The entire internet has weighed in with what it believes is the answer to Nintendo’s financial woes: Go mobile, immediately. But the entire internet is wrong.
Nintendo’s announcement that it’s facing a third straight year of losses prompted pundits to say the company must swallow its pride and put Super Mario on smartphones. I’ve argued against this in the past, to little avail. The opinion that Nintendo should “go mobile” has become such conventional wisdom that it has moved beyond gaming columns and investor reports to the straightest of straight news stories.
“Resisting Mobile Hurts Nintendo’s Bottom Line,” read a New York Times headline over the weekend. “Nintendo Refuses To Make The Radical Change That Could Boost Sales,” Reuters declared. This is begging the question, beginning from the presumption that obviously Nintendo should put its games on iOS and going from there.
The conventional wisdom is wrong. It is not an inevitability that Nintendo must put its games on rival hardware or die. It may even be a bad move.
Steve Ballmer is stepping down as the CEO of Microsoft, and Wall Street is rather pleased.
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“I would love to be able to configure the Digg button to just do what I want,” [Andrew] McLaughlin says. “We’ve got to rejuvenate that whole infrastructure. Digg buttons have remained remarkably resilient around the Internet. But to rejuvenate that we have to make the verb meaningful again.”
McLaughlin is talking about the future of Digg Reader, the project he and his small team of fifteen have been working on for the past month. Right now it’s just a mess of code, Keynote slides, and shit on a whiteboard. They need to turn it into a real product, one to take the place of Google Reader, which shuts down on July 1. They have less than 60 days. Simultaneously, the same team of five engineers is working to integrate another product–Instapaper–that they’ve just purchased. None of this is top secret, the opposite in fact. Digg publicly promised the world to have a replacement ready in time. They had to move fast. And when you move fast, things get fucked up.
When Foodler jumped on the Bitcoin bandwagon a few months ago, it seemed like an interesting way to drum up new business. But it turns out that, for some, Bitcoin business can come with an unexpected pricetag: privacy.
Since April, the Boston-based online restaurant ordering service, has accepted payments in the world’s hottest digital currency, and sales have grown nicely. Foodler is now doing about $15,000 in Bitcoin food orders per month. This is convenient for customers, and with Bitcoin, the company doesn’t have to fork over the payment-processing fees that come with credit card sales. But there’s a downside: If Foodler isn’t careful, Bitcoin could give competitors a way to spy on its business.
It has been a remarkable and exciting year for commercial spaceflight companies.
Private asteroid mining! Commercial trips to the moon! Mars settlements! We barely had time to catch our breath from the last secret organization announcement when suddenly some other team was cropping up and declaring a bold new adventure in space.
“You had the unveiling of these really audacious business plans that at first blush you would dismiss as impossible,” said journalist and aerospace analyst Jeff Foust, editor and publisher of the space-industry-watching The Space Review. “But when you look at both the technical and financial pedigree of the people backing these systems, you step back and say, ‘Well, maybe there’s something here.’”
Many of these new companies have experts at their helms, founded or run by former NASA engineers and veterans of the spaceflight community. Others showed off their deep entrepreneurial pockets and touted the potential profits to be made in space.