Episode 18: Creating the Xbox with Former Microsoft Exec Rick Thompson

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Today’s guest, Rick Thompson, was central to Microsoft building the Xbox, making the business case, and building the engineering and product team that shipped its first console nearly 21 years ago. 

A lot of this episode is about how big ideas become reality. Rick talks to John Busby, CMO of Centerfield about why Microsoft in the 90’s was motivated to build the console, the exec retreat where the idea was first discussed, and some of the trials and tribulations of developing the product, as he was responsible for engineering and development. 

Stick around to the end to hear about the famous (or infamous) “Valentine’s Day Massacre Meeting” held on February 14, 2000, where the fate of the Xbox was decided. 

They also talk about: 

-The Pioneers vs. Settlers paradigm

-Rick’s first role at Microsoft

-His volunteer work In Ukraine earlier this year

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