Blake J. Harris is the bestselling author of Console Wars: Sega, Nintendo and the Battle that Defined a Generation, which is currently being adapted into a mini-series by Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg.
He’s also the author of History of the Future: Oculus, Facebook, and the Revolution That Swept Virtual Reality.
But we spent the better part of this conversation being nostalgic and unpacking the war that served as a backdrop to our childhood, that of Nintendo v Sega.
Expect to take out numerous business lessons from this one:
We unpack this and a whole lot more, so sit back and reminisce, as I bring you the one and only, Blake J Harris.
TRANSCRIPT (automated, so excuse the uncanny valleyness!)
Steve thank you for having me. It'sgood to uh see your face and talk to you from across the globe uh definitelyacross the globe and you're joining me all the uh way from from Queens. And umevery time I hear the word Queens having grown up on 80s hip-hop and punk rockand heavy metal. I think Run DMC uh singing about Hollis Queens and I thinkabout the Ramones and all these awesome bands that came out of that area andwhat you know going back to the 80s also great movie Coming to America uhlessons in Queens. Yeah. uh It's funny Coming to America you would think It'sthe second time. It's been mentioned on the show because I had a guy on theshow called Remy adeleke uh uh who was born today Nigerian royalty and then Imean unfortunately his dad passed away, but his dad had married an Americanwoman from New York. So it was kind of like this coming to America love storyand then he moved back to the Bronx and all this sort of stuff happened, but
it's a one of my favorite movies of alltime. I have to say to create movement and um yeah Queens Rich history of popculture um uh and then one of them is our console Wars was written here in thisapartment. Yes. Yes, and I'm looking forward to chatting about console Warstoday. And um I mean the gaming landscape has changed so much in the last 20years. I mean 20 years ago. uh Well, let's say today you have so many differentoptions. You have the mobile games. You've got obviously Fortnight uh PC gamingso many different consoles, whereas 20 years ago. That wasn't really the case.No, absolutely not. uh Absolutely not. I mean, like of course there's a milliondifference between now and then but just even for younger listeners just theway that information was distributed like even pre-internet also just likebasically uh what I'm trying to say is that I remember when I would want to geta game it was like a fifty dollar expense. It was a lot the only criteria I hadto base. My decision on was what
I'd heard from friends and usually itwasn't much of it was new game and the back of box like there were trailers maybe either would be something a Nintendo Power other magazine. So it's just it'sjust really tough and nowadays. There's you know, um Indie developers, there'sso many games to choose from but you also can demo them. You can you know, youkind know what you're getting into. Yeah uh my strategy back in the day, I meanback in the early 90s on the Nintendo Entertainment System. I remember gamesbeing about uh 80 Australian dollars, which is about say 60 US Dollars and Iwould buy a game play. uh uh About two or three weeks. However long it took toclock the game. Do you guys use that word clock the game in the United States?That's what we refer to if you uh successfully completed the game week. Okay inAustralia and then once I did that I take it back to wherever I bought it fromand say hey, I got this as a gift. I'm also a mentor to exchange it and I musthave done that with about 20 or 30 Games. It saved my parents more so than me alot of money.
Wow, look at you beating the system.Nintendo would not been happy with you Sega might have applauded your effort.But what was your background? You got a Nintendo Entertainment System. Did youget a Super Nintendo? What was your console history? uh Some icons all historywas I initially had a hand-me-down from my older brother which was a Commodorevic-20. Now that's going back to the early uh uh 80s, like really really lowsort of uh bit rate uh terrible pixel pixelated uh games, but it was fun man.Like I was years old or seven years old at the time that was fun. Then it was aNintendo entertainment system. And then I basically went on to the PC gamesafter that. So I was playing like Commander Keen the early 2D version of DukeNukem um and that was basically me Wolfenstein and then I moved on to the Xboxthe and so on. I mean, what was your sort of evolution like with uh withconsoles? My Evolution was I got the 8-Bit NES uh for Christmas or Hanukkah inthe late eighties. I
remembered. I remember being so excitedbut also not was I was just excited because I knew this is the thing I everwanted wanted. I'm just you know, if video game when you are unaware of it iskind of a novel concept. It's like oh cartoons, but you can play them kind ofum and then you know, my brother and I we my brother my younger brother waslike the one thing we could do together because I was a terrible older brother,but we played in tendo and so naturally we wanted a Super Nintendo. And so weput together like the childhood equivalent of a PowerPoint presentation for ourparents to explain like here's why we need to get the superintendent uh willcombine our birthday and Hanukkah, uh uh you know, all these gifts in order toget this and my parents said no and I really just think they remember thatthat's part of why ended up writing the book just because the reason ourparents said no, they're uh great parents. They almost always tried to figureout a way to help us get wait while it was doing chores or you know, waiting acertain amount of time but they said no on principle because they felt thatNintendo
had, you know, got enough gotten familiesto buy these expensive libraries of games that no longer works because thesystems weren't backwardly compatible and so because of that business decisionI ended up uh Being a Nintendo family anymore, um which years later would sortof spark my interest in the business side of this battle and and then we endedup getting a Sega I guess that was like an exception to the my parents Rule umand so I was a Sega kid and it was probably suited me well uh because I'vealways really liked sports games the most and say get did a better words gamesand Super Nintendo uh story about putting together a child like childhoodequivalent of a pitch deck essentially. I imagine that sort of skill set mayhave um served you. Well when you were looking to get a book deal for for yourbooks. Yeah, you know figuring out uh different ways to appeal to someone'sinterest and coming up with uh incentives. And yeah, um but it was a long roadto that Not only was it, you know, 20 years or so, but um at
the time that I got the book deal I had aday job trading commodities for Brazilian clients. So I had uh a job that I hadfor seven and a half years that was uh not at all related to writing out what Iwanted to be doing. uh It's a Is sort of Saved My Life or made my dream cometrue. I guess it's better way to put it interesting. I mean uh uh uh Lessonsfrom this conversation already parenting lessons, but also on um finding workthat really resonates with you. I mean you are uh working in the like you saidin the trading space for a number of years. What was it that forced you to kindof take that step? Was it like this feeling deep down where you just felt thatyou just didn't want to continue doing what you were doing and that you wantedto um writing was what you wanted to do. I mean, what did how did I think so umby the time I was in college, um I went to a college here in Washington
DC um in United States and I knewfreshman so I knew I probably freshman year by you know age 18 or 19 that Iwanted to be a writer, but I had no idea one if I had the talent and Icertainly didn't back then and then to how to make money doing it and even tothis day it's still a difficult. I mean, it's very difficult to make a livingwriting but it's also almost difficult. It's very difficult to give advicebecause it's a lot of non-traditional ways. There's no typical path. Me neitherused to be more stable money with journalism. But anyway, you know, I wanted tobe a writer. I didn't know how to make money. I wrote a couple of novels incollege that were I'm sure terrible but uh uh uh coming out of college. I uhwanted to uh you know be able to survive and support myself. I had applied tosome graduate schools to do writing or screenwriting. uh It didn't get intomost but even the ones I got into I figured it was better not to take out loansto do something that I was self motivated to do anyway, because I
guess that was the one thing that Iidentified early on was that regardless of whether I had Talent or not. I wasself-motivated. I was able to sit down and write for 8 to 10 uh hours a dayseveral days. I was able to make progress I at my own work. So that was youknow, a really helpful skills that and then so the whole time I had this dayjob trading Commodities the goal was to and and write full-time. um And formost of that time I was doing screenwriting as I figured that was a better wayto um you know, monetize uh the craft. um So I did that for several years. I'venever sold a single script um but I did at least have good enough writingsamples and I was able to get good representation, which would come in handywhen console wars happened and it was actually uh a very big surprise, uh youknow, in terms of learning lessons the big lesson that I learned with consoleWars, especially early on was the importance of following my passion whichsounds cheesy and may be obvious.
