CoolFunkMan

R.I.P Satoru Iwata

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It has arrived!

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I’m really looking forward to giving this a read.

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Mine arrived too, thankfully not damaged like what normally happens when you order books from Amazon.

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Mine has arrived also! Though I haven't checked for damage yet, so we'll see what shape it's in :laughing:

Feel like this is great timing for a book like this seeing as we've got this Bank Holiday weekend. Look forward to digging in! 

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Got mine last night; gonna curl up with it today :) 

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I’ve read the first couple of chapters and it’s been a great insight into Iwata’s management style.

Spoiler

I’m a huge believer of taking care of your staff, which then in turn takes care of your company. A happy worker is a good worker. Iwata’s approach to management is exactly how it should be in every company. Take time to listen to the workforce, hear their suggestions and listen to any concerns they have.
 

The way he spoke about interviewing the staff twice a year is something I’ve experienced in a previous job and it does work wonders. You really feel like part of the bigger picture rather than just a cog in the machine. I’ve also been in jobs that go to the other end of the spectrum and the difference in attitude and general work place happiness is like night and day. To this day is still baffles me why people in high positions can’t see that an approach like Iwata implemented is by far the better option when running a business. Most likely the answer is that they just don’t care. In my opinion people like that don’t deserve such positions.

His interviewing style is very much one that I have used in the past. Again, in a previous job, I used to interview any new apprentices for the lab. I made sure I was dressed very casual and tried to have a laugh with them in order to make them feel relaxed. Iwata is right in that it’s the best way to get to know the person rather than putting them under pressure and then forcing them an answer to a difficult question.

Reading these first couple of chapters it’s no wonder he was able to turn the company around. When you’ve got someone like him in charge then it’s much easier to fall behind him and become excited about what is going on within the company. I love that he admits work isn’t all fun and games and that people need to do tasks that they may not like but you can find joy in the little things during your work day. 

We always knew that Iwata was a kind soul and reading about how he ran the day to day business and interacted with his staff just solidified my opinion that he was a very special man who clearly made the welfare of others a big priority in his life.

 

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How much of the book is dedicated to stuff like that? I assumed it was just a collection of the Iwata Asks series but if it's got stuff about the managerial/business side I'd be more interested. I quite liked Creativity, Inc. for that.

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1 minute ago, Ashley said:

How much of the book is dedicated to stuff like that? I assumed it was just a collection of the Iwata Asks series but if it's got stuff about the managerial/business side I'd be more interested. I quite liked Creativity, Inc. for that.

@Dcubed has already read it all, so I'm sure he can answer that for you.

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37 minutes ago, Ashley said:

How much of the book is dedicated to stuff like that? I assumed it was just a collection of the Iwata Asks series but if it's got stuff about the managerial/business side I'd be more interested. I quite liked Creativity, Inc. for that.

I’ve read a couple more chapters and these were more about life philosophies and people in his life he’s worked with and respects.

The life philosophies chapter was fantastic. He speaks about how his experience and skills as a programmer helped him be a better manager and how knowledge on its own without a bearing for the things around you is not rewarding.

Quote

So, rather than waste your time, it makes far more sense to prioritise the things that you truly enjoy, whatever speaks to you.

:bowdown:

I will warn you that it is a short read. It’s only 150 pages long and can easily be finished in a single sitting. 

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Posted (edited)

Right! Let me give you a brief breakdown of this book...

 

What this book is

A collection of previously Japanese-only articles from both Iwata Asks and from the Hobo Nikkan Itoi Shinbun (“The almost daily Itoi newspaper” - a website/blog run by Shigesato Itoi and his company Hobonichi which features philosophical musings from both Itoi and other guests, of which Iwata was a frequent attender).  For a bit of context, Hobonichi were also the guys responsible for organising the Iwata Asks series of interviews.

A short biography of the life of Satoru Iwata; particularly his early years.

A collection of a few newly conducted post-humous interviews with Shigesato Itoi and Shigeru Miyamoto about their relationship with Satoru Iwata throughout his life and some reflections on his ongoing legacy.

A book about philosophical musings, some of which will be familiar from the Iwata Asks series, others may not be so familiar to you.  Some of these musings pertain specifically to the philosophy behind the development of specific games and Nintendo consoles, while many others are more generalist in nature and cover things such as management, the human condition and artistic pursuit in general.

 

What this book is not

An expose on Nintendo’s inner workings.

A collection of never-before-revealed game development facts & reveals.

A collection of gaming trivia.

Iwata’s thoughts on rival companies or other developers (outside of Miyamoto himself).

 

If you are looking for a book filled with video game scandal and intrigue? You won’t find it here (go read Jason Schreier‘s new book instead!).  If you enjoy the more philosophical side of the Iwata Asks series though? You will very much like this book.

