Talking Blue Monster


I've been asked what this Blue Monster thing is all about quite a few times recently so Katie suggested I shoot a short video to answer the common questions and talk about what I have it on my wall, business card etc. As you may have seen, a signed Blue Monster lithograph fetched £113 on eBay and within Microsoft it's starting to get a life of it's own. I talked about it to a Sunday Times journalist last week and for an internal podcast too. Just before Christmas I wrote a Think Week Paper that I submitted to Bill Gates - yeah, him - and in this video I talk about why the Blue Monster was the catalyst for that and why it's on the front cover of the paper.

I hope you find it interesting and would love to know what you think about the whole thing.

Stream (5 mins 28 secs)
Download (18.3 mb)
Audio only WMA (6.1 mb) MP3 (6.2 mb)

Comments (14)

  1. Kip Kniskern says:

    This is great, Steve.  We’re saying some of the same things at LiveSide, glad to hear it from someone from inside the company .  The story of Windows Live is a compelling one, but nobody seems to be telling it.  Mail, Messenger, MSN content, and more, with a single sign on, available from anywhere with really good mobile apps – all backed by a robust and secure back end that isn’t going anywhere for a long, long time.  Get better in Search, promote Virtual Earth, and run with it!

    Of course WL is just an example of the work that could be done across the company – but it’s work that needs to be done.

    Keep up the good work!

    and ps I’m waiting patiently for my lithograph – I was one of the winners 🙂

  2. Gary Short says:

    Hey Steve, great video (I’ll be blogging about it later today) but I just wanted to ask what tool you used to do the cool chromakey effect, it wasn’t Windows Movie Maker was it? 🙂

  3. stevecla01 says:

    hi Kip – glad you like it!

    Sorry for the delay on the lithos. been wating to be back in the office long enough and for some tubes to post them in. should be going out today/tomorrow!



  4. stevecla01 says:

    hi Gary – you’re right, not movie maker for this as a friend did it with Adobe Premiere but I played with Movie Maker and could haven got something almost as good with a bit of time!

  5. Nigel James says:

    Very very cool. I have been watching this whole blue monster thing for a while and have a few ideas of my own for it…

    You are right Steve. You can’t make people love Microsoft but if you tell your story right you may make them like you more.



  6. Thomas Otter says:


    I’ ll watch this develop with interest. The marketing folks here in starship enterprisey could learn a lot from this…


  7. stevecla01 says:

    thanks Nigel – look forward to hearing your ideas!

    btw, love the image at the top of your blog



  8. stevecla01 says:

    cheers Thomas – appreciate the feedback though not sure what the Otter blog is all about. Explain yourself!!

  9. Hugh MacLeod drew this last year for Steve Clayton at Microsoft. At the time Clayton said, "I like…

  10. There’s no question this is a huge risk because as Hugh says, you can read all sorts of meanings into the cartoon. But then I think it’s indicative of some of the smart things I’m coming across that grab attention. And that’s what we’re really talking about here isn’t it. It’s about attention that can align itself – ultimately – to customer intention.

    I can understand why Hugh took the route he did. In the video you explain your belief MSFT is at a crossroads. It sure is. If this helps expose the things that need to get done or reduces friction in the decision making processes then it’s got to be good. IMO.

  11. Kale says:

    I think the Blue Monster is a great idea.  Although I have said some really bad things about Microsoft (usually late at night while recovering some data after who knows what happened), I would be sorely wrong to say Microsoft hasn’t changed the world.  The Linux crowd likes to think that Microsoft knows only evil and how it can’t do any good, but if it wasn’t for Microsoft…there wouldn’t be a computer on every desk to change in the first place.

    At the end of the day, a lot of us are changing the world.  I would like to think that Microsoft has enabled countless numbers of people to change the world in a good way.  I hope the Blue Monster might remind people of that.

    Lastly, another great piece of work by Hugh MacLeod!

  12. stevecla01 says:

    hi kale – glad you like it and you’ve got it spot on when you say it’s Microsoft’s customers (you) who changes the world. we’re just an enabler and I hope the Blue Monster can help to get that message out wider.

  13. This may be old new to some of you but i like it very much. Hugh MacLeod posts about this here . And

  14. This may be old new to some of you but i like it very much. Hugh MacLeod posts about this here . And

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