Nintendo President Satoru Iwata "Has Earned The Right To Fail", Says David Jaffe
Posted by Damien McFerran
Nintendo's "ups and downs" are what make the company great
Yesterday, Nintendo revealed that it was slashing its hardware projections for this financial year and that it expects to make a loss — not the kind of news that under-fire president Satoru Iwata will have wanted to impart to investors and shareholders, we're sure.
Iwata himself has insisted that he won't be stepping down and that the quick fix being touted by many industry experts isn't viable. His beleaguered position has been supported somewhat from an unlikely source — famed developer David Jaffe, who, not so long ago, made public his belief that Disney should buy Nintendo in the same way it snapped up Star Wars studio Lucasfilm.
Speaking on Twitter, Jaffe said:
Calling for Iwata to step down [misses] sight of what makes Nintendo great. You'd never get the Wii-type successes if you don't allow a guy like Iwata to fail hard as well.
...that failure can be a sign that a person has lost 'it' and needs to go OR a sign that a person is still very much relevant and has tons of great work left in them but is taking the same sorts of chances that — in the past — have lead to great successes but are now — temporarily — leading to some failures. You MUST fail if you want to grow and have new successes.
My point is, you WANT a person who fails for these latter reasons and you want to lose one who fails for the initial reasons. I feel Iwata is the [latter] and he's certainly earned the right to fail more than he has to this point. And that's from a gamer AND stockholder perspective. If you [want] make money, back the folks who fail properly. Failure isn't just an option, it's desired if the goal is big success. And investors who don't value failure are idiots.
Many thought Wii 1 was a bad move at first as well. Point is, so what it's a bad move? Investors need to be thinking BIG PICTURE and LONG GAME with a company like Nintendo...companies that I admire are the ones that don't only play for the short term win. you can look at the up and down history of the company and see that if you want to invest in a company like Nintendo, those ups and downs are part of what makes them great.
Imagine throwing out ALL of that wonderful knowledge and understanding and HARD lessons learned by cleaning house at Sony [because] the PS3 did not perform as well as investors would have liked. Yes, sometimes the [solution] is to clean house, sometimes it's to clean a bit of the house, but damn, I think people are losing sight of the value of failure.
Jaffe certainly has a point — you can't win all of the time, and just because Iwata and Nintendo's strategy isn't working now doesn't mean that they can't come up with something revolutionary again in the near future — and the incredible successes of the DS, Wii and 3DS prove that the current management team can post big results when it needs to.
Are you surprised to hear such words of support from Jaffe, or do you think he's missing the point? Share your feelings with a comment.