"Apart from YouTube or Facebook, there is no worldwide network that has a larger number of users," with these words Bobby Kotick, CEO of Activision, celebrated the acquisition of Candy Crush, one of the most famous video games in the world sold with an exit of 5.9 billion dollars. It was 2015 and the man behind the operation was the Roman Riccardo Zacconi, who a few days ago announced his farewell to The King, the company he had founded in 2003.
In doing so he also entrusted a post on Facebook a long reflection on his path and on three essential rules for growing in the business, especially in difficult times. «The most stable part of a company, the one that must become stronger over time, is its culture - he wrote -. It takes a lifetime to build (but it can be ruined very quickly if you're not careful) ».
Selected by the British newspaper The Guardian among the hundred most powerful and influential personalities in the tech world, Zacconi has been bluntly defined as the cover man of the gaming industry across Europe. After a life spent in the business world with important milestones behind him - before founding The King, he had sold another company for 764 million dollars - the entrepreneur has now decided to launch the 42 Rome Luiss, the new coding school defined on the official website as “a digital pool where you can learn to swim by writing the codes of the future”. A concrete way to restore the skills accumulated throughout a career.
First rule: choose the team well
But what are the three rules of the man who created Candy Crush? The first concerns the collaborators and the people each Founder must surround himself with. «Hire better people than you - reads the post -: don't be afraid to hire better people than you. You won't lose your job if you do, you will keep it because the company will grow because of it. But you can keep people with you and unleash their potential only if you give them the confidence, responsibility and autonomy to decide and do what is right, to make mistakes, and if you do not oversee their work in an excessive way. "
Second rule: treat others as you want to be treated
In a difficult period for the economy, with the recession and concrete risks for the employment market, another rule of Zacconi touches the relationship with colleagues and professionals. «Treat others as you want to be treated - he wrote in his post on Facebook -: this rule summarizes most of the rules in any manual (me too, racism, bullying, etc.). This does not mean that nobody can be fired: I had to fire people when times were not good, when we had to leave businesses and countries that no longer fit the strategy, nor when people did not give themselves the expected results from their role. . But when I have had these difficult discussions I have always tried to think about how I would have liked to be treated if I were the other person. " This is why Zacconi speaks of transparency. «Treating people as adults, not penalizing but supporting people when they make mistakes because they try to cross borders… all these tips follow from the basic rule of treating others as you wanted to be treated. Everyday".
Third rule: surprise your customers
And finally, in the third rule, Zacconi warns entrepreneurs and professionals: «Never stop the unstoppable search to provide the best product experience to your customers: they are the ones who decide every day whether to use your products and pay for them. If you are successful you will be copied by the competition (and sometimes your competitors are much bigger than you): what is good today may not be good enough tomorrow. In Candy Crush we did this by aiming for surprise our players every day with new levels, new missions, continually reviewing the user experience and each level of the game and testing new innovative features in smaller games that, if successful, we would apply to Candy Crush. Before being successful with Candy Crush - concluded Zacconi - we had to make very difficult decisions and reinvent ourselves, but everything we have done has always had the aim of surprising our players with the most enjoyable experience ».
Alessandro Di Stefano