Nintendo: case study in resilience

Nintendo: a top player for 130 years

Filmmaker Adam Isaac has produced a 20 minute online documentary of Nintendo – the company that entered and dominated the game console market in the 1980s and has survived fierce competition from Sony, Microsoft, Google and a plethora of smartphones. Its latest offering, the Switch, is sold out across the U.S. CNBC offers a look at what has kept the former game card, ramen noodle and taxi company at the top through so many successes and failures. Donkey Kong was the first big hit in the days of video arcades, a $27 billion industry in 1982. A string of hits included NES in 1985, GameBoy in 1989, N64, DS2, GameCube, Wii and Switch, when released in 2017 caused caused company revenue to jump by 116%.

dis-rup-shun: A great example of company reinvention, the head of the company saw the playing card business drop and applied the company’s gaming DNA to electronics. Like Steve Jobs, Nintendo leader Miyamoto has kept the company focused on two key elements: making games fun (over realism) and keeping game content and hardware tightly coupled. Facing the new world of gaming on smartphones and inexpensive cloud services, most notably Apple’s casual game service, Arcade, Nintendo must either compete on the cloud or remain entrenched in specialized devices. This crossroads is just one of many make-or-break decision points that the company has faced over its 130 year history.

Broadband speeds fall in major cities during COVID-19

Speeds have decreased in many large cities as a result of increased Internet traffic, according to network monitoring company, Thousand Eyes. Despite the reduction, the speeds have remained adequate for entertainment, video calls, and most online activities. Speeds in New York City dropped by 20%, whereas the decrease in Austin, Winston-Salem, and Oxnard was up to 40%.  ArsTechnica

dis-rup-shun: Our global economy, as damaged as it is, is in large part intact thanks to the Internet. As one looks at all prior recessions, depressions and setbacks, none has occurred during a time when so much of life and business are online. Even the Great Recession of 2008 occurred in the early days of streaming video entertainment and before video conferencing was as easy and as accepted as “business as usual.” When the dust settles and we survey the damage of the coronavirus pandemic, we will find that many industries remained intact and even benefited as a result of the crisis. The facts don’t lessen the damage to many, but will certainly prove that an online economy is a far more resilient economy.

SpaceX rapidly builds another Starship prototype

Multiple corporations are vying for NASA’s renewed budget for space travel, and SpaceX and Boeing will begin trips to the International Space Station this year. SpaceX’s heavier craft, the Starship, will not be used for the scheduled ISS trips, but is critical to the company’s delivery of heavy cargo into space. The new prototype replaces two others that imploded during pressure testing. CNET

dis-rup-shun: The space race is just that, with a dizzying pace of launches, experiments and new prototypes built. Competition is good for the industry, but some of the space racers are extremely competitive, pushing hard on the limits of technology and engineering for companies that theoretically will earn a profit. Expect to see more fiery crashes as competitors race for big contracts, and hope that safety measures will more than adequately protect human lives from aggressive new space travel projects.

Professional lighting for video calls is a career booster

A $50 investment in a desktop ring shaped lamp from UBeesize placed behind your laptop provides lighting on your face that transforms your image on web conferences. CNET

dis-rup-shun: The new “dress for success” involves looking healthy and confident on numerous daily video conferences. Even though you have your gym shorts and flip flops on down under, having a healthy and attractive glow proves that sheltering-in-place has not dulled your edge.