This evening, I will be a discussant at an event sponsored by the Columbia Center on Japanese Economy and Business. Entitled Video Games and the Shaping of Industrial Transformation, the event will feature a keynote speech by Yoichi Wada, the CEO of Square Enix, a global videogaming company with titles such as "Final Fantasy" to its credit. In his talk, Mr. Wada will trace the evolution of the game business as it moves from hardware and software running on dedicated systems, to consoles running more sophisticated games and software, to today's environments when games are increasingly running in the cloud, people play against other people, and the goal is to create a complete user experience that is unmatched by others. One of the more fascinating aspects of his experience is seeing how the industry has navigated – and in some cases missed – these technological and user experience transitions.
In my discussant role, I'm going to speak about the dynamics of business model innovation as well. I'll be describing the early warnings that a business model may be in trouble – namely, that new innovations stop increasing competitive differentiation; or new technologies make desirable new functionality possible or of course when the issues start turning up in the numbers. I've written about this before in an article (and live interview) over at my Harvard Business blog. Those interested in the topic can hear the actual interview, or of course, read the article.
If any of my readers would like slides or further references, drop me an email.