Bobby Kotick’s recent speech at the Deutsche Bank Securities Technology Conference in San Francisco epitomises for me what is wrong about big business: it’s souless.
Kotick is open that he wants a company culture infused with skepticism, pessimism, and fear (which sounds like a rejected line from 'Wall Street'). Regrettably, Mr Kotick is not some small fry manager in soon-to-be-obsolete industry. Instead, as CEO of Activision Blizzard, he heads up one of the most successful companies in, arguably, one of the most innovate industries in the world.
Is Mr Kotick really that bad? Take these two quotes:
"You have studio heads who five years ago didn't know the difference between a balance sheet and a bed sheet who are now arguing allocations in our CFO's office pretty regularly." I acknowledge that resource allocation is fundamentally important to managing a project, but Kotick’s message is that managing the balance sheet is critically important, things like quality come second.
"We have a real culture of thrift. The goal that I had in bringing a lot of the packaged goods folks into Activision about 10 years ago was to take all the fun out of making video games." This quote makes me so mad!
For more articulate commentary on Kotick see ars and Gamespot.