But for me, it was a big deal because Ilove writing I love the screen writing I was doing but was not, you know, uhthey weren't like uh personally I guess screenwriting is a director's medium uhfilmmaking is director's medium. So screenwriting is not uh my favorite type ofwriting to do and a lot of times you're trying to write scripts that you thinkwill sell. um So I just don't you know, I'm proud of the script that I wrotebut it wasn't like a burning passion to tell Certain story and after somereally bad screenwriting experiences and thinking that I was never going tomake money doing it I decided all right. I'm just going to work on somethingthat I have a burning passion for which was learning about Sega and Nintendo. Ifigured that was a project that I would never make money on and that's the onethat I ended up making a career on. So um I like I like that story because uhyou know to me it tells me passion is important to follow and also because inthe year since I've interviewed
probably over a thousand people and I dothink that's a Common Thread amongst the successful people I speak with, youknow, a lot of times it's filmmakers and it's not the movies that they weretrying to you know, the movies. They thought would sell it the one wherethey're like, alright, I kind of give up and I just want to do this thing. Ilove and people somehow, you know, because of the care you put into it and thenthat affection for the content that seems to resonate having interviewed a lotof people in these podcasts as well. I couldn't agree more I mean doingsomething that aligns with your uh with your passions, but also something thatyou're gifted at mean you're actually good at it. You don't just You know justenjoy it like I love surfing but I suck at surfing like I'll wipe out all thetime. So I'm probably not going to be uh uh signing up with a world uh surfingtour anytime soon. But uh it's something that um Jim Collins the author of goodto great and built to last talks about where he says that uh great companiesare like hedgehogs where they do. One thing really? Well like the
curl up into a ball in this bikes comeout kind of like Sonic um and then the Predators can't do anything like theyjust going to get pricked if they try and eat them. Right and we're uh and youcan apply that to yourself as well do something that you're passionate aboutthat. You're great at and also it's got to make some money because we live in aworld where we need to buy things in order to survive. So if it does thosethree things well, then you're on your way. Yeah, and so uh console Wars waslife-changing for me. uh I quit my day job on the my final day was 30th uhbirthday. And so for the past six and a half years. I have been uh wearingshorts right now not pants not as anything fancy, and uh and I really do wakeup like uh I get to write every day and and I'm very grateful for that. uh uhuh Evolution and oftentimes you need to go on that journey and do stuff thatperhaps doesn't align and stuff that essentially is there to fund
your craft to get to that outcome becauseit's hard to get to that place without having some money in your pocketsactually create the times that you can invest in the screenwriting and theninvesting writing your own book. Otherwise, it's a bit hard if you've got nomoney coming in and you notice it down for several months and write a book. Sothink I'm a great lesson there and I don't really good point because Iremember, I you know, had people in my life that were also struggling writersor people who are trying to make it and some of them didn't have day jobs oryou know, they really sort of like weren't worried about money and I times Iwas jealous that they were so committed to the craft um but I also felt likemaybe that work for a burst time but then for me not having you know having theuh uh nasally a uh short way saying is that when you're worrying about rentwhen you're worrying about feeding yourself, it's hard to I'm trying to creategreat art, um you know, you don't have to be a millionaire uh to focus on greatart. But having those
things taken care of did give me a pieceof mind that for uh me was very very helpful. And I know that that might alsojust be like some um perception that happens to work. Well with how thingsworked out for me, um but that's how it was and also, you know, I watched myparents earlier, they're super supportive, but they're they're doting Jewishparents who wanted me to be a doctor or a lawyer who wanted me to have a goodjob and you know writing it was very suspect um so it took some time toconvince them that this was the right path but things fortunately worked out.uh um It's a it's so true with respect to uh funding your craft. I mean it'sinteresting because some people might say well if you haven't got a plan B,then you just go all in but I've worked with so many startups uh um and entrepreneurswho when their say looking down the barrel of maybe two months Runway and ifthey don't make any money in the next two months are out of business what youoften
see is that they just look for anypossible way to make money. And so they basically compromise on their core uhpurpose the the compromise on what the company is about in order to survive. Soyou're absolutely right. Like when you do create that space you can just becreative and not compromise or sacrifice your overarching purpose or week whatthe kind of work you want to do and that's when you might find yourself uh uhwriting screenplays and whatnot for your entire life rather than writing booksabout console Wars and B are like you're doing now. Yeah, very good point. umSo obviously we're going to talk about console Wars today and you know, westarted chatting about upbringing and the evolution of consoles and whatnot inour in our respective childhood households, but you know growing up inAustralia. You were either Mario or Zelda or you were uh Wonder Boy or Alex thekids. So for me, it seems like uh we're especially in the late 80s It 90s.seemed like you were either Nintendo entertainment system or sigue System atleast in Australia. It felt like 50-50 was split. But from what
I understand that wasn't the case in theu.s. Yet. It's so fascinating. I mean, uh you're right obviously because youlived through it, but but it is a very interesting because because such acentral part of the console, where is narrative in the book is that Sega wasnothing but outside of the United States in and outside of Japan or Asia, therewere so many countries where it was. Like I say you ever since handle battle onthe 8-Bit generation. Because Nintendo um ignored and had different policiesfor other countries and you know in Brazil because I happen to be tradingBrazilian Commodities. I have you know, I know and they did they had a lot ofgreat market and black market consoles and they tend to was very strict. So alot of mattress systems were there so it's very interesting, you know to thinkabout in this pre globalized time, you know how the distribution of theseconsoles went. But yeah in America, um I knew one person who had a Sega MasterSystem and it was cool because it was different but it wasn't cool enough thatI ever thought. um
