Could Woody Allen run Microsoft?

I can imagine Woody running Bill Gates pretty close in the Nerd edition of Top Trumps, but apart from that they don’t seem to have much in common.

But if I’m learning anything so far from this blogging thing, it’s the way it re-energises your capacity to find the connections in the world.

And this morning I was reminded of something I’ve read attributed to Woody Allen: “if you’re not failing every now and again, it’s a sign you’re not doing anything innovative.”

As if to prove that failing really is one of the bravest, most progressive things you can do, the great and the good of Microsoft are a testament to as much in this month’s Wired cover story.

November sees the launch of Kinect, the new gaming system based on motion sensors, voice recognition and immersive interactivity.

To get there, Microsoft have had to develop new technology, new software and new hardware.

(As an aside here, I think it will be worth talking later on about the notion among gamers  of the ‘epic win’ – the idea that by degrees a you can achieve more in a game than you could have previously imagined. More to come on this, probably.)

Codenamed Project Natal during its genesis, Alex Kipman, was its ‘incubation director’. So, you’re bursting to know, how did they achieve the apparently impossible?

“‘We must fail fast’ was our mantra”.

He builds on this: “Incubation is a business of stupidity. If we don’t feel stupid, we’re not pushing ourselves hard enough.”

How about that? To get somewhere impossible, embrace looking ridiculous.

Which I think pretty much sums Woody Allen after all….