18 hours ago, Ashley said:

How much of the book is dedicated to stuff like that? I assumed it was just a collection of the Iwata Asks series but if it's got stuff about the managerial/business side I'd be more interested. I quite liked Creativity, Inc. for that.

Basically the entire thing.  This thing is pretty much a philosophy book.

Edited by Dcubed
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Thanks, @Dcubed! Think you’ve convinced me I need to get my hands on this.

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I finished the book this afternoon. With the weather being nice I decided to sit in the garden to complete the remaining chapters.

Spoiler

Iwata’s relationship with Miyamoto is an interesting one. They both envy the abilities that the other person has. Also, the weaknesses of each of them are complemented by the strengths that they both have. In this way it seems that the both of them working together make quite a formidable team.

I enjoyed the story about Miyamoto’s approach to getting feedback on a game. Iwata said he would often see Miyamoto grab a random employee who hadn’t played the game he was working on and then tell them to play, without any real explanation as to why. :laughing:

Yamauchi’s legacy of “Don’t do anything that has been done before.” can certainly be seen during Iwata’s time as president. It’s something he clearly took to heart when trying to expand the gaming audience and I do wonder just how much of that philosophy remains within Nintendo today, especially when it comes to the new president.

The story about creating an auto shutdown on the Wii was great. In an effort to please parents, Nintendo were going to make it so the console saved your data and then shut down after a set period of time. Apparently they were many heated arguments amongst staff as to whether this should be a feature or not. Ultimately it got scrapped in favour of the play log. This was so parents could see how many hours were being played on the Wii by their kids.

There were a few points in the book that got a good laugh out of me. Warioware Twisted having the record player mode that worked when you placed the GBA onto a swivel chair and span it around. Iwata being called Kirby at the office due to him eating a stupid amount of candy during meetings. Finally, Iwata chatting Itoi’s ear off on the train when all he wanted to do was get some sleep. Hilarious stuff. :D 

There are a couple times in the book where Iwata hints at games becoming too complex and bloated for their own good. This quote is a good one, I think.

Quote

Today’s games tend not to revolve around one interesting feature, but complicated combinations. This is what makes them unsatisfying. That’s what happens when the design is based on the idea of more, more, more.

Some of the stories Miyamoto and Itoi tell of Iwata are really heartwarming. I actually shed a few tears when Itoi speaks about how Iwata told him about his illness and how he got to say goodbye to him. :( 

Itoi speaks a bit about Iwata being a funny character and calls him a goofball quite a few times. I suppose it’s the wackiness that led to some of the funny moments during the many Directs that he presented. This gave Iwata lots of personality and certainly helped a great deal in gamers forming a bond with what would have simply been a corporate mouthpiece had it been anyone else.

The final quote of the book is a great one...

Quote

“No part of my experience has turned out to be a waste of time.”

Brilliant quote. He really did try to find meaning and usefulness out of every experience he had.

The book, while short, has been a fantastic read. Highly recommended for anyone with an interest in Nintendo, Iwata or games in general. There was a reason why gamers around the world shed tears when this amazing man passed away and this book highlights just what that reason was. 

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My copy arrived today but it hasn't got the dust cover that I saw in the pre-release pictures (and the pictures you guys have posted) Seems a bit weird, was there another version released? Wondering if I should get in touch and see if they can send me out another copy

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On 01/06/2021 at 9:08 PM, killthenet said:

My copy arrived today but it hasn't got the dust cover that I saw in the pre-release pictures (and the pictures you guys have posted) Seems a bit weird, was there another version released? Wondering if I should get in touch and see if they can send me out another copy

I see no one else has responded yet. Mine has the dustcover, same as Hero-of-Time's:

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Printed on the hardcover itself is the doodle of Iwata with the words "Iwata-san" underneath. Is that what yours look like? Did you get in touch with the seller to try to get to the bottom of it?

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@darksnowman Yeah, my copy is just entirely missing the dust cover - the hardcover is exactly as you described. I've contacted the retailer I ordered from so hopefully they can sort me out with a complete copy eventually, quite frustrating that it didn't come as advertised though!

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Mine arrived with the dust cover. No idea what happened to yours.

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My copy arrived...

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Dust cover get!

(I might give the book a read later)

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Any feedback from your seller yet, @killthenet

41 minutes ago, S.C.G said:

My copy arrived...

(I might give the book a read later)

Pop the kettle on and get stuck into it. :geek: 

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Yeah @darksnowman I have been in touch with their admin team, they're looking into it with their distributors to check where the problem originated. Hopefully they can just send me out another copy with the dust cover in tact

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Thankfully the seller sent me out a replacement copy so we got there in the end. Started reading it earlier, already plenty of interesting insights

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