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Facebook is not innovative: what Reggie Fils-Aimé, former president of Nintendo in the USA thinks

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Reggie Fils-Aime (Photo: Getty Images)

Reggie Fils-Aime (Photo: Getty Images)

With the authority of the man who spent 15 years at the head of Nintendo of America (NOA), the main representative of the Japanese video game giant Nintendo, bewitching fans with a provocative, amusing and disruptive posture, Reggie Fils-Aime analyzed the current scenario of the global enterprise market – with a particular focus on social media, consoles, metaverse and opportunities in augmented and virtual realities – in one of the most anticipated conferences of South by Southwest (SXSW)the largest innovation festival in the world, which takes place in Austin, Texas (USA).

Now retired from his role as president and chief operating officer (COO) of the company, Reggie didn’t mince words when describing what he sees working, what still has many opportunities ahead and what only follows trends to stay in the market.

One of its main objectives was the Facebookwhich in October 2021 announced a name change to Meta: a way to get closer to the metaverse trend.

“I don’t buy into that idea very much. Because Facebook is not an innovative company. Either they acquired good initiatives, like Oculus and Instagram, or they quickly followed other people’s ideas. Their only innovation was in the social platform,” the executive pointed out, to the applause of an enthusiastic tech and creative economy audience at the Austin Convention Center this Saturday (12).

“To be innovative, you have to think about the consumer first. And Facebook thinks about its advertising revenue first. You have to bring new and different ideas to market. That’s what drives innovation,” said Reggie.

The strength of small businesses

The executive also pointed out that, for him, the future of entertainment will be even more immersive. He still isn’t betting all of his chips on virtual reality – he believes the technology hasn’t reached a point where it’s possible to use it 100% of the time – but he understands that augmented reality will continue to develop .

“We need new and different things. See example of Fortnite [jogo eletrônico em múltiplas plataformas que é sucesso entre jovens no mundo todo]: was not even known to the general public four years ago. And it became a phenomenon. The market needs attractive, innovative, different things. I understand that the future in the digital world will be increasingly shaped by small businesses, who are willing to take risks and speak the language of young audiences,” he explains.

Career and difficult start

First American and first African American to serve as president of Nintendo in the United States – as well as the first American and African American named worldwide CEO of Nintendo – he retired in April 2019 and was inducted into the International Hall of Fame video games. later this year. Prior to Nintendo, Reggie had a successful career in the consumer goods, restaurant, beverage, media and entertainment industries.

In his participation in SXSW 2022Reggie, who was also a confirmed presence at the 2020 edition of the event, which was canceled due to the pandemic, highlighted the launch of his book, “Disrupting the Game: From the Bronx to the Top of Nintendo.” “, in free translation), in which he recounts his difficult childhood in a poor New York neighborhood until his rise to management positions in one of the largest video game companies in the world.

“People look at executives like me and think, ‘He was fine all along.’ was stabbed upstairs to reach our apartment. My parents left Haiti to escape the dictatorship, and we had to find another place to live,” he said.

Over the past few years, Reggie has focused his energy on helping to shape the next generation of business leaders. In August 2019, he was named a leader at Cornell University in New York, where he educates students on leadership and innovation. He also founded Brentwood Growth Partners, with the goal of helping emerging companies grow and empowering their leaders to create cultures that align with global reality.

“I retired because I started thinking, ‘What am I doing? Am I having fun? Am I doing things that make me happy?” from Nintendo of America. Now I want to help leaders forge their own path. And do it in a way that rewards them,” he said. .

Go through GameStop

Asked about his tumultuous departure from GameStop’s board in March 2021, just a year after joining, Reggie explained that a series of issues, including the pandemic, had led to his difficult time at the company.

GameStop has had a tumultuous months between 2020 and 2021, largely due to a campaign by a small “army of investors” on Reddit who inflated the company’s stock value by buying as many shares as possible in order to force hedge funds to buy them. at a higher price. The company quickly saw its stock price soar by 1,700%, reaching $347 at the end of January 2021.

“I believe in the strength of the company, but, unfortunately, the circumstances meant that my passage through it did not work”, defined the leader.

He also stressed the importance of building a healthy culture in companies – which for him is represented by the way things are done when there are no executives around. “Leadership defines the culture of a company,” Reggie said, saying a positive, nurturing and dynamic environment, even in the midst of adversity, is necessary for companies to grow and foster innovation.

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