I would really like to get this ring andsave um my money for this um uh Nintendo was dominant to the point that uh oneof my favorite ads that I ever found in uh research was um an ad that Nintendohad taken out that said there's no such thing as a Nintendo and the reason theyput that out was for trademark purposes because Nintendo was becoming soubiquitous, you know, as a term to describe video games like Kleenex fortissues or jacuzzi for hot tubs that they were actually To differentiate of atrade my purposes but that's how it was. I mean my mom still calls everythingin tendo, but um but Nintendo was super super dominant here and in there, uhyou know the home country of the the uh company in Japan. um I mean, you mentionedthat intend to maintain that strict control over uh who could create games forits consoles. Can you tell us a bit more about that? Yeah, so um The book islargely uh written from the perspective of Sega. And in that respect. It is uma David and
Goliath story where you have this companywith less than 5% the market going up against the Goliath of Nintendo. That islike we said this Juggernog 90 95 % they have of the market and then in shorttime between 1990 and 1993 94 uh say actually surpasses Nintendo um and youknow, but going back to Nintendo's dominance and um how they were able uh tokeep that dominance. A lot of it was based on control. They um you know,third-party developers outside companies are making games for the NES. Theywere making millions and millions of dollars. So naturally they wanted to makeas many games as possible or are you know, young or smaller developers wantedto make games for the NES, but they were very controlling about what could beon their system um in a lot of ways. I think a modern comparison would be likeapple, you know, just having a very high quality standards that do sort ofFort, you know, it's a gatekeeping role that keeps out. uh You know lesswell-funded companies, but the same time Nintendo is doing so because theybelieve that that was best
for their customer base. And you know, Ithink there's like a cynical way of looking at it where they're just sayingthat because you know who doesn't want control as a company but as I researchdeeper into the book and I spoke more with the people and attend. Oh, theyreally did feel like for them. It was less about Nintendo vs. A gate wasNintendo vs. The ghost of Atari and there had been this video game crash herein 1983 and the early 80s where video uh games were over people thought was afad. I was watching a clip the other day where um an analyst compared to hulahoop or he said, you know, people will maybe still continue to buy it but likeno one's going to invest money in this the fads over and so and so didn't wantthat to happen again. And so um there was almost a nobility or you know, uhNoble way of looking at it where they were uh choosing to have, you know tomake less money in the short term by letting all these, you know, third partiesmake games their system. um And and you know trying to
have this quality control and thenanother good example that goes back to your sneaky way of playing video gameswas some people who are as clever as you uh a similar path might be to go to auh movie of um game rental place, which was usually rental places and you knowfor five dollars you could play a game for the weekend and see if want buy itor you can keep playing it um Nintendo sued Blockbuster Video. uh They sued umlike, you know, they didn't want there to be rentals. They sued galoob themakers of Game Genie which gives you like super power. That's how I uh uhremember having like 100 lives in Super Mario. Yes can hear um uh every singlelevel. It was awesome. Yeah, so I mean and then you see like, like I said thiscomparison to Apple or to Disney or still to Nintendo today where there'snothing I would think it's hard to argue. There's anything inherently wrongwith giving people the ability to have a hundred lives or to do these hacks,but Nintendo didn't want that to happen. They wanted to control what could it
could not be done and make sure that Nowthey their focus tested or work for their business model. And so it was areally difficult environment for any other company like, you know, that's a bigpart of why the Master System was not successful here. It wasn't thatnecessarily Nintendo had better games so they did have the best ones like Marioand Zelda and and but like but these other companies that do have a chance ofcompeting because Nintendo um with leverage their their dominance, you know, uhthere's a good example the book on my favorite stories is just the Walmartexample, where by the time to take has the 16-bit system, which at least for aperiod of time is technologically better than 1 to 10 those offering um theycan't even get it sold into the biggest retailer in the United States becauseWalmart does not want to risk upsetting Nintendo and you know Nintendo was umvery, you know, uh they face legal consequences here in the United States for ummonopolistic predatory practices and you know as Howard Lincoln the uh uhExecutive Vice President later the chairman intend to America where I
uh noted to me when I talk to him the theresult of that um antitrust litigation the punishment that Nintendo faced wasbasically to give out millions of dollars of coupons to people who had bought aNintendo products so they can then buy more Nintendo products. So Nintendo hada pretty good thing going here for a while and they certainly did not thinkthat a company like say I would be able to pierce the market. uh It'sinteresting um what you said there about Walmart because that relationship withyour brick-and-mortar retail stores could really have made or broken um amanufacturer back in the day um on both sides of uh the of the coin because ifI look at Dell computer when they came along with their mail order service andyou had those existing players on the market like Compaq who are heavilyreliant on retailers and you know, if they try to compete with Dell hit on andsell their stuff online then they retailers would have said hey, why are youselling this stuff online for like half of what? Selling it for uh all thestock. But at that point in
time, most of compacts Revenue wasthrough the brick-and-mortar retail store. So they were kind of handcuffed tothat and we will know what happened to Compaq. I mean, they went the way ofBlockbuster essentially um but I write this case Nintendo is essentially hasthe advantage because at least a short-term Advantage because of theirrelationship with Walmart um and other thing um that I found find quiteinteresting about that business model than in tendo had around the control wasthat every third party developer um had to buy cartridges for something like 10u.s. Dollars each so that they would make a profit and all sorts of games nomatter how good or how bad they work. Right that was another big part of it.And again, you can understand, you know, you there's uh uh uh sympatheticversion of you know, when it was their cartridges they knew that they can itwould be a hundred percent quality control or at least the highest standards,you know, uh uh I've working and then sort of like uh uh Does like all thesystems of hardware and software
for Apple where you know, you have theiPhone and uh iTunes or I guess uh I choosing where you know, it all workedbetter when it's working together. But some people can't afford that or somepeople want to go different way or but you know Nintendo had the leverage to uhprevent that from happening to um require that you purchase the cartridges fromthem and that was also a big upfront expenditure, um you know, because a lot ofthe companies they would have the R&D um for the game in the developmentand then they would now need to pay even more for the physical cost tomanufacture these games and they wouldn't start recouping the money until afterall of that. So it was difficult and I think to some degree Nintendo that wasintentional Nintendo's part. They didn't want companies that can go bankrupteasily to be making games because they wanted to be you know, sturdy companiesand and really make this industry very strong and you know, uh one of thethings that click for me when talking to Tom kalinske who was the president ofsake of America from 1996 and is the base
