As some of you may be aware, a while back David accepted a position as the Worldwide Games Portfolio Manager for Xbox Live Arcade. In this position he has the responsibility to set the strategy for the entire XBL portfolio. Too many casual games? Not enough retro? Need more sports? Less parlor games? etc.
I, on the other hand, am burried deep in production. My bosses tell me the game I'm going to make, and I do everything I can to make it the best game possible. Generally speaking the strategy of the 'what', 'when' and 'why' is pushed upon me. I create the 'how'.
I am envious of David's position at Microsoft because I like to think I have something to offer in the strategy department. David, if I may be so bold, is probably a little envious of me because he would like to get his hands dirty and create something. The grass is always greener...
It reminds me of something Seamus Blackley said at this year's GDC which, to my ears, was the most profound and poignant thing anyone has ever said at a GDC talk: "You guys are the future, and it’s a beautiful future if you open your mind and actually think about business a bit more." (keep in mind he was talking to a room filled with designers and programmers and artists who, if I understand his point properly, could help out industry tremendously if they thought not just about the art of making games, but also the business of it).
The parallel between the two points, to me, is that the reverse point to that raised by Seamus is also true. Producers, Marketers, BizDev (etc) can all do their part to improve our industry if they try to think a little more creatively sometimes and look at the art of what we do as well as the numbers.
Whether you are in Production dreaming of strategy, or a Portfolio Manager thinking of making cool games I think we can all stand to benefit by thinking like 'the other guy' a little more in our daily jobs.