In the early 1980s Atari owned 80% of the video game market and accounted for 70% of the profits of its parent company Warner Communications. By 1983, they had racked up over half a billion dollars ($536 million) in losses, and by the end of 1984 Warner had sold the company.
To answer the question of what happened, I spoke to John Hagel who served as senior vice president of strategy at Atari and was there right at this pivotal moment when they peaked and quickly went out of business.
In addition to his time at Atari, John has spent over 40 years in Silicon Valley and has experience as a management consultant, entrepreneur, speaker and author.
He has worked at Deloitte, McKinsey & Co. and Boston Consulting Group. And is also the founder of two Silicon Valley startups.
He is the author of 7 books, including The Power of Pull, Net Gain, Net Worth, Out of the Box and The Only Sustainable Edge. He has won two awards from Harvard Business Review for best articles in that publication and has been recognized as an industry thought leader by a variety of publications and professional service firms.
John and I discuss:
- What happened that led to the quick demise of Atari
- John's theory on why success breeds failure
- What he has learned about creating change in an org in his 40 years of practice
- How to create a learning culture in your organization
Thanks for listening and be sure to find me online to tell me what you thought of the episode!