with the protagonist. Was to him um itwas about Choice it was about, um you know under a Nintendo system developerswho are making these games and retailers like Walmart who sign these um gamesuh they basically had to do one, you know, there's only certain type of gamethat could be made there was only certain company that you could uh have instore and uh he just thought that was morally and fundamentally wrong thatAmerica is all about you know choice and and you know, that's what capitalismis all about. So he was going to try to offer choice um and that is uh youknow, and bring it to like a modern-day parallel. There's a good and bad thatcomes from that. You know, I have never had a knock on wood um virus problemswith my Apple Computers because it's all fully integrated um and I've also Iwill say this I've had you know during the writing this book. I was not a my Iwas not a fan favorite and tendo for a while because this Chronicle some oftheir more difficult years, so I have a complex relationship with Nintendo, butI will say that after
you know, I'm 30 Years old and I've neverin my entire life bought a Nintendo product that wasn't worth the money. So theupside to that quality control that they still really implemented this day isthat when you buy a Nintendo product it will generally be worth the money. It'susually a good full of Polish Polish Game and that's definitely not true ofSega or any other console I've gotten but at uh the same time I respect gettingthe option to developers to really explore and you know Flex their creativechops, even if it doesn't work out. It's an interesting. um Between open sourceand closed uh there's pros and cons on both sides of the fence. And we see thateven a across the technology Spectrum with um Linux and WordPress and magentaand Ubuntu uh and Mozilla and all these different types of platforms that haveessentially come about through open source collaboration and uh have uh manyways. I mean you can compare that to say Internet Explorer for example in thebrowser space, which is obviously not very good. um Right? So uh I guess itcomes down to the initial to the company and how many
resources they have and does closed workfor them and will always work for them. There's offer them an advantage inpractically industry and so on so it's a uh fascinating sort of that sort oftussle. All right, I totally agree and that was something that really helped meunderstand uh the story better because at first I thought in tendo uh was justbeing a bunch of jerks and I started to understand least they have a businesssense. Even if it was one that benefits them the most but I think that a bigpart of it and the reason why Sega was able to take advantage of Nintendo, isthat a lot of times whether you have an open system um uh System and everythingis always kind of somewhere in the middle. um You know, no pure open up yourclothes. It's the bedside manner because um like, you know reading interviewswith Nintendo Personnel from that time. It wasn't um they weren't very friendlyabout the fact that they were a closed system the it was more like a our way orthe highway situation and that rubs people the wrong way and makes them
excited to see you toppled. Like Iremember just a small example was um met with a guy here in New York who uhused to be an executive The Wiz which uh was a big electronics store here inthe 80s 90s. There's a there's a Seinfeld episode with the Wiz guy um and hewas just saying how much he wanted to see Nintendo fail. And so one small thinghe would do is he would give the best uh store space to Sega and he would givethem the end caps and he would make sure that all the games look good andthat's a small thing maybe didn't really like that many sales. But there's justmomentum that uh builds when someone people want to uh see you topple and so ityou know at the end the day bedside manners uh Generally cost you nothing to beuh accommodating and kind and um yeah, it's just interesting to yeah, it's inAustralia. We have something called tall poppy syndrome where if you stand outyou basically get sniped it's and uh same here. We talking about sigue uh uhbeing the smaller company Nintendo being this huge Behemoth certain peoplegravitate towards rooting for the underdog.
And so if you're in that position whereyou can kind of try and influence the outcome somewhat maybe you own uh aretail uh store, then you're probably going to do that. And and also I meanwhen you are that tall poppy, it's hard to uh stay tall. I mean, you might justbend over you might start making mistakes because you're trying to maintainthat growth that's going to uh maintain that market share. So what kind of ummistakes did Nintendo make um in the early early 90s? No, that's a really greatquestion uh uh and it's a great point, um you know, uh and I think that we allum know life so much of life is about expectations and your expectation changeyou're successful. So uh Yeah, you might think oh having 70% uh marketsawesome. But when you had 90% of the market 70 percents terrible, it means thatyou have a lot of down years. um I think that um uh a couple of things uh so,you know, one of them is that Nintendo did resurrect the video
game industry the United States as itwere after the video game Crash. It was the first console I had and but but andso it was perfect for for young kids. That was there who their Market was withMario games and be family friendly games, but they didn't age up with us. Youknow, they uh they kept making the same games throughout the early days ofSuper Nintendo um and they really do not uh try to appeal to a more. I'm moremature audience and I don't mean that as like a coded way to say pornography.But just like, you know, they didn't put much emphasis on sports games which issomething I grew more interested in as I got older um another thing to um justin terms of a uh from like an entrepreneurial or a business standpoint was justthe way that they perceive in the competition um Nintendo definitely justignore it Sega. They didn't consider it a threat, um you know contrast that tonowadays where you know for my more recent book about uh Oculus. It's largelytowards the end
book about Facebook because Facebookacquired Oculus uh for a few billion dollars and you see that Facebook and a uhlot of these tech companies they are super proactive in identifying potentialcompetitors at very early stage and they'll either clone their features or tryto buy them or try to beat them early on and you know, Nintendo just never youknow it. uh It's almost like to meet to acknowledge that they had a competitorwas to breathe that competitor into existence. Meanwhile say oh was takingtheir market share. um It was another way to put it to um is just that Sega umNintendo wanted to deliver what they wanted to deliver. What they believed wasthe best kind of consumer experience, but they weren't talking to Consumers umso they weren't growing with them. They weren't really adapting and and youknow, that makes might sound like oh that was the wrong thing for them to do.But but also to some degree they are you know, that putting out these creativeproducts are artists and you don't want artists to necessarily then theirVisions to hit a market Target.
