If you’re careless about your input, your output won’t be any good. All our various topics so far are connecting.
That’s right. Putting negative labels on ideas and keeping them in order connects to having good input.
In that case, I think it’s even more important to have a standard for saying, “I don’t want this!” or “I want this!”
Yes, that’s right.
That’s different for each person, so I don’t think you can say what is absolutely right, but if your own sensibilities are vastly different from the norm, the input you’ve gathered won’t be any use. In that case, when you talk about the consumer mind, you just won’t make any sense.
Miyamoto-san, you’ve got pretty normal sensibilities, right?
I think so. I’m not working that hard at all. (laughs) But for some reason, people say I have a standard consumer’s sense for things. I’m thankful for that. I think it’s very important.
It really is.
Iwata-san always says I’m a natural born master in behavioural economics. I haven’t studied behavioural economics, I just have standard sense as a consumer.
You haven’t studied behavioural economics, so behavioural economists must have been studying you.
I do think being a standard consumer is important.
Someone who’s different will, of course, reach different conclusions. A game will turn out differently when it’s made by someone who’s really into video games. And, for example, when someone who loves collecting fan merchandise and has spent hundreds of thousands of yen doing so ever since they were a little kid comes up with a plan, they come up with something that no one would buy. If you don’t change your standard, no matter your input, your output will turn out differently.
It revolves around what kind of life that person is living.
You’ve really got that down. When you’re not here, Iwata-san and I have these conversations about how hard you work for the neighbourhood association.
We don’t know anyone else who does so much for the neighbourhood association.
Now you’re exaggerating! (laughs)
I think all this time you’ve kept hold of that sense for what’s standard.
How should I put it? My parents always said, “Don’t change your vessel all the time.”
Oh, really? “Don’t change your vessel all the time.”
In other words, each person has their own vessel of a certain size. No matter how the world changes around you, learn to live at your own capacity.
I can see that philosophy at work in you.
I do have that side to me. I don’t really chase after the “American Dream” - that idea of continually changing with success.
You don’t try to shape yourself.
Right. I’m just naturally the way I am. So if you were to ask how to become a standard consumer, I wouldn’t know how to answer.
But talking to lots of people is something you can do as a part of that effort. When you speak up and have a lot of people who can nod to what you're saying, that’s more important than learning behavioural economics from a book.
Yes, that’s right.
It’s better than just gathering together with like-minded people and talking about what you have in common.
Oh, that reminds me, you know how I’ve always been into swimming?
One of the things that is so interesting about swimming is the way so many different kinds of people gather to do it. Swimming classes usually have about ten people in them. There’s a series of exercises - like 50 metres or 100 metres - and you each do them one after the other. After swimming down and back, you’re tired, so you rest for about a minute and talk about something. We talk about all kinds of things, from small talk to the economy. A store owner might talk about sales or I might ask about what he does at the shop. There’s a teacher, a manju (a sweet Japanese snack) shop owner, a doctor’s wife, a potter - all kinds of people - and you just talk about whatever pops into your head. But that variety of relationships, that jumble of people, is something you don’t find in a company or at school.
I suppose not. The people at a particular company or school are often the same general type.
Right. I think variety is important. We don’t talk about anything particularly weighty, though. (laughs)
All the input that comes from such conversations is good. It’s like reading a bunch of books that aren’t actually in book form. It doesn’t look like hard work, but it is a kind of effort.
Maybe so. And there’s another thing that isn’t exactly effort, but that I never turn down an invitation for. When I get an invitation to do something with the PTA, or to attend an international exchange event at a community centre, I always accept and never fail to learn something. When someone invites me to do something, it’s probably something I’m not usually involved with, so I always try to go. In that sense, I think my scope has broadened. I’m able to cover more ground than before.
In other words, the scope of your input has increased.
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