So Jérôme, can I ask what you look for in potential employees? I know that it is Alex who is managing the company, but I believe it is you who created the culture of the company.
Most of the core team inside the company whom I hired are both friendly and very expert engineers. I’m looking for people who embody both aspects. To put it another way, I’m looking for a person who is so skilled in his or her field that we can discuss ideas easily, and I can really evaluate those skills. On top of that, they must be someone I feel good working with. Most of the time, when someone has both of these traits, it works.
You couldn’t create a company like NERD by assembling people who just have technological skills. You have a group of people who have those skills, but also have something else to offer and that’s what creates NERD’s culture.
One way to put it would be to say that you need to have an “inner fire.” Something which forces you to jump into technology, something burning inside which makes you really want to program, to create. It’s really important for us to have this.
One of the strengths of this company is surely how you have managed to create a team of people who can’t help but feel they need to accomplish things without needing to be specifically asked, and without expecting any great reward.
Yes, I think that’s one of the characteristics of “NERD”s. They are interested in things nobody else is.
That’s just how “NERD”s are. (laughs)
They don’t do it for money. They don’t do it for fame. They do it because it’s so much fun to tackle the problem. I remember that when I first started working for Jérôme, at the end of the month I got a payment to my bank account and I said, “Hey, why did I get this?” (laughs) I was just having fun so it was strange to be getting paid for it. It’s people who are motivated by that kind of pleasure who come into the company. It’s funny, when I started in the video game industry all of my friends from university were working in very serious, big companies. They were better paid than I was and wondering why I chose to go to a small company doing this kind of thing, but I just said “I’m having fun, I don’t calculate this.”
I also received similar questions when I entered a company with just five people after leaving university. (laughs) But I’m sure I had far more interesting and exciting experiences in terms of actually making things than the people asking such questions.
Exactly. You shouldn’t get bored during your day at work. If your work isn’t your passion then it isn’t working out.
Another strong point of the employees here at NERD seems to be that they can create new work by themselves. Some of the things you have offered to Nintendo have been things that we haven’t even asked for. You have just gone ahead by yourselves and built things that you thought might be useful for us.
We couldn’t find any fun jobs in the industry at the time, so we created our own company and our own jobs. When you first presented the Nintendo 3DS21 hardware to us we were very excited. There was the 3D camera and the 3D screen, and we thought that there must be many things we could do with that. For example, we looked at the cameras and realised that maybe we could calibrate them with software, and decided to show that to Nintendo. 21. Nintendo 3DS: A handheld games system first released in Japan in February 2011. It was released in Europe in March of the same year.
This feature which NERD created – even though we didn’t request it – was used in Nintendo 3DS Camera and this feature really made a big difference. The reason we had contacted Mobiclip at the time was simply because we wanted a 3D video codec. Nothing had been announced about Nintendo 3DS at this point, so we had to ask you to treat all information as extremely confidential before we could ask you to work on the codec. We never even mentioned anything about 3D camera calibration22. (laughs)22. 3D camera calibration: Calibration of the two external outer cameras is implemented in the Nintendo 3DS system. When a misalignment between the outer cameras occurs, users can correct it by following the steps in "Automatic Setup", found within Outer Cameras in System Settings.
Actually, we were very proud that Nintendo had disclosed information about the system to us so early. When a new hardware platform comes out it is just crying out for new technologies like this one. It’s just begging us to do something.
You just keep on creating lots of new tasks.
It’s an appeal you can’t resist: it’s asking us to do this. The hardware is speaking to us!
It was the hardware asking, not Nintendo! (laughs)
That’s why it’s exciting now to be part of the Nintendo group: Nintendo is so kind to share information about the hardware.
© 2020 Nintendo.