Like uh there's something almostbeautiful about Nintendo wanting to make these games that Miyamoto um uh wantsto make wanting to make games like Zelda, um you know, and I guess, you knoweven to this day with um the top games for the switch are uh properties thatcame out in the 90s, uh but I think it's also um you know, like what My umearlier about um entrepreneurs and when they only have a couple months ofRunway, they might get desperate or um you know, change your mission to try tohave a short-term goal and I think the Nintendo just really lost sight of whattheir identity was for a while. I think that the best thing to happen to themas a result of the console Wars with Sega was that they found their footing andfigure out who they were and um you know, you could say wow, they went from 90 percentof the market to now they're not even in the top two with Sony and Microsoft,but they did sort of figure out what they wanted to be. They didn't want to bea you know, the big console maker
that has the latest Call of Duty andgames like that. They wanted to be a company stay true to their Mario Rootstheir disney-esque roots and and to be and I think that you know, I admire themactually for doing that for not trying to be everything to everyone where aSega did try to be everything to everyone and after a while that sort of ranthin and uh I think you know in general It's tough because of exactly what yousaid, like uh people consumers are generally sympathetic to the underdog um andso one of the problems that Sega faced was after they surpassed Nintendo andwere no longer this crappy cool company, um you know, they lost their identitya bit because they were so defined by being the little brother uh uh toNintendo and and it's just hard to um deal with that and you know, it's notsuper shocking at Sony was able to come in and take control and uh there'sthere's kind of uh an iron eat all of it. Like, you know Sony was the underdogand the console space but they were
uh huge gigantic company. They had moreresources and Sega um and you see that nowadays like again with my more recentbook about Oculus, you know Oculus was acquired by Facebook and uh that changedthe way people looked at them. They were no longer the scrappy Kickstartercompany. They were Facebook uh uh the evil big company and the PD against umValves and in the video game space for you know, the V art for VR store frontsvalve was dominant, but and an uh Oculus had starting but because there are uhFacebook back they were perceived as the Goliath and just interesting how thatperception plays a role and I guess there's not always so much you can do aboutchanging that perception, but at least being conscious of it will help you uhmessage better and and find your footing that's a great great point. And it'sfunny. You should say Sunni because like you said they were an underdog andthey went on to dominate The Home Video uh Game Market, but then if you look atsay portable music, you know, once upon a time they own the world's biggestrecord label.
They were all about the Discman and uhthe Walkman so they dominate that market hey take one and to put them togetherand you've got yourself the you know Apple iPod, but Apple came into thatmarket the underdog in music and completely dominated. So, you know, theymanaged to climb the ladder. It's Tony as far as video uh games are concerned,but kind of fell down to the bottom of the ladder as far as portable music wasconcerned. Yeah, it's funny too because um I still think there's this uhunfortunate stigma that the gaming industry faces, you know, it's certainly notuh perceive The Same revelatory Spirit as music or as as movies, but you know,so Sony, uh you know as a global entity was kind of uh skeptical about gettinginto gaming and it was sort of the ugly stepchild um and nowadays. It is moredominant as a bigger part of their business than the music industry and as andI believed in the film um industry uh uh We kind of jumped over house eagerwent on to dominate The Market in the
in the mid 90s and I mean essentiallylike you said the console didn't Nintendo console didn't really grow up withus. Like I'm 36 as well. So I kind of uh understand the the timeline andNintendo stay true to it sort of wholesome family values in the uh version ofMortal Kombat. They released didn't even have red blood from what I understandit. Is that uh great bad, right? um Whereas sigue appealed to kind of like thePepsi generation, right? The the tasteful the new generation and exactly uhSonic was this cool character. Like uh I remember going over to my cousin'splace uh back in the mid 90s, even though I identified as being a Nintendo umfaithful and in Mario's faithful, I was secretly always jealous of you know,Sonic Tails and the rest of the crew because they were just so much cooler thanthis little, you know, stockier plumber with a mustache and I was kind of theopposite of that you're right like, you know, uh Advertising in the marketingis largely by Sega was successful um it appealed to
the emotional aspects more so than theproduct development aspects and I remember as I owner of the Genesis and beinga Sega kid. I remember feeling like almost fraudulent because I was not a coolguy. I want uh I kind of wanted to play Mario like my speed in life is slowexploratory. uh I'm not a super fast person like like Sonic and I rememberfeeling like yeah, like I feel uh part of me felt proud like yeah Masonic, uhuh uh I'm a Tails guy, but then probably felt like I'm not really that like andI kind of just uh show that the marketing did work the marketing made me feel acertain way about myself and about what I was playing that went beyond theactual content and they actual person that I was and I look in the mirror, youknow. No, that's an interesting point. How one can identify with games based onthe characters that are in them and therefore make choices as to who they wantuh to pledge their allegiance to as a consequence. It's really interesting. Inever looked at it that way but on sigue
uh at the time having a much smaller uhmarketing budget a Nintendo, but I guess it was the way they positionthemselves in the market as the underdog as you know, the choice for the newgeneration uh or the Next Generation um to quite Pepsi. um They were able toget a lot more sales particularly when it came to um franchises like MortalKombat then Nintendo because of that positioning of the way they brandedthemselves. Yeah, um you know a good example of how they were. do more withless financially is is just you know, the sort of spokesman they'd have like,you know, the type, you know, Sega uh couldn't afford the A-list actors likeTom Hanks or Dustin Hoffman, but they could afford um much cheaper Teen Idolslike Dustin Diamond or uh Joey Lawrence and these sorts of people that um youknow, you could say uh or available like Bargain Bin prices, but if they weretrying to appeal to teenagers and also be aspirational to younger kids, that'sa better value than to actually spend all the money
for a for a Tom Hanks or uh Kevin Costnerthat time and so saying it was smart to identify that and to also try to makeit something desirable to us kids. And then then then it really was aboutchoice, you know, like it was about, um you know, Sega played into when you'rewhen you're growing up and you're going from a kid to a teenager to adult thereis a lot of rebellious spirit and a lot of rebellion just for the sake of itjust for the sake of trying to find yourself where you might South playingsomething as fun as Mario you might stop, you know wanting to have dinner withyour parents even though it's very actually a very fun thing and you'll come tomiss it later in life and want uh to replicate it again, but you want to rebeland say good sort of knew how to push those buttons buy it for example andMortal Kombat allowing you to all the violence that was in the arcade game.Whereas Nintendo didn't and what I always found fascinating was that you know,like you said Nintendo chose that instead of allowing for the uh fatalitiesthat were in the
