Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Shigeru Miyamoto is Nintendo's Wii-nning Secret

To succeed in the videogaming industry, you need only one thing: a desire to create fun. At least, in Shigeru Miyamoto's world, this guiding principle works. Miyamoto has been responsible for Nintendo's universal fame and fortune when he conceptualized the Jump Man in Donkey Kong back in the 1980s. The Jump Man is the character we now love so well -- Mario.

Miyamoto is an admirable character himself for a lot of reasons. He held up production of certain games just because they aren't perfect enough for people to play. He split ways with Nintendo's competitors because he believed playing videogames should bring smiles to people's faces, and that everyone can play them. On the other hand, Microsoft and Sony focused on the more hardcore aspect of videogaming.

If you still have any doubts, here's a fact: the Nintendo Wii outsold the Xbox 360 and PS3 this year and is predicted to keep on selling like hotcakes even way past the holiday season.

Nintendo is an entirely different breed of game manufacturer. Like its celebrated gaming designer, it fires up interest not because of hype, but because it endears itself to people. And what could be more endearing than a Miyamoto quirk? The guy behind Nintendo's success rarely played video games and doesn't drive a BMW. Instead, he rides his bicycle to work.

Nokia: More Than a Phone, But a Futuristic Vision

No one even recalls what GSM phones are anymore. Now everyone's trying to get a hold of 3G phones, which are third-generation wireless services being developed by Nokia as well. But Nokia's success found its roots from the GSM project, which at first seemed impossible for the Finnish telecommunication pioneers to turn into reality. The GSM made a quantum leap in the history of mobile phones. GSM phones, along with other capabilities, allowed users to send SMS, which was a cheaper way to communicate wirelessly. The cheaper the phones got, the more people bought them, and the more units were manufactured.

If the people of Nokia were less visionary (Jorma Ollila was the CEO during that time), they would have given up on the GSM project. But they didn't, despite the disillusionment they have gone through. They were a startup company from nowhere that had to compete with the biggest analog telecom company (Telecom Finland) in the country. Now they are the biggest mobile phone manufacturer and seller in the world. I wouldn't even call it persistence. I would call it faith.

Being visionary also allowed Nokia to see and shape great technology that other telecommunication companies haven't foreseen such as CDMA. This is the basis of today's 3G phones.

Monday, December 17, 2007

Coach Handbags, Babe Ruth, and How Anyone Can Look Rich Without Splurging

The fascinating part about Coach's success story is that Miles and Lillian Cahn, the owners of the family owned leather goods business back in the early 1940s, knew something (or someone) great when they saw it. The business didn't take a real turn until they stitched Bonnie Cashin in their growing business patchwork. Cashin must have smelled the leathery scent of success too. The Cahns were so persistent to have her as their designer that they waited two long years, just time enough for her to finish her ongoing design projects.

That persistence paid off. Now Coach is one of the most successful luxury leather goods store that sold handbags, wallets, briefcases, belts, luggage, and other accessories with the label "affordable" tagged on them. As of today, Coach is eBay's most popular search for Clothing, Shoes, and Accessories category.

Story also has it that the first business owners of Coach luxury leather goods found inspiration from a baseball glove. The makers saw the glove's leather finish has a better earning potential if it can be refined and fabricated as ladies' handbags. Now Coach leather goods have made thousands (millions?) of American fans, probably as many as those who wanted to watch Babe Ruth pitch a ball.

Coach continually makes great waves with online sales. Their secret, (apart from some which I've already divulged here), is that they capitalize on a variety of designs that impress the senses of sight, smell, and touch -- designs that spoke of both luxury, and ironically enough, affordability. Coach also offers a lifetime guarantee and repair of damaged items.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

PING: The "Anser" to Your Putting Problems

The word "putt" originated from Scotland. It means to "nudge". Among golfers, putting is nudging the golf ball on the green to roll it into the hole. And when it comes to putting, perhaps no other brand is more popular than PING.

Karsten Solheim nudged his way towards success in the business of golf by creating putters in his garage as a General Electric engineer back in 1959. His inspiration? Frustration. He played golf and didn't like the putters of his time. This has led him to innovate various putters such as the PING 1A, and eventually the answer to his putting dilemma, the "Anser".

The Anser's success was brought about by the fact that it empowered all types of golfers. Solheim's product of mechanical design genius, like Enrico Fermi's calculations, was sketched on the back of record disc, instead of an envelope. It yielded the same mind-boggling results. Solheim's PING putters became so popular that now they are being used by famous golfers all over the world. Solheim eventually got out of the garage and into a factory of his own, the Karsten Manufacturing Company, in 1967.

PingGolf.com is PING's official ecommerce website. In it, you can find more golf products out of Solheim's ingenious beginnings. In it, you can also customize and buy a putter that fits you, just by ticking your options in the Putters category. Wow.