By Shadoe Huard

June 15th 2011

"Please understand."

Excerpts from All Things D reporter Tricia’s Duryee’s interview with Nintendo Global President Satoru Iwata. Bill Trinen, as always, provides the translations:

My point is about how we can keep the public’s perception of the software.

If we are going to destroy the value of the game software — once we have done so, it’s a difficult job to recover from that situation.

Yes, it is true. There are great examples of advertising and doing the microtranscactions, and several companies who have come up with that kind of system. But on the other hand, if you ask me, is this the system that can be sustatined for the long time? I don’t know the answer.

Just because many other people are thinking that way, we aren’t thinking that way.

If you take that last passage by itself, it seems admirable that Nintendo would stick by its’ guns. it’s almost Apple like. Unfortunately, as the rest of the interview reveals, what Iwata really means is that while the entire video game industry is pursuing new avenues and business models, Nintendo is content with the way things are today. Their differentiation is staying stuck in the past, where Nintendo can still fool themselves into thinking they are still the ones leading the industry forward.

Posted at 2:01pm and tagged with: tech, gaming, video games, one column, nintendo, business, Iwata,.

November 22nd 2010

Regarding Google’s Slow Death    

I’m sharing these thoughts mostly as a response after reading Ben Brooks’ article regarding this subject.  I suggest you go and read both, as it will definitely frame what follows in the proper context.


Ben Brooks, on Android:

I have no concrete reasons why, it just seems to me that they have yet to figure out what will keep them alive. Android could have been a great source of money for them, but then they decided that the Android platform would not be a direct profit center, instead they would profit off of mobile search and in-app advertising – using Android to help drive those revenue sources.”

Judging from Androids current leading market share in unit sales, couldn’t you say using Android to drive those revenue streams is a good business decision?  Sure, there’s lots of other ways Android could be profitable, but there’s nothing wrong with sticking to your strengths either.  I don’t agree with the thought that Google needs to be anything other than a search and ad company to remain successful. 


On success:


Long-term sustainable success – the success that puts your company in the Fortune 500 – is only done two ways: being innovative while executing well, or by having something that few others have (rare goods). The latter consists of oil companies, diamond companies and so on – companies that have goods that for one reason or another the general population desires. The rest are in the former category: innovative and executing well.

I would argue that search itself is a valuable good.  Nobody would deny the importance or desirability of search on the internet and Google has the lion’s share of that market.   I’d wager that it would probably still be incredibly successful if it didn’t even have anything else but search.  I am probably right; Without having done the research, I could probably correctly claim that most of Googles profits come from search and advertising.

But what about innovating and executing?  It’s hard to truly know.

I don’t think there is something inherently wrong with merely acquiring new products of ideas.  One could claim that Google is great at acquiring ideas and integrating them into their business model.  Perhaps they are good at executing acquisitions.

Google’s primary interests, and what pays their bills, is search and ads.  If you don’t think Google is successfully creating innovative products and services, that doesn’t mean they aren’t successfully innovating and executing on new ideas related to search and ads.  Almost every product or service they release, whether acquired or created in-house, serve to to improve how Google mines data.  Be it Gmail, Google Earth, Android and Google TV all harness the powers of Googles ability to gather and sort information.  In turn, they themselves feed the search and ad machine that is Google’s cash cow.  Some of these innovations we might not even see; who’s to say how many improvements they bring to their search algorithms each and every day.  

Perhaps instead of questioning Google’s innovation and execution on consumer services and products, we might instead judge their innovation and execution on the company’s real business interests: search and advertisements.  

In comparison, what would we say of the innovation and execution of other companies interested in search and ads?  

I don’t think Fred Wilson’s argument are necessarily false.  I just think they’re ignoring how Google became successful in the first place.

Posted at 12:20pm and tagged with: google, ben brooks, success, search, business, ads,.