arcade game and the red blood and all thegore they censored it and they had uh a grayish-green of greenish sweat lookingblood and you know, they were taking a stand for families like they they gotthey ended up losing to say gone that they were outsold 5 uh to one that helpeduh pass the tendo uh and so you'd think well at least you know parents would behappy that they did the right thing quote unquote, but actually a lot ofparents wrote to Nintendo angrily that they were censoring games and they werechanging the artistic content. So you have issues. uh uh Freedom of expressionum and so Nintendo just kept stabbing themselves in the toe and they don't likeanother example that comes to mind is uh there was a whole thing with um you.No blast processing was a big deal that say that was allegedly what made sega'suh games go faster my side. I can go so fast. uh It's debatable. What whatblast processing really is whether it was a marketing gimmick, but Nintendo'sresponse to that was to sort of like
hire a team of uh think I can Engineersor to do a scientific study to show the difference between blast processing andthe tendo system, um which is not a very persuasive way to get a kid to seethat they don't want blast processing like they just did even if they wereright. They didn't know how to convey that uh uh they were right or conveytheir position uh because they were I think they're very much out of touch withtheir audience. uh uh um It's funny because despite conquering Nintendo AgainstAll Odds despite having a smaller budget they to then found themselves in theposition than tendo. A uh few years prior at the top of the market and needingto uh essentially grow to maintain that dominant market share and at this pointSeeger started making mistakes too. And and interestingly these mistakes camefrom uh the top they came from Japan um which kind of Echoes what a lot ofcompanies have experienced where they have meddling parent companies, um youknow, I was listening to uh an episode of business laws recently and theychronicled the fight between Gibson guitars and
Fender guitars. And when those companieswere uh purchased by larger conglomerates suddenly the quality of components inthose guitars uh went South and then your um uh purists stopped buying the umSo what happened in this case insofar as that meddling from the top um isconcerned and sega's fate. Yeah, that's a really good point. It's uh perhapsnot surprising but almost but it is somewhat staggering how much you successfulcompanies. um Intentionally change the formula that got them to that success.And of course when you scale up, you do have to you're approaching a differentaudience. You have more resources. It uh makes sense why you have thatTemptation and it makes sense. You know, why uh if you're successful andexecuting that it would be a big windfall but but you know in terms of uh Segaof America, you know, one of the early parts of the books um that sort ofallows Sega of America to be successful on to become the most the dominant uhuh subsidiary or the dominant uh region of sega's uh success was that Tomkalinske proposed um a
four-point plan to do things little bitdifferently. They had advertising isn't Endo uh to bundle in their best gamewhich would be Sonic Hedgehog to make hollywood-based, you know games based onIPS sports and they and and faith is like a famous meeting where the head ofstate of Japan higher Nakayama um expressed that everyone in the room thoughtthis was a terrible idea, but he was going let Tom have the autonomy to makethat decision to succeed or fail and it was very successful and And you know ina uh Shakespearean poetic way several years later Tom wanted to make the uhNext Generation system for Sega uh initially a partnership with um either Segagraphic. uh Sorry with silicon Graphics which made the chips at the became theNintendo 64 uh or with Sony which made the console that became the PlayStationand Sega of Japan rejected both of those proposals. um I would say not fullyfor rational purposes or at least because they wanted to do things in-house andand that you know, there's a something poetic about the fact that Sega uhpassed up the opportunity
to have made the console's that ended upleading to its demise but like, you know, the larger Point you're making aboutum just parent companies and subsidiaries and have the dynamic changes withsuccess was that, you know, I wrote a 500-page uh book about the battle betweenSega Nintendo and at the end of the day the most interesting battle andcertainly the uh one that led to the unraveling of Sega was a battle betweenSega of America and Sega of Japan and like all good, you know. uh Dynamicshifts and battles is you can understand it from both perspectives that you hadSega of Japan which is the parent company and they were so much more unsuccessfulthan sake of America, you know, like we were uh saying earlier that the MasterSystem was successful in Australia. It wasn't successful here in the US um thatthat was a pretty much what the Genesis or the 16-bit system. The megadrive uhof Japan was like in Japan it was there wasn't a big say government Endo uhrivalry in 16-bit era the Genesis or Mega Drive was very unsuccessful in Japan.And so they were eager to move on to the next generation
and they wanted it to be their ownsystem. And then I think where they really messed up was that after siliconGraphics a Nintendo announced that they were doing 64-bit system a Nintendo 64um Sega um of Japan sort of panicked and decided that instead of just 32-bitthe system. They were going to do with what became Sega Saturn they were goingto use uh two different 32-bit chips, and it was kind of a 64-bit system. Butit also then made things incredibly. The goal for developers develop for soreaching out to developers and getting the content. They want on the Saturn wasdifficult and you know, you can argue about which system was ultimately betterbut the tire doesn't matter if you're not even getting the games on the systembecause developers don't want to work with you uh uh value chain looks like andwhat are the downstream effects of some of those hit off his decisions. Youknow, uh uh we kind of talked about closed versus open um ecosystems earlierand I guess see good becoming a lot more clothes
at least the um directive of its um headoffice in Japan essentially um preceded its downfall and that whole notion ofum not invented here uh which shows up in so many companies today where there'sperfectly uh good off-the-shelf Solutions or customizable off-the-shelfsolutions that may solve a problem for them, but they're like, well, let's justbuild it ourselves and they may end up doing that and it spent a lot time andmoney doing so and then the end product is nowhere near what they could havegot six months ago after shop uh for a fraction of the price. Yeah, and Iunderstand to like one of the I think is pretty obvious that the SonyPlayStation which would be the most successful console of all time at thatpoint, you know was the dominant system of that next Generation battle and youcan make the case that say again that working with Sony would ultimately giveyou know so much control the Sony and they would end up getting screwed by Sonylater on but that's you know, that's you want to live to fight that other day.You know, I don't
think the solution is to have ashort-term perspective and end up losing. So uh I see that all the time alsowhen I'm interviewing tech people the the not invented uh here syndrome uh andthen sometimes I actually see the opposite where they have such reverence forwhat other companies are doing that what they're inventing and house doesn'tmatter. But but and it's hard, you know, some of the stuff is subjective towhat is a better system. It depends but it's like you said it's going throughthe value chain and seeing all right. Well better system. We can Define it notjust by what consumers are going to enjoy but how do we get people to developfor it? How do we get stores to stock it like uh These things matter becausethey're all part of the process uh and I think you make a great point there aswell because you can argue for but open-close uh architectures and so on andevery sort of outcome, you can essentially fall victim to the narrative Elyseeum and Tracer Linea uh step of events that occurred and then Trace that back andsay well they should have done this
