What Can Pokemon Go Teach Us About Pivoting in Business?


Blog #20

I'm sure by this point you've all heard of the popular new Nintendo game Pokemon Go that was released near the beginning of the month. The app, which is available on OIS and Android devices, will have you chasing Pokemon around your city and battling for control of local gyms with your friends. Already, in only about a week, the game has surpassed the number of daily users on the popular dating app Tinder and even Twitter. Seriously, this is an amazing feat...way to go Nintendo!


Due to Nintendo's current success, many people have begun to ask the question,"Why in the world did it take them so long?" Personally, I had the same question, so this morning I did a little research...

Turns out that Nintendo allowed their stock to fall nearly 60% in the past 10 years before they truly considered releasing a game for mobile phones. Of course there had been a demand for it, but the top executives had feared that a mobile app would destroy the demand for their video games, so they resisted the idea. Only when the stock hit an all time low, did any funding go into mobile app development.

Now that the app has launched, the executives have witnessed a complete opposite effect than predicted. As true Pokemon fans have gotten that nostalgic feeling from playing the new app, the desire for the traditional video games has risen as well.


So...what can we learn from Nintendo's recent history?

Well, I'm not going to sit here and dog on Nintendo, because they have obviously hit a home run on this one (the stock is already 25% up in one week), but I still do believe they could have acted much quicker.

There will be times in each of our businesses where we will need to pivot and adapt. Sometimes the failure to adapt when necessary can be catastrophic to our success (take Hollywood Video and Blockbuster for example!).


Jay-Z said, "One of the most important things in business is to open yourself up for change. We don't have to change who we are, we have to change the way we go about it."


Take a moment and look at your business right now (or if you don't have a business, look at your life) and ask yourself, "Do I need to change?" Sometimes change is necessary to become better. Please, don't ever stop innovating!

Still, at the end of the day, my hat is off to Nintendo. I'm not a Pokemon Go player, but I sure as heck do see a ton of people who are haha!

Go do something amazing today, Ben

PS - If you're in need of any business / marketing assistance, please shoot me an email at ben@thesteeleco.com.