have the XBox Live guys to give a talk at a data center conference. Being ex-Microsoft, I have some friends over there, I could give it a try.
I wonder which data center conference I would try to get them in. Huh, the one that says I don't have media status and cannot attend as media and has a focus on its analyst services and vendor sponsorship. Nah. To be clear there are two data center conferences I think of when I eliminate the media status issue.
What conference would be supportive and give a good spot for a presentation and have a large attendance? The list is short.
Part of the HBR story is how the XBox live story is an inspiration for old established companies. I think I just thought of some other people who I could contact at Microsoft.