instead, but we don't know what thecounterfactual may have been like if they did work with Sony maybe there wouldhave been other sort of internal issues that they would have encountered like,who knows, right? No, that's a good point. uh And that's something that youknow, people have asked me why did say a fail or why did say you leave thehardware industry and I'm you know, I don't feel comfortable speaking with anyexpert here expertise about the next about the uh Dreamcast era or anythinglike that. But I do think that um you get sense of what the power Dynamic waslike between Sega of America and Sega of Japan and there was somethinginevitable uh about that, you know, maybe it wouldn't have manifested in them gettingthem out of the hardware business. Maybe it would have done something else, butthere was at least something irreconcilable or some sort of um you knowdifference that had to do with more than just the cultural nuances, but had todo with the fact that they had uh different marketplaces and we're you know uhreceiving certain, you know, Alec the allocation of credit really did uh createa
uh fragile um relationship between thetwo entities and I know uh book is now several years after its release beingturned into a documentary by CBS all access and um it's being produced by Dougblush who worked on Icarus and the hunting ground. That's some exciting news.Oh, yeah, I mean the whole thing is super exciting it Doug blush who's workedon all these Academy award-winning documentaries that I love. So I love nerdingout and picking his brain about all that stuff. And then we're also workingwith Seth uh Rogen and Evan Goldberg um who uh could make some of my favoritemovies Rudin. comedies and Scott uh uh So yeah, so uh mean it's been a dreamcome true. It's taking a little bit longer to get where we wanted to go withthis originally was going to be so there's a documentary that we're doing withCBS all access and then we're also working with CBS all access on a televisionseries like a dramatization of uh the book, you uh know more like The SocialNetwork or Halt and Catch Fire
sort of thing. um And so we're workingwith them about those projects and originally it was supposed to be a moviewith Sony but I think that um as a guy who ran a 500-page uh uh book, I likelonger storytelling and so the Golden Age of Television worked to our favor andnow we're doing this TV show. um So yeah, it's been uh it's been amazing to doboth that it's also been really nice for me. uh For a couple of reasons onethat um when I wrote the book I very specifically um or intentionally wrote itwith like my grandmother and mind I say that about all the writing idea. I wantto make sure that what I'm writing even though it's uh usually Tech or youknow, sort of esoteric stuff a certain audience. I want to make sure that itcan be accessible and enjoyed by any audience including my grandmother andusually that's by making it about Characters and about the larger themes um soI ignored I intentionally ignored a lot of nostalgic aspects. I mean, I think alot of people feel Nostalgia reading Contours because brings things back but Ididn't try to pull on those
strings intentionally, whereas with thedocumentary and you have all this great all these great commercials and allthese great um videos from CES uh trade shows, you know, it's really nice toactually just be able to include it and um and have that be as as powerful asanything. I could ever write or anything. I could ever stripped out with theyou know, not stripped out but it's like basically how we would cut theinterviews together. But then the other nice thing too. Is that um even thoughthere was a uh tribalistic aspect to the Sega Nintendo battle um it always feltvery civil. um Maybe that's anecdotal. But but it certainly did in apre-internet era did not manifest to what tribalism uh has uh become nowadaysand you know, whether it's actual, you know console Wars culture wars orwhatever the case and and after my most recent book which Did um you know touchon a political element unexpectedly who would have thought when I set out towrite a book about gaining a VR that I have anything to do with President Trumpand politics and all that
but there was a lot of polarizingopinions about the main character Palmer lot Luckey and a um of polarizingreceptions to the book that had nothing to do with the book. um So it was justit's just been very nice to spend my time working on some story from an erawhere what felt like, you know feels like a golden age and I know some that isjust a rose colored glasses of me being uh 36 now and being, you know a kid backwith no worries, but there was there were there was a, you know, not everythinguh was a fight back. Then there was no Twitter backlashes and it's just reallynice to um to try to put together a time capsule that really captures thatstory uh uh on the documentary miniseries. I mean we can we expect that to golive. um So I don't have any concrete answers for you at this time. We arehoping to finish up the documentary and we mean it's a whole team, but Iespecially want to give credit to Jonah to us
my co-director uh who's been working onthis with me for several years, um you know, we're hoping to finish up our cutby the end of the year or early January um so I don't it would be ultimatelythe decision of SASS and Scott and CBS all access when they would are it uh andall that stuff. But but we're hoping you know that that that will be able toget it cut out maybe for festivals or maybe on um CBS all access already um inyou know, early-to-mid 2022 uh that one and I mean a couple we got a few minutesleft, so I did want to touch on what you mentioned a few moments ago withPalmer Luckey ever at Oculus. uh Why not while we've got you on the show? umEssentially we like you said we are living in uh a world of Tribal wars Councilculture and so on, you know, the Oculus founder essentially founded thatcompany in his bedroom. I think you posted uh photo of him in his bedroomliterally like in a basement and he's mom's taking the photo and it's
just like it seems like a kid and he's inhis bedroom. Just working away and a few years later. He saw in the company toFacebook for about two billion dollars and shortly thereafter uh um was removedfrom Facebook for what arguably seems like an affiliation for with um PresidentTrump. I mean, how did that come about? Which part? Yeah. So yeah the phototime that was actually with his he was 19 when he founded the company and hitthe first employee of oculus uh was an 18 year old kid named Chris Dicus and soit was at this 18 year old kids houses project for in the basement. The timePalmer was living in a trailer in his parents driveway and it turned into a madscientist laboratory and he built this prototype that led Oculus Rift to theand they saw the Facebook and and you know, uh there there is a you know, youthat uh why he was fired and how he was fired and whether it's fair but it'ssort of uh one could say without dispute that his firing was had nothing to
do with virtual reality. It was uh otherfactors. And yeah, he had he made a $10,000 uh donation to a pro Trumporganization um and that alone in this current political climate might havebeen enough to make a lot of people upset um especially at that time in 2016when you know uh in America here, even though half the country voted for Trumpuh a lot of people especially journalists uh seem to act as if nobody wouldever vote for Donald um Trump, um but then the way the with story was reportedin accurately that he was funding trolls and making misogynistic andanti-semitic memes and all that in accurately, you know that he was branded asa white supremacist and you know, I we talk about this for hours, but but uhI'll just button up by saying that um that was a really eye-opening experiencefor me just because I know I knew Palmer very well from covering the book. Iknew that he was not a white supremacist. I knew what was true and what was notA uh lot of these
