After 17 years, entrepreneur Riccardo Zacconi leaves King, the video game company he founded in 2003 and then sold in 2016 for $ 5.9 billion. “It was an incredible race that I never imagined when we started,” he wrote on LinkedIn on his last day at the company, on August 27. A new adventure has already begun for Zacconi. It’s called 42 Roma Luiss, it’s a programming school halfway between a talent and a video game. We talked about it here.
53 years old, Roman, Zacconi is one of the most influential people in digital. He invented Candy Crush, the candy game that has reached 463 million monthly active users around the world. In 2014 he took his King Digital to Wall Street: it was the largest IPO for a European tech company. In 2016, he sold it to the American giant Activision. He remained at the helm of the company until 2019, and then on the board with the role of chairman. In a post on Facebook two days ago, he traced King’s story and explained his personal recipe for success.
“The most important thing I’ve learned? That people and strategies change and must adapt over time. The most stable part of a company is its culture. It takes a lifetime to build it (but it can be destroyed in an instant if you’re not careful) »wrote Zacconi.
«To create the right corporate culture, you have to start from yourself and be consistent in everything and every day. Here are the 3 rules to do it:
- Hire better people than you.
Don’t be afraid to do it. If you do, you will not lose your job, on the contrary your company will grow. You will only be able to hold people back and develop their potential if you give them confidence, responsibility and autonomy, in making decisions, in doing right things or in making mistakes. It does not mean that you will no longer have a say, but that, after having agreed on a direction together, you will be able to give others trust and support »explains Zacconi.
- Treat others how you want to be treated.
It is the rule behind everything. In recent years I have had to fire someone, in difficult times, when we had to leave activities or geographical areas that no longer fit our strategy or when people did not behave as required by their role. But even when I faced those difficult discussions, I always thought about how I would have liked to be treated if I were the other person. Transparency, treating people as adults, not penalizing but supporting those who make mistakes to overcome borders: it all comes from the basic rule of treating others as you want to be treated. Everyday.
- Never stop that relentless pursuit of providing the best product experience for 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 aimed to surprise players every day with new levels, new missions, continually reviewing the user experience and each level and testing new innovative features in other games that, if they worked, we would have brought to Candy Crush. Before being successful with Candy Crush, we had to make very difficult decisions and reinvent ourselves, but we always did everything with the aim of impressing our players with the most fun experience … “.