J Allard may have left Microsoft, leaving us heartbroken in his wake, but he leaves with some solid advice for the lumbering giant of the electronics world.
“Find a college student that claims we don’t get it and blogs tirelessly about our lack of agility”, he wrote in his farewell memo to the company. “Track down an EE that has been focusing on fuel cells and has radical thoughts about power management. Or a social networking whiz who is tired of building little islands that go hot and cold and can’t break the mainstream.”
“Hire a designer who’s given shape to 2 decades of beautiful automobiles and thinks we can sculpt technology to better connect to users. Infuse them with our purpose. Give them the tools. Give them lots of rope. Learn from them. Support where they take you. Invite them to redefine The Tribe.”
Ok, so it gets a little douchey with “The Tribe”, but on the whole, it’s exactly what Microsoft needs. Allard was so interesting as a personality – and the products he worked on so successful – because he didn’t think like Microsoft thinks. He thought past them, in a way we’ve never seen any other public member of the company’s upper echelon manage.
Here’s hoping they take his advice, and in finding the “next J”, think outside the box a little. Future Xboxs will need that.