Iwata: We Never Fear Failure And Always Seek To Challenge The Status Quo
Posted by Damien McFerran
"Opening the first door is when things are most interesting"
Nintendo president Satoru Iwata has been speaking at the recent B Dash Camp Osaka 2013 about his company's outlook on business and where it sees itself in the industry, as well as making the Pokémon series a success in the west.
Iwata says that Nintendo doesn't fear failure, and that it's inevitable that you'll have bad times as well as good:
When we talk about Nintendo we cannot ignore (former president) Hiroshi Yamauchi who just recently passed away. He always said that if you have failure, you don’t need to be too concerned. You always have good things and bad, and this reflects the history of Nintendo.
The president also picked up on Nintendo's habit of doing things a little differently, and not slavishly copying its rivals:
If you do the same thing as others, it will wear you out. Nintendo is not good at competing so we always have to challenge [the status quo] by making something new, rather than competing in an existing market.
It’s often called the ‘Blue Ocean Strategy’, looking for something that no one else is working on. When we created the DS, people said it was strange to have a dual display, and people said elderly people don’t play games. But they did. Opening the first door is when things are most interesting.
Finally, Iwata spoke about the challenge of making brands like Pokémon and Brain Age successful in the west:
Will America accept cute monsters? No, they said. Some people even recommended to make Pikachu more muscular. If we followed their advice Pokémon would never have been the success that it was. Brain Training software (Brain Age) became a hit in Japan, and I proposed that we sell it globally. And even as I said that as the president, no one listened.
Nintendo has come under fire lately for not doing what everyone else is doing and refusing to release its games on smartphones and tablets, but as Iwata says, the company has a desire to do something new rather than emulating current trends. That's one of the reasons why it has been so successful in the past 30 years.