Apple, Nintendo, Innovation, and the CEO

Apple, Nintendo, Innovation and the CEOA few years ago I came across this quote from Satoru Iwata, the president of Nintendo:

“My job is to find the potential in something that others can not see, to secretly pour our resources into them and turn them into hits before anyone else catches on,”

The quote was too long to fit in Twitter, so I thought I would share it here because I love the insight. This is the key to successful innovation captured in a single sentence. This quote also highlights one of the most important jobs of a CEO – to lead innovation:

  1. To invest in the insights research and exploration necessary to identify the next innovations
  2. To fund projects built on these insights (even though they may be risky)
  3. To shield the exploration efforts of the company from its ongoing exploitation of current products, services, and markets
  4. To build a balanced innovation portfolio
  5. To build a tolerance for risk taking and individual project failure within the portfolio
  6. To encourage collaboration and to serve as a bridge across silos
  7. To be a champion for innovation both inside the company and externally amongst suppliers, partners, and even customers

The quote came from a Wall Street Journal article where the author implies that Mr. Iwata thinks that Nintendo and Apple aren’t competitors. In my view, Mr. Iwata is either posturing so that the press doesn’t hype the rivalry, or he is a bit blind because Apple most definitely views Nintendo as a competitor.

The real question though is who will dominate mobile gaming five years from now?


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Braden KelleyBraden Kelley is a popular innovation speaker, embeds innovation across the organization with innovation training, and builds B2B pull marketing strategies that drive increased revenue, visibility and inbound sales leads. He is currently advising early-stage fashion startup making jewelry for your hair, and is the author of Stoking Your Innovation Bonfire from John Wiley & Sons. He tweets from @innovate.

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One Response to Apple, Nintendo, Innovation, and the CEO

  1. Pingback: Articles of Interest 6/29/2012 « National Creativity Network

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