things in the see what was uh reportedversus what the reality was um was shocking and then even more shocking wasthat as the person who probably knew the most about the subject matter otherthan the subjects themselves. When I tried to correct the story The the uh lackof Desire from those I contacted the media to correct. It was reallyeye-opening to me um and very surprising but you know, uh I think the climatehere has changed a little bit and at uh least fortunately for Palmer there wasa happy ending he started a new company under all Industries, which is adefense technology company and they were recently valued at uh a billiondollars. So he's now created a second billion uh accompany before the age of30. So he's a he's he's a bright guy. Let's just say and so for Facebook to uhfire him because he you know, allegedly no longer had value I think a guy whocreated two billion dollar companies by the time he's 30 uh has some value toadd to any organization. uh uh There but uh
on the topic of virtual reality, I mean,it sounds like what it uh seems like to me that since 1980s VR has been justaround the corner, you know VR Gaming um done the work on your most recentbook. What you think in terms um do of how far away we are going mainstreamreally is if ever at all yeah. Well, I mean, I as a kid, I remember it feelinglike it was supposed to be right around the corner and it wasn't I mean evenSega and Nintendo both had to uh be our products the Nintendo did release theirvirtual voice get uh didn't I you know, uh I started this book because Ibelieved in VR and uh I still do um but the revolution is going to take umlonger than many expected. I the the interesting thing is that I don't thinkit's going to it's take I don't think that in terms of sales and adoption. It'sactually been that much different than uh myself expected or particularly thosein the industry expected. It was more just that because there
were sort of modest expectations thatwere Stronger than what had been happening with your before it created a lot ofhype for it and excitement and you know uh Venture Capital money came in andthe Press made it seem like this was going to happen. This was going to changethe world tomorrow. I then when it doesn't happen, it feels like oh there's adisappointment when in reality it all is kind of going on a trajectory that youwould expect um but then again, you know that hype certainly benefited uh uh Oculus.Maybe they could've done a better job of resetting uh expectations. It wasdefinitely uh uh a short-term win for them to have those expectations be veryhigh, um but I still believe in it. I think that you know, I think that uh uhbecause there's no, you know killer app yet that I mean, there's like beatSavers a great game. There's the stuff that people are loving uh you startingto see developers, you know sell be able to go from small companies to actuallyreal companies, um you know, I think that it's actually I think
people have stopped paying attention toit since they think that it's somehow didn't work out again this time. What'shappening in this space is really quite amazing. And I think that it's going totake some time. um I think that ironically to maybe take this conversation fullcircle. I think that Nintendo is going to play a big role in it. I think thatbecause when you go in to a VR uh game or experienced so much of it is just thevalue of being in a virtual world, um you know kind the same way that peopleappreciate uh Minecraft where it's not always about the objective. It's justabout existing in that space and what you can do there and so, uh you know, thefirst thing I was thinking um if I can go if I could step into a video game isto step into the Mushroom Kingdom. Like I want to be in this place. It's youknow, it's probably going to be uh well-known IPS uh that uh do the best atfirst because it's about uh you know, it's much more enticing to go into aHogwarts than it is to go into some fictional wizard school that you've neverheard
of before and Nintendo has suchincredible uh IP and so many, um you know, like I still do want to go into theMushroom Kingdom. So I uh am keeping a close eye on Nintendo in the VR. um theystarted to do a little bit more there? And uh uh uh I hope that they willcontinue to do more. uh uh um uh uh uh uh uh That experience and um as I liketo do with every Rider I have on the show. uh think it would be awesome to wrapup on a productivity tip um namely most recently. I had a Ben mezrich uh on whowrote Bitcoin uh billionaires about the Winklevoss uh Twins and one of his tipswas that when he finishes writing for the day he stops Midway through asentence then the next day he finishes that sentence and he's writing again. Sohe gets into flow quite quickly. Have you got any one big tip you can sharewith our audience? Well, that's great because I have to say that I have to bein contention for biggest Ben mezrich fan.
I'm a really big fan of uh his work hiswork big inspiration of mine him giving a good quote to console Wars was likethe most awesome thing that happened with that book. uh I'm kind of theopposite of been in that regard. um My obsessive compulsion is make me have tofinish things and feel like they're in a certain way by the time I'm done forthe day. um I would say that um obviously I write nonfiction and so my best tipor what I've Learned the most is I want a story to be um visible from as manyperspectives as possible. And so uh my tip would be to try to imagine whatthose involved in the writing of the story would say all the differentcharacters those in the scene and those not in the scene um doesn't mean youneed to change it to accommodate concerns or issues of credit, but but it'sjust good to try to have that um vision and and that leads off into acuriosity. So that would be my tip is to just try to imagine the story from thedifferent perspectives of those that you're writing
about. It's uh great tip and this has been agreat Nation blank um people can pick up copies of your book on Amazon bothconsole Wars and your latest book the history of the future. um They can findyou online at Blake J Harris NYC uh on Twitter as well as that your websiteBlake J Harris.com. Is there anything else you'd like to share with ouraudience before we wrap up? I would just like to do one more plug and that'sthe by a bench uh trick book so you can see the future, but you won't be youwon't be disappointed if you buy a book by Ben mezrich fantastic fantastic.Well, thank so much blank. Hope you enjoy the rest of your evening. Thank you,Steve. Have a great one. uh Alrighty, we are done. Thanks, man. That was fun.
Listen to Future Squared on Apple Podcasts goo.gl/sMnEa0
Also available on: Spotify, Google Podcasts, TuneIn, Stitcher and Soundcloud
Future Squared: www.futuresquared.xyz
Steve Glaveski: www.steveglaveski.com
Steve's book: www.employeetoentrepreneur.io
NEW Facebook group: www.facebook.com/groups/futuresquared/
Your host and occasional cybernetic organism, Steve Glaveski, is committed to helping people better navigate the growing uncertainty that technology change brings, in order to survive, thrive, create more value for the world and lead more fulfilling lives.
Steve is the CEO and co-founder of innovation accelerator Collective Campus, founder of children's entrepreneurship program Lemonade Stand, author of Amazon best-seller The Innovation Manager's Handbook and the Wiley book, Employee to Entrepreneur, investor in blockchain based fractional property investment platform Konkrete and is a keynote speaker and startup advisor.
When not fighting T-1000s Steve can be found in the gym, hiking, skating at the beach, attempting standup comedy, at a heavy metal show or socially lubricating at a whisky bar.