In 2010, I was recruited away from my position at MIT to join a "future of media and entertainment" think tank under Microsoft's CTO/CXO, J Allard. Microsoft was trying to figure out how to leverage the breadth of its "three screens and a cloud" to become the world's leading digital lifestyle platform.
It's impossible for me to divulge the range of things I worked on while at Microsoft because of a mountain of NDAs, but suffice it to say that my whirlwind tour of duty in Seatle and Redmond was one of the most amazing things I've ever done in my life.
While in J Allard's group, I worked to envision the convergent future of where media and technology, producing a mixture of research, prototyping and internal publications to provide thought leadership across the company which would influence the creation of things like Halo: Forward Unto Dawn.
After J left, our group went to work for Ray Ozzie, thinking hard about technology, entertainment and the cloud. While in that group, I had a hand in the development of what would become SmartGlass, Microsoft's second screen platform, and the Xbox One.
I then went on to cofound the Narrative Design Team, which was chartered to create storyworlds the size of Halo that would unfold for a decade or more across Microsoft's entire entertainment platform, including screens that don't exist yet. As a part of that group I consulted on or advised dozens of IPs, including Adera, State of Decay, Quantum Break, and a list of others that remain unannounced.
Again, I can't discuss most of what I did at Microsoft, but getting to mix theory and practice in one of the biggest digital entertainment companies in the world was a truly incredible experience, and I probably learned more in those three years than I did in my entire time at MIT.