Robbie Bach, 7x24 Fall 2017 Keynote - The Xbox Story “Shaping the Future”

Robbie Bach gave the opening keynote and he used the Xbox Story to tell the story of “Shaping the Future.”

Robbie covered the 3P as a key theme of his presentation which is detailed in this link.

“Robbie Bach is convinced that solving difficult problems requires a tremendous ability to simplify – getting caught up in the complexity of a situation reduces our ability to grab the low hanging fruit that can create great momentum. To that end, his book Xbox Revisited: A Game Plan for Corporate and Civic Renewal explores the 3P Strategy Framework which simplifies problems by focusing on the critical items of Purpose, Principles, and Priorities. These 3Ps, when combined with a short list of action items, help teams and individuals tackle almost any type of problem, but especially those that feel the most intractable or complex.” 

Targeting the mission critical audience, Robbie talked about Uptime and users, making the point that mission critical now means business critical. Online services is not a support. Online is the business.

A story Robbie told is the beginning of Xbox. December 1999 is when Xbox was born with no strategy. What they thought was strategy was ship it by this date and make sure things explode really great.

For the 1st 18 months of Xbox development it was  hell. 15 months into the project Robbie wanted to resign. November 2001, Xbox shipped. Success. Well Xbox lost $5-7 billion dollars. Team of 20 grown to 2,000 people. This is not success so the have an offsite.

As part of the offsite the result was the 3P framework.

To change pace Robbie told story of how Apple Music’s $0.99 song was business innovation for transform the music industry.

It is now Weds, two day is after Robbie’s keynote and I have time to reflect on Robbie’s presentation.  His presentation was well received by the attendees, but I  knew there was something missing from Robbie’s story. I was at Micosoft from 1992-2006 and had plenty of friends who worked in Xbox. I have one friend who is still in Xbox, but it is not in the hardware group. He is is the Xbox Live group.

Xbox Live is the business opportunity that changed the business model of console games. Xbox Live is a separate business unit that has a different business model than Azure and given a different business model the data center environment, equipment, and network are designed differently.

It’s too bad Robbie didn’t tell the story of Xbox Live development and its history. The Xbox Live story has not been told and I don’t think it will every come out.